How to Improve Your Hiking Techniques on South African Hiking Trails

Going hiking is a satisfying activity that more people should try and incorporate into their lives. If you hike regularly, then you should be quite aware of the many benefits of a great hike. Not only will it help get you physically fit, but it will also improve your overall mental well-being.

Immersing yourself in nature for long periods of time might have a lot to do with it. Thus, if you hike often, you should try and get out and go to other hiking trails that you haven’t tried before to keep it more exciting for you.

With that said, if you plan on travelling outside the country, then you should try hiking in these countries as well. One great place to hike is in South Africa.

South Africa has plenty of beautiful hiking trails that will make hiking exciting and that much more relaxing.

Of course, since these are unfamiliar trails to you, you’d want to be prepared enough to tackle them. To help you prepare, here are some ways you can do to improve your hiking technique so that you can have a better time hiking the trails of South Africa.

Check them out below.

Hiking tips for South Africa

Invest in a good pair of hiking boots

If you’ve been hiking for a while, and you’re still wearing your first pair of hiking boots, perhaps it’s time to change footwear.

Check your hiking boots and see if they’ve gone through much wear and tear that might make them unable to work as best as they could. Wearing hiking boots that aren’t durable will make it harder for you to go hiking. 

With that said, you should start investing in some good quality hiking boots. Good-quality hiking boots are especially important if you hike often. These shoes will make you last longer in your hikes and will make sure that your feet are appropriately protected against whatever they encounter in the trails.

When shopping for a good pair of hiking boots, there are certain qualities to look out for so you’re sure you’re getting quality boots. 

First, there’s the type of hiking boots. There are three main types of hiking boots, depending on how durable they are and how appropriate they are for the length of a hike.

You should also check the components of your hiking boots as well as the material that they’re made from. Being particular about your hiking boots’ component materials will help you with the comfortability and durability of your footwear. 

Last but not least, there’s the fit of your hiking boots. Try shopping for shoes during the afternoon so that your feet are at their biggest. Also, consider wearing socks when trying them out so you’re sure it’s not too tight for you.

By having the right footwear with you, you can have a better time tackling the South African hiking trails.

Make adjustments to your pack’s harness

Something that you should keep in mind when hiking no matter where you are located in is your pack’s harness.

As you go along treks, it may loosen or perhaps you’ve made adjustments that make the harnesses tight in places that make it difficult for your body.

When going hiking, make sure that you adjust your pack’s harness so that you aren’t suffering and are as comfortable as possible when carrying your packs.

Knowing the length of your torso can help you adjust your backpack so that it’s more comfortable to carry with you. Use your torso length as a reference when adjusting the suspension system. 

Once you’re adjusting your hip-belt, you should first try it out by adding some items in your pack. Walk around and see where the hip-belt settles. If it sits too high or too low on your hips, then you adjust it accordingly by tightening it or loosening it out. It should sit comfortably on your hips, hence its name.

For your shoulder straps, you need to make sure that most of the weight isn’t on your shoulders. Instead, the weight of your load should mostly go to your hips. If it isn’t, then you need to readjust your hip-belt again.

Don’t forget your load straps. They must be tight enough that they don’t sag, thus, reducing your overall stability. Don’t tighten it too much either or it could ruin your shoulder straps.

Use hiking sticks

If you’ve only gone hiking without the help of hiking sticks, then you can gain a lot of benefits from getting a pair for yourself before your South African hiking trip.

Having the help of these hiking sticks makes it easier for you to get into the right pace as quick and as smooth as possible.

Aside from that, they can also help keep you stable. Sometimes, trails can be rough and you’ll need a foothold if you miss your step. With trekking sticks, you’ll have something to hold on to in case you miss. 

Another reason hiking sticks are important is that they can help spread the weight of your load and carry them. This will make it easier for your legs and your knees. They won’t have to carry most of your weight with you.

Think rhythm and flow

Once you’ve been hiking a while, you might be interested in tackling harder trails. 

Even if you are used to the hiking trails in your own country, you’re getting into new territories when you hike in South Africa. So you should rely on your rhythm and flow to keep you hiking consistently.

By keeping the flow and a rhythm to your hiking, you’ll last longer and for farther distances. Plus, you won’t be as exhausted after the hike.

Final thoughts

Hiking in South Africa is both similar and different from hiking in your local hiking trail. The views will be different but ultimately, improving your overall hiking technique will help you tackle their hiking trails.

Thus, you should try and improve your hiking technique before you even get to your trip. That way, you are prepared and have a fun time.

Make sure to keep hydrated and to bring all of your essential hiking equipment with you so that you are as prepared as you can be.

Speak to a professional

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