Now that 2016 is underway, it’s time to think about setting yourself some challenges which may or may not be related to your New year’s resolutions. Inspired by Trail magazine, Zoe from Splodz Blogz discusses why setting yourself a hiking challenge would get 2016 off to a great start!
The start of a New Year is an excellent time to set yourself a challenge or two. Being someone who particularly enjoys putting one foot in front of the other, I’m here to encourage you to make at least one of those challenges hiking related. The fact is that walking is such great exercise, and it’s the perfect way to get some very important fresh air and explore some of our beautiful countryside. Walking can also be a great social challenge; something for everyone – given the right footwear and enough food and water we can go off into the distance with friends old and new and achieve something together.
What makes a walking challenge? For me, it’s something that is a little out of the ordinary, or out of my normal comfort zone. Something that requires some careful planning and some training. It might be the furthest you’ve ever walked, the tallest ascent you’ve climbed, or simply somewhere you’ve never walked before. Yes, some of the biggest walking challenges might be hundreds of miles over days, weeks or months; but they can also be one or two day affairs at a weekend that fit perfectly between busy working weeks.
Back in October a couple of new friends and I headed up to the North Yorkshire Moors to attempt the Lyke Wake Walk, a not-so-well-known hiking challenge that takes walkers forty miles in an almost straight line from Osmotherley to Ravenscar. We did the old coffin route over two days, and despite being one of the most challenging hikes I have ever done (thanks to a combination of bog, marshland, steep ascents and descents, as well as the distance), it was also one of the best and most fulfilling weekends of the year. Left foot, right foot, repeat, might not sound like much but when you do it more than 80,000 times in one weekend it does become pretty memorable.
Whether you choose one of the UK’s long distance paths to follow from beginning to end such as the Cleveland Way or Coast to Coast, one of the country’s most walked circular routes such as the Yorkshire Three Peaks, to get to the top of one of our mountains such as Ben Nevis or Snowdon, or simply a hike from and to your own front door that takes in some local trails you’ve never walked before, get yourself out and walking in 2016. There are so many great walks in the UK to choose from, you are bound to find one that inspires you to get out and about.
And if you’re not sure or just want some more inspiration, Trail magazine has some awesome ideas for “walks of a lifetime” each month that will be sure to give you something to work towards in the coming year.
Have you set yourself a fitness challenge or other resolution for 2016? Or maybe you’ve decided to subscribe to a magazine such as Trail? We’d love to hear about it – let us know in the comments below!