For many of us, 2020 is shaping up to be a year that no one could have ever anticipated, with the COVID-19 crisis forcing us to change lifestyle habits and adapt to new routines.
Fortunately, the great outdoors hasn’t gone anywhere and exercising, including walks and hikes, are one of the few approved reasons you can leave the house these days! So, why not enjoy some time isolated in nature with these top tips about how to adjust your exercise plans, stay safe and make the most of a social-distancing hike:
1. Plan your walk and trail to a tee
Many parks and walking tracks are currently closed due to the virus, so it’s crucial to check whether you can access trails before leaving home. The best place to check up to date information is via your local National Park website.
Once you’ve done that, to ensure the safety of yourself and the community, it’s also important to abide by government guidelines and try to avoid contact with others. This means that 2020 might become the year of the solo hike. Take the time beforehand to find a trail that you can walk while maintaining a safe distance from others. This means finding walks with easy access, a secluded trail head and a nice wide path. Think about getting up early to avoid the crowds – you’ll see the best of the morning and be home in time for lunch.
2. Be extra prepared with your packing
It’s now more important than ever to stay safe and avoid putting yourself in a high-risk situation, especially if you are hiking alone. And this doesn’t need to add too much to your load, it can be as simple as packing:
• A map of the area and case
• A first-aid kit
• A portable head torch (like the Ledlenser MH7) in case you come across bad weather, confined spaces, or arrive back to your starting point later than expected
• Your favourite Leatherman (or any multi tool) to repair equipment on the fly, or even just cut your lunch
While you can get away without properly planning your hike 99% of the time; if the year so far is anything to go by, it’s probably a good idea to plan for the unexpected.
3. Stay hydrated
Many people rely on water being available along the track, but often this isn’t the case with more isolated walks. Make sure you carry 2-3L on you, and we also recommend taking the nifty Steripen Ultra UV Purifier. This nifty gadget uses UV light technology to purify water from streams, lakes, etc and indicates when it’s safe to drink within seconds.
4. Get lost in the moment
Going for a hike by yourself gives you some time to think in peace without the ongoing distractions and COVID-19 frenzy. Use this time out in nature to evaluate the things you love and promise yourself you’ll do more of it in future. Now is the best time to set out your goals and priorities for the future, so why not start making some plans and daydream about your next big adventure.
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