Category Archives: Hiking

9 Best Hikes in Amalfi Coast Italy

The Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy, is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery, charming towns, and, of course, its spectacular hiking trails. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just someone looking to take in the breathtaking views, the Amalfi Coast offers a range of trails that cater to all levels of experience. Here are the 9 best hikes in the Amalfi Coast that you shouldn’t miss.

Best Amalfi Coast Hiking Trails 

1. Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei)

  • Length: 7.8 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Panoramic views of the coast, Positano, and Capri.

The Path of the Gods is an iconic trail offering breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast, the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the Isle of Capri. Starting in Bomerano, this path weaves through ancient mule tracks and terraced vineyards, leading to the picturesque village of Nocelle. Along the way, hikers can explore historic ruins and enjoy the fragrant Mediterranean flora. The trail can be extended to include a descent into Positano, a colorful cliffside village.

*Featured in our Our Tuscany & Amalfi Coast Hiking Tour

2. Valle delle Ferriere

  • Length: 6 km
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Highlights: Waterfalls, ancient paper mills, lush vegetation.

This enchanting trail takes you through the heart of the Valle delle Ferriere nature reserve. The path is a green oasis, home to a variety of rare plants and wildlife. As you walk, you’ll encounter cascading waterfalls and the fascinating ruins of ancient paper mills, a nod to Amalfi’s historical paper-making industry. The trail is a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling coastal towns.

3. The Walk of Love (Il Sentiero dell’Amore)

  • Length: 3 km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Romantic path, views of the coastline, ideal for sunset.

Il Sentiero dell’Amore, or The Walk of Love, is a charming and relatively easy trail that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the rugged coastline. It’s a perfect choice for a leisurely stroll, especially for couples seeking a romantic setting. The path is lined with fragrant wildflowers and offers numerous spots to sit and enjoy the sunset. The trail’s end provides a panoramic vista that’s particularly enchanting at dusk.

4. Monte Tre Calli Hike

  • Length: 5 km
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Highlights: Panoramic views of the Amalfi Coast and Capri.

The Monte Tre Calli Hike is a challenging but rewarding ascent that offers some of the most spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast. Starting from the village of Bomerano, this trail climbs to the summit of Monte Tre Calli, where hikers are rewarded with a 360-degree panorama encompassing the coastline, the Lattari Mountains, and the Isle of Capri. The path is steep and rocky in places, making it an exhilarating challenge for more experienced hikers.

5. Punta Campanella

  • Length: 4 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Views of Capri, historical sites, marine reserve.

Punta Campanella is a historic and scenic trail leading to the tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula. Along the way, hikers can explore ancient ruins, including a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva. The path offers stunning views of the Gulf of Naples and the Isle of Capri. The trail ends at a lighthouse, where the views of the surrounding marine reserve are unparalleled. This hike is a journey through history, nature, and mythology.

6. Furore Fjord

  • Length: Variable
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Highlights: Unique fjord landscape, beach, and ancient fishing village.

The hike to the Furore Fjord is a unique experience, descending to one of Italy’s most picturesque fjords. The trail takes you through a landscape of steep cliffs and lush vegetation, leading to an ancient fishing village nestled at the fjord’s base. The beach at the end of the trail is a serene spot, perfect for relaxing after the descent. The Furore Fjord, with its turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs, is a hidden gem on the Amalfi Coast.

7. Ravello to Amalfi Walk

  • Length: 6.5 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Views of Ravello and Amalfi, historical sites, vineyards.

This picturesque trail connects the historic hilltop town of Ravello with the coastal town of Amalfi. The path winds through terraced lemon groves and vineyards, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way, hikers can explore ancient churches and villas, including the famous Villa Cimbrone in Ravello. The trail descends into Amalfi, allowing hikers to explore its famous cathedral and bustling piazzas.

8. The Lemon Path (Il Sentiero dei Limoni)

  • Length: 7 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Lemon groves, coastal views, historical mills.

Il Sentiero dei Limoni, or The Lemon Path, is a delightful trail that meanders through lush lemon groves, a signature of the Amalfi Coast. The path connects the towns of Maiori and Minori and offers stunning coastal views. Along the way, hikers will pass by historic mills and charming farmhouses. The scent of lemons fills the air, making this walk a truly sensory experience. The trail is a testament to the region’s agricultural heritage and its connection to the land.

9. Scala to Minuta and Pontone

  • Length: 4 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Medieval architecture, panoramic views, ancient ruins.

This trail offers a journey through time, starting from Scala, the oldest town on the Amalfi Coast. The path leads to the picturesque hamlets of Minuta and Pontone, each boasting medieval architecture and ancient ruins. The trail offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. Along the way, hikers can explore the ruins of the Basilica of Sant’Eustachio and other historical landmarks. This hike is a blend of natural beauty and historical exploration, perfect for those interested in the rich past of the Amalfi Coast.

For more great trails, check out our other lists of the best hikes in Italy.

10 Best Hikes in Sardinia Italy

Sardinia, an Italian island known for its rugged landscape, crystal-clear waters, and rich history, offers some of the most beautiful and diverse hiking trails in the Mediterranean. From coastal paths with stunning sea views to mountainous treks in the heart of the island, Sardinia’s trails are a paradise for hikers. 

Here are the 10 best hikes in Sardinia that showcase the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Top 10 Best Sardinia Hikes and Trails

1. Selvaggio Blu Trek

  • Length: 40 km
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Highlights: Dramatic coastal views, remote beaches, rugged terrain.

The Selvaggio Blu Trek is one of the most challenging and rewarding hikes in Italy. It traverses the wild, unspoiled coastline of the Gulf of Orosei, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. The trail includes steep ascents, descents, and requires some climbing, making it an adventure for experienced hikers.

2. Gola Su Gorropu

  • Length: 14 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • Highlights: Europe’s deepest canyon, unique flora and fauna, limestone walls.

Gola Su Gorropu, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Europe, is a spectacular gorge with towering limestone walls. The hike to the canyon is a journey through diverse landscapes, including ancient forests and riverbeds. Inside the gorge, hikers can marvel at the sheer scale of the canyon walls and the unique ecosystem.

