We’ve been talking about rugby a lot recently. Now for something completely different.
Hiking is great, I love it. You have an excuse to head out on an adventure in the great outdoors, with the wind in your hair and the mud squelching satisfyingly underfoot. Sometimes I consider plastering myself in blue face paint, wielding a big old stick and hurtling naked down a mountain side screeching “I AM QUEEN BOUDICA!”, but then I think it might just be easier to call one of my outdoorsy mates and suggest we take a jaunt up a big hill.
A few weeks ago Harry (school friend, mildly eccentric, mentioned her before) went on a delightful hike around the Caerneddau in Snowdonia. Despite terrible visibility, this was more than made up for by a bit of scrambling, getting slightly lost at the top and taking a wrong turn and having to slide down a steep face – all good clean fun! As a bonus, we also stayed at one of the best hostels either of us has ever been to – thoroughly recommend checking out Plas Curig Hostel if you are ever in that neck of the woods.
Along the way we bumped into a few fellow hikers and exchanged pleasantries and tips, but were struck that we didn’t meet a single other female. Why on earth could that be? Whilst pondering this question, we came up with a list of some of the reasons we think more women should take up hiking – here you go chums!
- Bangin’ booty: All that dragging yourself up a big hill makes for a great workout for the glutes – work it sister.
- Time to think: Whether you’re walking alone or with others, there’s always time for a spot of quiet contemplation. There’s something deafeningly glorious about the silence of a mountain top. It’s also totally acceptable to talk to yourself up there.
- Release your inner Girl Guide: The nostalgia alone that comes from sitting on a grassy knoll to read a map (badly) whilst chowing down on a spot of Kendal mint cake is enough to keep me coming back for more. I may not be a Girl Guide anymore, but I’ll be a Woman Guide if I flippin’ well please.
- Conquering the World: Getting to the top of a particularly high/steep mountain makes you feel like the King – the King I tell you! LOOK UPON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR. Ahem.
- Brain training: Having to actually navigate your own way whilst hiking means that it is a great workout for both mind and body – who needs Sudoku?
- Bicep building: As well as having a fabulous bot-bot and a pair of thighs you could crack walnuts with, scrambling (something in the middle of the scale between hillwalking and rock-climbing) is great for increasing upper body strength. Also, it’s a lot of fun.
- Making mountain mates: Everyone you meet along the way is super-friendly and will say hello, probably pass some comment about the visibility (or lack thereof) and be on their merry way, happy in the knowledge that they are a modern-day cap doffer. Good for them.
- Soaking up the views: The are a lot of beautiful vistas to be seen off the beaten track folks, get out there and find them. It’s good for the soul.
- General fitness: Hiking is a really accessible form of exercise – it’s easier on the joints than running, and can be tailored suit a whole range of fitness abilities and goals. Want a bigger challenge? Climb a higher mountain. Check out this great blog on hiking for fitness for loads of useful info.
- It’s free!