On any hike it is important to focus on setting the pace and establishing natural rhythm that suits you or the slowest member of your group. Breathe smoothly, steadily and in rhythm with your pace and consider the following suggestions.
- Plan a hike that is suitable for everyone in your party and let the slower person set the pace. There is nothing more frustrating and potentially dangerous than a slow hiker falling behind the group.
- Hike at a safe pace – especially uphill – where you’re not pushing your heart or respiratory rates into the red zone, and take frequent, short breaks. Hiking is an endurance sport, not a sprint: Dial in a pace that you can maintain for hours rather than a pace at your upper limits, which will fatigue you much faster.
- Walk with the entire soles of your boots touching the ground, to spread the load evenly across your feet.
- Your hands should be free to assist in keeping your body stable. Alternatively, carry a hiking pole to assist with balance.
- Avoid running or jogging.
- Avoid excessive conversation, which may affect your breathing rhythm and concentration.
- Concentrate on the trail and always look where you tread.
- To avoid accidents, always stop walking when you read your map or check your navigation device.
- When moving forward, keep a suitable distance from the hiker in front of you.