3. Cala Goloritzé

  • Length: 4 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Iconic beach, turquoise waters, limestone arch.

The hike to Cala Goloritzé leads to one of Sardinia’s most iconic beaches. The trail descends from the high plateau of Baunei, offering stunning views of the coastline and the Mediterranean Sea. The beach, with its white pebbles, crystal-clear waters, and a striking limestone arch, is a breathtaking reward at the end of the hike.

4. Capo Testa

  • Length: Variable
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Highlights: Granite rock formations, lighthouse, panoramic sea views.

Capo Testa, located in the northern part of Sardinia, is known for its unique granite rock formations sculpted by the wind. The area offers a network of trails that lead to hidden coves, the historic lighthouse, and provide panoramic views of the Strait of Bonifacio.

Explore More of Italy on Foot With Our Italy Hiking & Walking Tours

5. Monte Limbara

  • Length: Variable
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • Highlights: Mountain landscapes, granite peaks, panoramic views.

Monte Limbara is the highest mountain range in northern Sardinia. The trails here offer a change of scenery from the coastal paths, with rugged granite peaks and lush forests. The summit provides panoramic views of the island and, on clear days, Corsica.

6. Tiscali

  • Length: 8 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Ancient Nuragic village, mountain views, archaeological site.

The hike to the archaeological site of Tiscali is a journey into Sardinia’s ancient past. The trail leads to a hidden Nuragic village nestled inside a collapsed cave. The surrounding landscape of the Supramonte mountains adds to the mystical atmosphere of this historic site.

7. Cala Luna

  • Length: 7 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Highlights: Scenic coastal path, caves, beautiful beach.

Cala Luna is one of Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches, and the hike to reach it is just as spectacular. The trail follows the coastline, offering views of the sea and cliffs. The beach, known for its caves and crystal-clear waters, is a perfect spot to relax after the hike.

8. Punta la Marmora

  • Length: 12 km
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Highlights: Sardinia’s highest peak, panoramic island views, unique flora.

Punta la Marmora, the highest peak in Sardinia, offers a challenging hike with rewarding views. The trail takes you through the heart of the Gennargentu National Park, home to unique flora and fauna. From the summit, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the entire island.

9. Coastal Path of Alghero to Bosa

  • Length: 45 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • Highlights: Coastal scenery, medieval towns, diverse landscapes.

This long-distance coastal path connects the charming towns of Alghero and Bosa. The trail offers a mix of landscapes, from rocky shores and secluded beaches to rolling hills and vineyards. Both towns are worth exploring for their historical and cultural significance.

10. Isola di San Pietro

  • Length: Variable
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Highlights: Island exploration, lighthouse, Mediterranean views.

The Isola di San Pietro is a small island off the southwestern coast of Sardinia. The island offers a variety of trails that lead to scenic viewpoints, the iconic lighthouse, and along the rugged coastline. The tranquil atmosphere and stunning views make it a perfect day trip for hikers.

Tips for Hiking in Sardinia

  • Stay Hydrated: The Sardinian climate can be hot, especially in summer.
  • Wear Sun Protection: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are essential.
  • Check Local Regulations: Some trails may require permits or guides.
  • Respect the Environment: Stay on marked paths and protect the natural landscape.
  • Explore the Local Culture: Sardinia has a rich history and unique traditions worth exploring.

When is the Best Time to Plan a Hike in Sardinia? 

The best time to plan a hike in Sardinia is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) months. These periods offer the most favorable conditions for hiking, with several advantages:

Spring (April to June)

  • Pleasant Weather: Spring in Sardinia brings mild temperatures, making it comfortable for hiking. The average temperature ranges from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).
  • Wildflower Bloom: The landscape is particularly beautiful in spring, with wildflowers in bloom, adding vibrant colors to the trails.
  • Fewer Crowds: Spring is less crowded compared to the peak summer months, offering a more peaceful hiking experience.
  • Wildlife: This is a great time for birdwatching and observing other wildlife, as animals are more active in the cooler temperatures.

Autumn (September to November)

  • Ideal Temperatures: Autumn also provides comfortable hiking conditions, with temperatures similar to spring. The sea is often still warm enough for swimming, which can be a great way to relax after a hike.
  • Changing Colors: The landscape begins to change, with autumn colors providing a different kind of beauty.
  • Harvest Season: For food enthusiasts, this is the season of harvest, with various local festivals and the opportunity to taste fresh produce like grapes, olives, and chestnuts.
  • Less Tourist Traffic: Like spring, autumn sees fewer tourists, making for quieter and more enjoyable hiking trails.

Considerations for Summer and Winter

  • Summer (July and August): While popular for beach holidays, summer in Sardinia can be extremely hot, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). This can make hiking challenging and less enjoyable, especially on trails without shade.
  • Winter (December to February): Winters are generally mild, but the weather can be unpredictable with higher chances of rain. Some higher altitude trails may also be inaccessible.

Hiking in Sardinia is an unforgettable experience that combines natural wonders, historical sites, and breathtaking landscapes. Each trail offers a unique way to explore the island’s diverse beauty, making Sardinia a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.

9 Best Hikes in Argentina

Argentina, a country of vast natural diversity, offers some of the most breathtaking hiking experiences in the world. From the glacier-carved landscapes of Patagonia to the subtropical rainforests of the north, every trail tells a story of the earth’s power and beauty. This guide will walk you through the 9 best hikes in Argentina, each promising an adventure that will resonate with your soul.

1. Perito Moreno Glacier Trek – Santa Cruz Province

Location: Los Glaciares National Park

Duration: Half-day to full-day

The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most iconic sights in Argentina. Hiking on this massive glacier is an otherworldly experience where you can witness deep crevasses and azure ice formations up close. Equipped with crampons and an experienced guide, you can explore the surface of this natural wonder and listen to the ice crack and groan as it slowly moves.

