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How To Train For Long Distance Hiking

Posted by Lydia Burdett

Trekking across the world’s best long distance hiking trails is a surefire way to experience some unforgettable adventures and immerse yourself in some of the most picturesque landscapes our planet has to offer. Long distance hiking requires strength, stamina and good preparation, all of which we’ll cover in these top tips for how to train for long distance hiking.

Start Hiking… by Hiking

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that one of our most important tips for how to train for long distance hiking is by actually hiking. That doesn’t mean throwing yourself straight into longer and more arduous treks, but there are plenty of beginner-friendly trails you can tackle and more gentle walks that you can go on that will help you get used to the hiking experience while still being amazing adventures in their own right.

Taking on easier hikes will help you to build the strength and stamina that you’re going to need before trying to tackle the world’s best long distance hiking trails. It’s generally recommended that you take on a training period of at least three months before tackling your dream hiking destination, particularly if your body isn’t used to frequent exercise. It’s important to keep in mind that figuring out how to train for long distance hiking is ultimately up to your individual capacity, but you should always have a training plan in place to ensure your fitness is up to scratch for the trek ahead.

Cut Down On Backpack Weight

One of our most crucial tips for how to train for long distance hiking is adopting good preparation habits. One of the worst offenders for ruining a good adventure on a hiking trip is an over-packed backpack. Even the best long distance hiking trails can be spoiled if you spend the whole time Red-faced and puffing under the weight of your backpack, so pack light for your training hikes and use these trips as test runs for working out what you will actually need to take with you when you tackle longer distances. 

Repackaging your items is a fantastic way to cut down on backpack space. Taking food or toiletries out of their store-bought containers and putting them into smaller ones containing only what you need saves an immense amount of space. Your food can easily be transferred into small boxes or plastic bags that can be more easily stored than their default containers. Ziplock bags especially can be of use for this process.

Using clothing intelligently is another great way to scrape extra space out of your pack. Rolling clothes instead of folding them, or wrapping them around other items - particularly fragile ones - is a great way to minimise the space you’re taking up, while undergarments can make great space fillers. And be sure not to overpack clothing. A hiking trip isn’t a fashion parade, so don’t feel uncomfortable about reusing your clothes.

Time To Gear Up

If you’re serious about hiking then you’re going to need some serious gear to match. A hiking backpack needs to simultaneously be lightweight, durable and waterproof. Something like the Red Original Adventure Waterproof Backpack is a fantastic choice for day hikes and short overnighters. Made from durable Armour Tech fabric, the adaptable nature of the backpack’s interior makes it a top-tier choice for organisational flexibility. For longer, multi-day hikes, you’ll need something more along the lines of a 40-60 litre pack to accommodate your sleeping gear.  

In terms of clothing, layering is key to accommodate for changes in weather. Lightweight and moisture-wicking, Red’s range of high performance clothing is perfect for hiking, offering the breathability, waterproofing and quick action drying ability that you need on your trip.

One of the most vital pieces of kit for a hike is of course your footwear. It’s definitely worth spending plenty of time doing some research to find the best hiking boots for you from a trusted supplier. Spend some time trying different options and seeking recommendations from experienced hikers. 

Hopefully these tips for how to train for long distance hiking will set you off on the right foot. If you have any queries about what kind of gear Red can offer to improve your hiking adventure, please don’t hesitate to ask our experts or get in contact with the team.