Information, tips, and supplies that best prepare you to explore the great outdoors
If you happen to follow any Saudi outdoor enthusiasts on Instagram, you may have seen a range of photos from their recent hikes coming up on your feed, spurring fantasies of walking outdoors and adding much-needed steps to your daily count.
Add to that the serenity of not having the distractions of your house or gym and panoramic views that take your breath away.
Before you head out, there are certain things you need to take into account before you formally take up hiking – because it’s definitely not “just walking outside.”
Visit the official Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation website and social media channels to learn how you can get involved and meet others with the same interests. The Federation also shares course information on its Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Just like you need the right footwear if you’re going to run or play soccer, hiking is not different and you need to look after your feet. Different styles are designed for different purposes, so you’ll need to decide what type of hiking you are going to do. Once you’ve bought your shoes, make sure you break them in before taking them on a long hike. Wear them around your house for a few days to get your feet used to them.
Light hiking shoes | More like a really sturdy version of running shoes, these are great for day hiking although they can also be suitable for longer backpacking hikes as they’re a lighter fit than traditional boots.
Backpacking boots | Like the 4×4 that can go off road into the unknown, these boots are suitable for most terrain. They usually have stiff soles and are suitable for a variety of weather conditions.
Mountaineering boots | If heading into especially rocky territory or areas with extreme weather (like snow) you’re going to need theses. These boots are built for tough terrain and can take whatever comes at them on the trail.
You need to consider the season, the length of your hike and where you are hiking to dress accordingly. Fabric is a major consideration and we cannot stress enough how important it is choose wicking material that moves moisture away from your skin, and this applies to socks as well. Avoid cotton socks because they will get wet and the chafing will cause blisters, putting you out of action for a while. Remember to wear a hat and sunscreen, even if it’s cold or cloudy.
Pack a lightweight backpack with a few essentials and you’re ready to go. Ensure that you have the items on this list:
- Your phone and a portal charger/power bank. (Not only to take pics for the ‘Gram but also in case of emergencies)
- A light jacket and/or something waterproof in case it rains or gets chilly that you can put on or take off easily.
- Water and a few simple snacks. If you’re planning a longer hike that doesn’t involve a café as part of your pit stops, pack some lunch as well.
- Tissues, sunscreen for reapplication, band aids, and antiseptic cream in the event of cuts, bites or blisters.
Hiking is a fantastic activity that you can enjoy alone or with your friends or as a family activity. You can do it on your travels or become an expert on your own backyard. With preparation and planning, it can become a healthy hobby to enjoy for years to come.
Healthy Living is a frequently updated content section brought to you by the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In the spirit of supporting our #HealthyActiveCommunity, we’re sharing tips around wellness, physical activity and more!