2. Mount Fitz Roy Trek – Chaltén

Location: Los Glaciares National Park

Duration: 4-8 hours for day hikes, multi-day for full circuit

Mount Fitz Roy, known locally as Cerro Chaltén, is the crown jewel of Patagonia’s hiking scene. The trek to its base offers some of the most stunning views of the sharp peaks that dominate the skyline. The most popular day hike leads to Laguna de los Tres, providing a breathtaking vista of Fitz Roy’s sheer cliffs. For the intrepid, a multi-day circuit around the mountain reveals Patagonia’s true rugged beauty.

Featured in our Patagonia Trekking Tour

3. Iguazu Falls Trails – Misiones Province

Location: Iguazu National Park

Duration: Half-day to full-day

The Iguazu Falls, straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil, are a series of massive waterfalls that can be explored through a network of trails. The Paseo Garganta del Diablo is a must-do, leading you to the Devil’s Throat, where the roar of water plunges into a misty abyss. The surrounding subtropical rainforest is also home to colorful birds and butterflies, adding to the magic of the hike.

4. Quebrada de Humahuaca Trek – Jujuy Province

Location: Quebrada de Humahuaca

Duration: 1-3 days

The Quebrada de Humahuaca is a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring a dramatic valley with multicolored rock formations. Hiking here feels like stepping into a painting, with the Hill of Seven Colors in Purmamarca being a highlight. Longer treks can take you through ancient Incan trails and to remote villages where time seems to stand still.

5. Aconcagua Base Camp Trek – Mendoza Province

Location: Aconcagua Provincial Park

Duration: 5-7 days

Aconcagua is the highest peak outside of Asia, and reaching its base camp is an achievement in itself. The hike takes you through changing landscapes, from lush green valleys to the stark, moon-like terrain near the mountain’s base. The trail offers a glimpse of the high-altitude world of mountaineers who come to tackle the summit.

6. Lanín Volcano Ascent – Neuquén Province

Location: Lanín National Park

Duration: 2 days

The symmetrical cone of Lanín Volcano is an imposing sight and climbing it is a challenging but rewarding experience. The ascent requires a guide and proper equipment, but reaching the snow-covered summit gives you a panoramic view of the Andes and the satisfaction of conquering one of Argentina’s most iconic peaks.

7. Tierra del Fuego National Park – Tierra del Fuego

Location: Near Ushuaia

Duration: 2-4 hours to full-day

At the southernmost tip of the continent, Tierra del Fuego National Park offers a variety of trails that meander through forests, bogs, and along the Beagle Channel with views of Chilean islands. The park’s remote beauty is a testament to the harsh and windswept landscapes of the far south.

8. Talampaya National Park – La Rioja Province

Location: Talampaya National Park

Duration: Half-day to full-day

Talampaya is a desert region where red sandstone cliffs rise dramatically from the earth. Guided hikes can take you to see ancient petroglyphs, bizarre rock formations, and the remnants of dinosaurs that once roamed this Martian landscape.

9. Los Alerces National Park – Chubut Province

Location: Los Alerces National Park

Duration: 2-6 hours for day hikes, multi-day for full circuit

Named after the ancient alerce trees, some of which are over 3,000 years old, this park offers tranquil hikes along crystal-clear lakes and rivers. The trails are less traveled, providing a peaceful experience in the midst of lush forests and snow-capped mountains.

End of the Road

Argentina’s trails are as diverse as they are stunning. Each hike offers a unique window into the natural wonders of this vast country. Whether you’re trekking on the ice fields of Patagonia, through the subtropical forests of Iguazu, or across the high-altitude deserts of the Andes, hiking in Argentina is sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart. 

Remember to respect the natural environments you explore, prepare adequately for each region’s challenges, and immerse yourself fully in the splendor of Argentina’s great outdoors. Happy trails!

10 Benefits of Hiking Everyone Should Know

Hiking is more than just a way to get some exercise; it’s a window to the world that offers a myriad of benefits for both the body and the mind. From the physical exertion of scaling a peak to the mental peace found in the quiet of a forest, hiking presents a unique blend of advantages. 

Let’s explore the top 10 benefits that make hiking an exceptional activity for enhancing your life.

Top 10 Hiking Benefits

1. Cardiovascular Strength

Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that can improve your heart health. Each step on the trail is a step towards a stronger cardiovascular system. The varying terrains and elevations encountered on hikes challenge your heart and lungs, which must work harder to supply your muscles with blood and oxygen. 

Over time, regular hiking can help lower your risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure, and strengthen your heart muscle, all while you’re enjoying the great outdoors.

2. Muscle Tone and Strength

The natural resistance of hiking trails provides a dynamic environment for building muscle strength. As you navigate over rocks, up inclines, and through uneven surfaces, you engage and tone a wide range of muscles. 

Your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves all get a workout, leading to improved muscle tone, strength, and endurance. This isn’t just about looking fit; it’s about building a body capable of taking on life’s challenges.

3. Weight Management

Hiking is an excellent way to burn calories without the monotony of a gym routine. The effort required to propel yourself forward, especially on inclines, means your body is burning a significant amount of energy. 

This calorie burn can contribute to weight loss and help you maintain a healthy weight, all while you’re immersed in the beauty of nature, making it a rewarding and effective way to manage your weight.

Interested in exploring some great hikes across the globe? See our list of walking & hiking tours in destinations like South America and Europe!

4. Mental Health and Stress Reduction

There’s a serene quality to the trails that has a profound effect on mental health. Hiking is a form of ‘green exercise’ that can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The combination of physical activity, outdoor environments, and the quiet of nature helps to lower cortisol levels, the body’s stress hormone, and encourages the production of endorphins, which elevate your mood and sense of well-being.

5. Improved Sleep Quality

Regular hikers often report better sleep patterns. Physical activity, particularly in natural light, helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, which controls your sleep cycle. The energy exerted during a hike means your body is more ready to rest at the end of the day, leading to a deeper and more restful sleep. 

Plus, the peace and quiet of the outdoors is a perfect antidote to the overstimulation that often hampers our sleep in the digital age.

6. Enhanced Creativity and Focus

Disconnecting from the digital world and immersing yourself in nature can lead to enhanced creativity and focus. Hiking allows your mind to wander freely, which can foster a creative form of thinking known as ‘divergent thinking’. 

