Country Retreats

Consider the wild countryside on your door step. It lurks on every city limit and offers explorations unfettered by tourist guides. It’s your very own wilderness and its available for free!

Country walks afford peace of mind and a gentle exercise that is good for both body and mind. Considering the implications of the Covid lockdown rules, perhaps one of the best things anyone could do is to take a hike in the countryside and treat yourself to specular view, an engagement with nature and a persistent level of exercise that will have you sleeping sound at night.

That being said, despite its attractive sense, making ill prepared trips to the great outdoors can lead to some very nasty scenarios. Luckily, hiking expert and author, Benjamin Westover Idaho native offers some safety rules and tips for making the most of your walk.

Hiking safety:

Always tell someone or group of people where you intend to go and when you expect to return. This is the simplest form of safety one can take. If misadventure meets loss of contact with outside world, a search operation will need to be called.

Also, ensure you plan your trip. Having a map with set timed expected estimates stops marked out will allow you to plot your course successful and identify your progress. It can also feel a little like an espionage mission which adds to the fun.
Checking the weather forecast will sound obvious but nether less is vital. Never chance a storm in the wilderness if you can help it. You won’t enjoy any clear views and it could lead to getting lost or injury through slipping.
For absolute safety, ensure you have a compass and understand its basic utility. Plotting its course on set markers on your map will ensure you are going in the right direction. Having 360 degree directional options without signposts or landmarks means it’s easy to get lost in the space of 50m.

Tips for hiking

As for making a great day out, Benjamin offers some tips for the making the most from your hike. Fort absolute starters, having good boots that support the ankle and allow for thick socks in their sizing is essential. Robust laces and soles with reliable tread will ensure safe footing and dry feet, which means you’re not depleting energy through heat waste.
Breathable waterproofs for your top and bottom will mean that you can wear these items through rain or shine. The self-defeating waterproofs that make you sweat are a thing of the past. Invest in Gore-Tex.
Always carry sufficient drinking water and remember to pace yourself. Refrain from spitting and try to avoid talking too much if with company, if you’re on a long hike. Talking encourages rapid fluid loss.
Try to pack a camera for the memorable summits of your climb or to document interesting fauna on your descent. It’s a fantastic achievement to walk across country for 8 hours so you should credit yourself with the memento and makes for a spirited journey. 

Finally, carry a well-balanced ruck sack. This means that the weight is dispersed evenly across the back so as not to cause muscle injury or discomfort. Actually carrying a rucksack properly will induce better posture and can keep kidneys warm in colder climates. It is always essential to have your hands free as you hike for balance and pace.