Additionally, the natural environment can increase attention span and problem-solving skills by as much as 50%, according to some studies. This mental clarity is a valuable benefit for anyone looking to boost their creative or professional life.

7. Connection with Nature

Hiking provides an intimate connection with nature that’s increasingly rare in our urbanized world. This connection can lead to a greater appreciation for the environment and a deeper understanding of our place within it. 

Experiencing the diversity of flora and fauna on the trails can foster a sense of environmental stewardship, an important benefit as we face ecological challenges globally.

8. Social Engagement

While hiking can be a solitary activity, it also offers opportunities for social engagement. Joining a hiking group or hitting the trails with friends or family can build stronger social bonds. These shared experiences can lead to lasting friendships and a sense of community, as well as providing a support system that encourages regular participation in the activity.

9. Bone Density and Joint Health

Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning it helps build bone density. Walking and climbing put stress on your bones, which encourages bone tissue to grow stronger. Additionally, hiking can improve the health of your joints by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them. This can help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, keeping your skeleton strong as you age.

10. Longevity and Overall Well-being

Perhaps the most compelling benefit of hiking is the potential for a longer, healthier life. Studies suggest that regular physical activity like hiking can lead to a longer lifespan by reducing the risk of chronic diseases. 

Moreover, the holistic benefits of hiking, such as improved mental health, social connections, and a deeper appreciation for life, contribute to an overall sense of well-being that can’t be measured in years alone.

Hiking is not just a pastime; it’s a pathway to a healthier, happier life. The benefits are as varied as the trails you’ll explore, each with its own unique beauty and challenges. So lace up your boots, pack your essentials, and step into the world of hiking, where every trail leads to a better you. And if you are the type of hiker who enjoys company then contact Go Get Lost about our worldwide hiking tours!

15 Types of Hiking: Different Kinds of Hikes Explained

Hiking is not just a simple walk in the woods—it’s an adventure that takes many forms. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, there’s a type of hiking that fits your needs. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the 15 most popular types of hiking, each offering a unique way to experience the great outdoors.

1. Day Hiking

Day hikes are the perfect introduction to the hiking world, offering a chance to explore nature without the commitment of an overnight stay or packing lots of hiking gear. These hikes can vary from short, local trails to more strenuous full-day excursions, often leading to stunning viewpoints or serene picnic spots.

  • Gear Needed: Comfortable footwear, a daypack, water, snacks, and weather-appropriate clothing.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to intermediate.
  • Popular Destinations: National parks, local trails, and nature reserves.

2. Backpacking

Backpacking is an immersive experience that combines hiking with wilderness camping, allowing you to carry your life on your back as you traverse through diverse landscapes. It requires careful planning and self-sufficiency, as you’ll be spending one or several nights under the stars, far from modern conveniences.

  • Gear Needed: A backpack, tent, sleeping bag, food, water purification system, and a stove.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: The Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and other long-distance trails.

3. Thru-Hiking

Thru-hiking is the ultimate endurance test for hikers, entailing months of walking long-distance trails from end to end. This transformative journey not only challenges your physical limits but also offers a unique, introspective experience as you navigate through varying terrains and climates.

  • Gear Needed: Similar to backpacking but with more emphasis on lightweight and durable gear.
  • Difficulty Level: Advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: The Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and the Camino de Santiago.

4. Section Hiking

Section hiking allows adventurers to complete a long-distance trail in segments, which can be tackled over weekends or vacation days spread out over months or even years. It’s a flexible approach that lets you experience the thrill of a thru-hike without the extensive time commitment.

  • Gear Needed: Varies depending on the section and duration of the hike.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: Any long-distance trail can be section hiked.

5. Urban Hiking

Urban hiking turns cityscapes into adventurous trails, encouraging explorers to discover the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of an urban environment on foot. This type of hiking often reveals the historical and cultural layers of a city that might otherwise go unnoticed.

  • Gear Needed: Comfortable walking shoes and a city map or GPS.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner.
  • Popular Destinations: San Francisco’s stairways, the Freedom Trail in Boston, and the High Line in New York City.

6. Mountain Hiking

Mountain hiking takes you to the higher altitudes, offering breathtaking vistas and challenging climbs. It’s a way to test your stamina and enjoy the solitude of high peaks, requiring a good level of fitness and an appreciation for rugged terrain.

  • Gear Needed: Hiking boots, trekking poles, navigation tools, and layers for changing weather.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: The Rockies, the Alps, and the Himalayas.

7. Summit Hiking

Summit hiking is all about the ascent, focusing on reaching the peak for that unparalleled sense of achievement and panoramic views. It often involves early starts to catch sunrise summits and can require technical skills depending on the mountain’s difficulty.

  • Gear Needed: Mountain hiking gear plus additional safety equipment for higher altitudes.
  • Difficulty Level: Advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji, and Mount Rainier.

8. Scrambling

Scrambling is a thrilling mix of hiking and climbing, often requiring the use of hands to navigate steep, rocky sections where trails fade into rugged terrain. It’s a step up from traditional hiking, offering a hands-on approach to reaching your destination.

  • Gear Needed: Helmet, gloves, and sometimes a harness and rope.
  • Difficulty Level: Advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: The Teton Range, Lake District in the UK, and the Canadian Rockies.

9. Bushwhacking

Bushwhacking is for those who prefer forging their own path through untamed wilderness, often without the aid of trails or markers. It’s a true backcountry experience, demanding a strong sense of direction and a high tolerance for navigating through dense vegetation.

  • Gear Needed: Durable clothing, a machete or hiking pole, and a GPS or compass.
  • Difficulty Level: Advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: Remote wilderness areas.

10. Coastal Hiking

Coastal hiking showcases the dramatic interface between land and sea, with routes that hug the shoreline, climb coastal bluffs, or meander through beach and marsh. The sound of waves and the salty air accompany hikers, and the terrain can range from sandy stretches to rocky cliffs. They’re also a popular type for group hiking tours and excursions.

  • Gear Needed: Windbreaker, sun protection, and shoes suitable for sand and rock.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to intermediate.
  • Popular Destinations: The Pacific Coast Trail, the South West Coast Path in England, and the Cinque Terre in Italy.

*See our Cinque Terre Hiking & Walking Tour

11. Winter Hiking

Winter hiking transforms familiar trails into wonderlands of ice and snow, offering a serene and stark beauty along with the challenge of colder temperatures and unpredictable weather. Specialized gear is a must to navigate the slippery paths and to stay warm and safe.

  • Gear Needed: Insulated boots, ice axe, crampons, and layers for extreme cold.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: Mountainous regions during winter months.

12. Night Hiking

Night hiking offers a unique perspective as the wilderness whispers under the moonlight, and the stars guide your way. It’s a peaceful experience that heightens your senses and brings a new dimension to familiar trails.

  • Gear Needed: Headlamp, reflective clothing, and extra batteries.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate.
  • Popular Destinations: Trails known for nocturnal wildlife and stargazing.

13. Waterfall Hiking

Waterfall hiking is a quest for the mesmerizing sight and sound of water cascading down rocks, often involving hikes through lush forests and across streams to reach these natural wonders. The reward is not just the destination but the refreshing mist and the chance to cool off in the pools below.

  • Gear Needed: Waterproof gear, non-slip shoes, and a camera for the views.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to intermediate.
  • Popular Destinations: The Columbia River Gorge, Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Yosemite National Park.

14. Desert Hiking

Desert hiking is an exploration of extremes, where vast, arid landscapes offer stark beauty, silence, and solitude under the expansive sky. Hikers must be prepared for the challenges of heat and scarce water sources, but the rewards are the stunning vistas and unique flora and fauna.

  • Gear Needed: Sun protection, ample water, and layers for temperature shifts.
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate.
  • Popular Destinations: The Mojave Desert, the Atacama Desert, and the Sahara.

15. Eco-Hiking

Eco-hiking emphasizes the importance of conservation as you tread lightly on the earth, often on trails that are maintained to minimize environmental impact. It’s a responsible way to enjoy the outdoors while also contributing to the preservation of natural habitats.

  • Gear Needed: Eco-friendly gear, reusable water bottles, and biodegradable soap.
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to advanced.
  • Popular Destinations: Eco-trails and sustainable nature reserves worldwide.


Hiking is a versatile and accessible activity that can cater to a wide range of preferences and abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, there’s a type of hiking out there for you. So lace up your boots, pack your gear, and set out on a journey that will lead you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes the world has to offer.

How to Choose the Right Hiking Gear

Embarking on a hiking adventure is both thrilling and rewarding. Whether you’re wandering through peaceful forests, ascending mountain peaks, or trekking across diverse landscapes, having the right gear is crucial. 

Not only does it ensure safety and comfort, but it can also make or break your overall hiking experience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps in choosing the perfect hiking gear for your next adventure.

How Do You Choose the Right Hiking Equipment?

1. Understand Your Needs

Before diving into gear choices, it’s essential to assess the kind of hiking you plan on doing. Are you heading out for a short day hike or a month-long thru-hike? The duration, terrain, and climate of your chosen trail will significantly influence your gear needs.

2. Footwear: Your Most Vital Investment

The right hiking boots or shoes can be the difference between an enjoyable trek and a painful ordeal. 

Here’s what to consider:

  • Type of Hike: Day hikes might only require lightweight shoes or trail runners, while multi-day trips demand more robust, supportive boots.
  • Fit: Always try on hiking footwear with the socks you plan to hike in. Ensure there’s no pinching or rubbing, and that your toes have wiggle room.
  • Material: Leather boots offer durability, whereas synthetic materials are lighter and often more breathable. Waterproof options, like those with Gore-Tex liners, are beneficial in wet conditions.

You can read our Keen Targhee II Hiking Shoe review

3. Clothing: Layering is Key

When it comes to hiking apparel, think layers.

  • Base Layer: This wicks sweat away from your body. Materials like merino wool or synthetic fibers work best.
  • Insulation Layer: This keeps you warm. Fleece jackets or lightweight down jackets serve this purpose.
  • Outer Layer: This protects against rain and wind. Look for breathable yet waterproof jackets. Remember to avoid cotton, as it retains moisture, which can lead to hypothermia in colder conditions.

4. The Backpack: Your Trusty Companion

Your backpack should correspond to the length of your hike and the gear you need to carry.

  • Daypacks: Suitable for single-day hikes, typically ranging from 20 to 30 liters.
  • Multi-Day Packs: Designed for longer trips where you’ll be carrying more gear, food, and possibly camping equipment. Capacities range from 40 to 70+ liters. Always try packs on in-store, loaded with weight, to ensure they fit your body shape and are comfortable.

5. Navigation: Know Where You’re Going

Even well-marked trails can sometimes be confusing. Equip yourself with:

  • Map and Compass: These old-school tools don’t rely on batteries and can be life-savers in tricky situations.
  • GPS Devices or Apps: Modern tech can offer detailed route information, but always have a traditional backup.

6. Shelter and Sleep

For multi-day hikes, you’ll need somewhere to sleep. 

Your choices include:

  • Tents: These offer full protection against elements. Ensure it’s suitable for the season (3-season tents are the most versatile).
  • Sleeping Bags: Like tents, ensure they’re suited for the season. Check their temperature ratings.
  • Sleeping Pads: These provide cushioning and insulation from the cold ground.

7. Nutrition and Hydration

Staying fed and hydrated is crucial. Pack more food than you think you’ll need and opt for lightweight, nutritious options like trail mix, energy bars, and freeze-dried meals. 

For water:

  • Water Bottles or Hydration Reservoirs: Ensure you have enough capacity for your trip.
  • Water Filters or Purification Tablets: These are vital if you’ll be sourcing water from natural sources.

8. Safety and First Aid

Never skimp on safety. Carry a basic first aid kit tailored to your trip length and group size. Other safety gear includes a multi-tool or knife, a headlamp with extra batteries, and fire-starting materials.

9. Personalize Your Gear

Everyone’s needs are slightly different. You might want to bring a lightweight stove, a book, or a camera. Maybe you have specific medical needs or prefer certain comfort items. Adjust your gear list according to personal preferences.


Choosing the right hiking gear is a blend of understanding your needs and knowing the options available. Investing time in making the right decisions ensures not only safety but also enhances the joy of your hiking experience be it self guided or a hiking tour abroad. Remember, while gear is essential, the true spirit of hiking lies in the journey itself and the connection with nature. With the right preparation, all that’s left is to hit the trail and enjoy the adventure!

Best Mountain Hikes in Italy

Italy, renowned for its rich history, art, and cuisine, also boasts a diverse landscape that is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts. Apart from its romantic coastlines and serene countryside, Italy is home to some of Europe’s most breathtaking mountain hikes. 

From the Alps in the north to the lesser-known Apennines running through its heart, Italy promises hikers an experience filled with majestic peaks, verdant valleys, and panoramic vistas. 

Best Italian Mountain Hikes

Here are seven mountain hikes in Italy that will satiate your alpine wanderlust.

1. Gran Paradiso National Park Trail

  • Location: Aosta Valley and Piedmont
  • Distance: Varies 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

Gran Paradiso, Italy’s oldest national park, offers trails through lush alpine meadows, dense woods, and alongside glistening glacial rivers. The park, named after the Gran Paradiso mountain, provides routes for both casual walkers and serious trekkers, all while promising views of pristine landscapes and glimpses of ibex and chamois.

2. The Tour of the Brenta Dolomites 

  • Location: Madonna di Campiglio 
  • Distance: 63 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

This multi-day trek around the Brenta Dolomites is a roller-coaster of jagged peaks, deep canyons, and high-altitude lakes. The trail offers several via ferratas—routes equipped with steel cables, ladders, and other fixtures, ensuring safety while promising adrenaline rushes.

Related: 10 Best Hikes in the Dolomites

3. Alta Via 1 

  • Location: Belluno to Toblach 
  • Distance: 120 km
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: July to September

One of the most renowned trails in the Dolomites, Alta Via 1, offers trekkers an epic journey through alpine meadows, dense forests, and serene mountain lakes. The trail, showcasing nature’s grandeur at every turn, provides refuge huts for overnight stays, making it a favorite among multi-day trekkers.

4. Sentiero Azzurro 

  • Location: Cinque Terre 
  • Distance: 12 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate 
  • Recommended Season: March to October

Though better known for its picturesque coastal views, the Blue Trail in Cinque Terre traverses terraced vineyards and olive groves set on steep mountain slopes. The trail links five iconic villages, each a colorful marvel, making it a perfect blend of mountain and coastal hiking tours.

5. Monte Marsicano Loop 

  • Location: Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park 
  • Distance: 20 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: May to September

Situated in Italy’s oldest national park, the Monte Marsicano loop promises an intimate experience of the Apennines’ wilderness. The trail, often less frequented, offers tranquility, panoramic mountain views, and the chance to spot the elusive Marsican brown bear.

6. The Matterhorn Tour 

  • Location: Breuil-Cervinia 
  • Distance: Varies 
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: July to September

The Matterhorn, with its pyramid-like shape, stands as one of the Alps’ iconic peaks. The surrounding trails offer hikers awe-inspiring views of this majestic mountain, glacial landscapes, and picturesque alpine meadows.

7. Monte Rosa Tour 

  • Location: Aosta Valley 
  • Distance: 100 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

The Monte Rosa massif, second only to Mont Blanc in the Alps, provides trails with varied terrains, challenging passes, and stunning glacial scenery. The tour, looping around this impressive massif, offers hikers an immersive alpine experience.


Italy’s mountain trails promise more than just physical exertion; they are journeys through time, showcasing the country’s rich natural beauty and centuries-old relationship with the alpine world. 

From challenging treks across towering peaks to leisurely strolls through historic mountain hamlets, Italy’s mountain hikes cater to souls seeking both adventure and serenity. So the next time you’re planning an Italian escapade, remember to pack your hiking boots and let Italy’s mountains mesmerize you with their timeless beauty. Touring as a group, what better way to explore the paths than on one of our Italy Hiking Tours.


Do I need any permits to hike mountain trails in Italy?
Most trails in Italy don’t require permits, but some national parks may require an entrance fee or a small fee for maintenance. It’s always advisable to check in advance, especially for multi-day treks.

Are guided tours available for these mountain hikes in Italy?
Yes, many of these trails, especially the challenging ones like Alta Via 1 and The Matterhorn Tour, offer guided hikes. These are often led by experienced local guides who provide insights into the region’s history, flora, and fauna.
What’s the best way to prepare for altitude in these hikes?
To counter altitude sickness, it’s recommended to acclimatize before starting a high-altitude trek. Spending a day or two at a higher altitude than your home base, staying hydrated, and ascending slowly can help in reducing the symptoms.

10 Best Hikes in the Dolomites

Nestled in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites stand as one of the world’s most stunning mountain ranges. Their jagged peaks, verdant valleys, and idyllic alpine meadows have attracted outdoor enthusiasts for decades. If you’re looking to explore the best of this UNESCO World Heritage site, here are the ten best hikes the Dolomites have to offer.

1. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit

  • Location: Near Cortina d’Ampezzo 
  • Distance: 10 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

A classic trek, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit offers panoramic views of the iconic three battlement-like peaks. The trail provides diverse landscapes, from alpine meadows to rugged terrains, and is accessible even to those with modest hiking experience.

Looking to explore the many trails Italy has to offer? Go Get Lost specializes in small group hiking tours in Italy ensuring a complete immersive experience.

2. Seceda Ridgeline

  • Location: Val Gardena 
  • Distance: 6 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

The Seceda Ridgeline provides dramatic views of the Odle mountain range. Starting with a steep ascent, the route rewards with breathtaking panoramic views, making the climb worth every effort.

3. Lake Sorapis Circuit

  • Location: Near Cortina d’Ampezzo 
  • Distance: 10 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

The pristine turquoise waters of Lake Sorapis, set against the backdrop of majestic peaks, make this hike an unforgettable experience. The trail meanders through forests and offers serene spots for contemplation by the lake.

4. Bindelweg/Viel del Pan

  • Location: Arabba 
  • Distance: 6 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Easy 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

A relatively easy hike, the Bindelweg offers striking views of the Marmolada Glacier. Its gentle paths make it suitable for families and those looking for a relaxed day in the mountains.

5. Sassolungo Circuit

  • Location: Near Val Gardena 
  • Distance: 13 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

This trail, circling the Sassolungo massif, is for seasoned hikers. With some steep ascents, the trek rewards with unmatched views of the Dolomites’ colossal limestone towers.

6. Lago di Braies Circuit

  • Location: Braies Valley 
  • Distance: 3.5 km
  • Difficulty Level: Easy 
  • Recommended Season: May to October

This leisurely trail around the emerald-green Lake Braies offers a serene hiking experience. Its easy terrains and captivating scenery make it a favorite among photographers.

7. Puez-Odle Altopiano

  • Location: Val Gardena 
  • Distance: 20 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

A hike through the Puez-Odle Nature Park is a journey through diverse landscapes. From alpine meadows to lunar-like plateaus, this challenging route offers a comprehensive Dolomite experience.

8. Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm

  • Location: Near Ortisei 
  • Distance: Varies 
  • Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate 
  • Recommended Season: May to October

As Europe’s largest high-altitude alpine meadow, Alpe di Siusi offers multiple trails. With postcard-worthy views of the Schlern and Sassolungo peaks, it’s perfect for both beginners and experienced hikers.

*Featured in our Italian Lakes & Mountains Tour

9. Santa Magdalena to Rifugio Genova

  • Location: Val di Funes 
  • Distance: 14 km 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

Leading to the serene Funes Valley, this hike presents a blend of picturesque churches, lush pine forests, and the imposing Odle peaks. It’s a feast for both the eyes and the soul.

10. Rosengarten/Catinaccio Range

  • Location: Near Bolzano 
  • Distance: 7 km Difficulty 
  • Level: Moderate 
  • Recommended Season: June to September

The Rosengarten range, with its pink-hued peaks during sunset, offers a unique spectacle. The trail combines both beauty and myth, being the legendary home of King Laurin and his rose garden.


Consistently listed amongst the best hikes in Italy, the Dolomites are a haven for hikers, offering trails that cater to every skill level and desire. From tranquil lakes to awe-inspiring peaks, each hike provides a unique experience, immersing you in the heart of nature’s grandeur. 

As you lace up your hiking boots and set out on these trails in the Italian mountains, you’re not just walking; you’re embarking on a journey through one of the planet’s most magnificent landscapes. So, get your gear ready and let the Dolomites beckon you to a world of alpine wonders.

15 Best Hikes in Europe

Europe’s diverse landscape offers a myriad of hiking opportunities. From rugged coastlines and rolling countryside to alpine peaks and ancient pathways, there’s something for every type of hiker.

Here, we list the 15 best hikes in Europe that deserve a place on your hiking bucket list.

1. Tour du Mont Blanc

  • Location: France, Italy, Switzerland
  • Distance: 170 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging
  • Recommended Season: June to September

Tour du Mont Blanc winds its way around Western Europe’s grandest mountain, presenting mesmerizing vistas of snow-draped peaks, verdant valleys, and serene glacial lakes. Spanning France, Italy, and Switzerland, it’s a moderate-to-challenging trek best undertaken between June and September.

2. Camino de Santiago

  • Location: Spain
  • Distance: Varies (up to 800 km)
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: Spring or Autumn

Camino de Santiago, located in Spain, is more than just a trail; it’s a spiritual journey. Hikers traverse ancient towns, relishing the blend of scenic beauty and profound spirituality. With a moderate difficulty level, it’s best explored during spring or autumn.

3. Laugavegur Trail

  • Location: Iceland
  • Distance: 55 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: June to August

Laugavegur Trail in Iceland showcases the nation’s untouched wilderness, from erupting geysers and hot springs to the vibrant rhyolite mountains. Optimal for trekking from June to August, this moderate trail promises a raw Icelandic experience.

4. The Cinque Terre Coastal Path

  • Location: Italy
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: Spring or Autumn

The Cinque Terre Coastal Path in Italy connects five charming villages set against the captivating Mediterranean coastline and is one of the best hikes in Italy. As you walk amidst terraced vineyards and azure waters, spring or autumn proves to be the perfect seasons for this moderate hike.

See our upcoming Cinque Terre Walking & Hiking Tour

5. GR20, Corsica

  • Location: France (Corsica)
  • Distance: 180 km
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging
  • Recommended Season: June to September

GR20 in Corsica is Europe’s challenging gem. Spanning France’s rugged island landscape, it takes adventurers through granite moonscapes, crystal-clear lakes, and impressive vistas, with the best months being from June to September.

6. The Lycian Way

  • Location: Turkey
  • Distance: 540 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: Spring or Autumn

The Lycian Way in Turkey offers an eclectic mix of sandy beaches, rugged mountains, and ancient ruins. As Turkey’s pioneering long-distance path, spring or autumn are the recommended seasons for this moderate hike.

7. The Scottish Highlands: West Highland Way

  • Location: Scotland
  • Distance: 154 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: May to September

The Scottish Highlands: West Highland Way captivates with its dramatic landscapes, serene lochs, and mystical glens. From May to September, hikers can bask in the moody beauty of this moderate trail.

8. The King’s Trail (Kungsleden)

  • Location: Sweden
  • Distance: 440 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: Summer or Winter for skiing

The King’s Trail (Kungsleden) in Sweden transports trekkers through expansive Arctic landscapes, glacial valleys, and blooming alpine meadows. Whether in summer for hiking or winter for skiing, it’s a moderate trail not to be missed.

9. Picos de Europa

  • Location: Spain
  • Distance: Varies
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging
  • Recommended Season: June to September

Picos de Europa in Spain is a hidden treasure, featuring majestic limestone peaks, profound gorges, and lush meadows. Ideal from June to September, this trail ranges from moderate to challenging.

10. The Kerry Way

  • Location: Ireland
  • Distance: 214 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: May to September

The Kerry Way in Ireland weaves through magical Irish landscapes, from rugged coastal cliffs to ancient woodlands and impressive mountain chains, best experienced from May to September.

11. Eiger Trail

  • Location: Switzerland
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: June to September

Eiger Trail in Switzerland, though short, offers an intimate view of the legendary North Face of the Eiger Mountain, making it a must-visit from June to September.

12. Triglav National Park

  • Location: Slovenia
  • Distance: Varies
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging
  • Recommended Season: June to September

Triglav National Park in Slovenia boasts pristine lakes, Slovenia’s loftiest peak, and stunning alpine meadows. With varying levels of difficulty, it’s a hiker’s paradise from June to September.

13. The Rota Vicentina

  • Location: Portugal
  • Distance: 450 km
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Recommended Season: Spring or Autumn

The Rota Vicentina in Portugal is a journey along the pristine Western coast, merging the Historical Way with the Fishermen’s Trail. This moderate trek is best enjoyed during spring or autumn.

14. The Alta Via 1

  • Location: Italy (Dolomites)
  • Distance: 120 km
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging
  • Recommended Season: July to September

The Alta Via 1 takes adventurers through Italy’s heart in the Dolomites, offering limestone spires and significant World War I sites. Challenging yet rewarding, it’s best trekked from July to September.

15. The Transylvanian Alps

  • Location: Romania
  • Distance: Varies
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging
  • Recommended Season: May to September

The Transylvanian Alps in Romania promise an encounter with diverse wildlife, untouched forests, and the enigmatic Bran Castle. With a moderate to challenging terrain, it’s a journey best made from May to September.

Europe’s diverse topography offers hikers an unparalleled mix of scenic beauty, historical depth, and cultural richness. Whether you’re looking for a challenging mountain trek or a gentle coastal stroll, Europe has the perfect trail awaiting your discovery and at Go Get Lost, we offer a wide range of hiking and walking tours across numerous European destinations.

What’s the Best Season for Hiking in Europe?

The best season for hiking in Europe is generally summer, from June to September, when the weather is warmer, days are longer, and most mountain trails are free from snow.

What’s the Best Country for Hiking in Europe?

The best country for hiking in Europe is subjective, but Switzerland is often cited for its picturesque alpine landscapes and well-maintained trail network.


Hiking Skills: Basic (But Necessary) Skills Every Person Needs

Hiking is more than just walking in nature; it’s an art form that, when executed correctly, offers immense satisfaction and a profound connection to the great outdoors. As with any art, mastery requires learning some basic skills. 

These foundational abilities might seem rudimentary, but they’re essential for ensuring safety, enjoyment, and overall success on the trail. Whether you’re a newbie looking to embark on your first trail or a seasoned hiker, it’s always good to brush up on these fundamental skills.

1. Navigation: Reading a Map and Using a Compass

In today’s age of GPS and smartphone apps, traditional navigation skills might seem obsolete. However, batteries die, and technology can fail, especially in remote areas. Understanding topographic maps and knowing how to use a compass are invaluable skills regardless of the type of hiking tour you are embarking on.

Map Reading

Familiarize yourself with contour lines, symbols, and scales. Recognize landmarks and correlate them with your surroundings.

Compass Use

Learn to set a bearing, identify north, and adjust for magnetic declination.

2. Pace and Endurance

Maintaining a consistent pace conserves energy and ensures you cover the intended distance. It’s not about speed; it’s about sustainability.

  • Start Slow: It’s common for beginners to start too fast. Begin slowly and increase your pace gradually.
  • Use the “Rest Step”: For challenging, uphill terrains, use the rest step technique, where you lock your back leg briefly to rest your muscles.

3. Leave No Trace Principles

Preserving the beauty and integrity of nature should be every hiker’s priority. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics lists seven principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impact
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Adhering to these principles ensures that the trails remain beautiful and accessible for future generations.

4. Proper Foot Placement and Balance

The uneven and unpredictable nature of hiking trails requires careful foot placement.

  • Watch Your Step: Always be aware of where you’re placing your feet, especially on uneven terrain.
  • Use Trekking Poles: They help in maintaining balance, reducing strain on your knees, and can assist during river crossings or slippery paths.

5. Weather Awareness

Understanding and respecting nature’s whims is crucial for safety. Before heading out:

  • Check the Weather Forecast: Understand the expected conditions for the day.
  • Recognize Signs: Dark clouds might indicate impending rain, while sudden temperature drops can signify an incoming storm.

6. Basic First Aid Knowledge

Knowing how to handle minor injuries can make a difference in critical situations. At the very least, learn how to:

  • Treat Blisters: Use moleskin or blister pads.
  • Handle Cuts and Scrapes: Clean with antiseptic and cover.
  • Recognize Signs of Hypothermia and Heatstroke: Understand basic treatment principles for both.

7. Water Procurement and Purification

Water is vital. Knowing how to source and purify it is crucial for extended trips.

  • Source Selection: Always opt for flowing water sources over stagnant ones.
  • Purification: Use filtration systems, purification tablets, or boiling to make water safe for consumption.

8. Signaling for Help

In unfortunate events where you might need rescue:

  • Three of Anything: In the wilderness, three signals (like three whistle blows or three fires) are a universal distress sign.
  • Use a Mirror: Flashing sunlight via a mirror can attract attention from afar.
  • Stay Put: If you’re lost and believe people will be searching for you, it’s often best to stay in one place.

9. Basic Knot Tying

From securing your tent in high winds to creating a clothesline or even first aid uses, knot tying is an essential skill.

  • Bowline and Clove Hitch: These are two fundamental knots every hiker should master.

10. Wildlife Etiquette

You’re in their home. Respecting wildlife is both for their protection and yours.

  • Observe from a Distance: Never approach or feed wild animals.
  • Store Food Properly: Use bear canisters or hang food from trees in areas with bears.


While the allure of hiking centers around freedom, adventure, and a connection with nature, the foundation of every great hike is the application of essential skills. By mastering these basic but necessary abilities, you not only ensure your safety but also enhance the quality of your hiking experiences be it a self guided adventure or with one of our hiking adventure tours. After all, as with any art form, the deeper the understanding, the richer the experience. Happy hiking!