The year 1947 is internationally accepted as the year of the creation of this sporting activity, when Henry Viaux, of French origin, inaugurated the first signposted route, which facilitated its transit without loss.
Since that year, the network of marked trails has only grown, both in kilometers and in their use by the general public.
The basic practice of this sporting activity does not require exceptional physical abilities, but if we want to progress, and every day undertake routes of greater elevation and distance, we will have to take training seriously.
Therefore, training must be aimed at increasing muscular resistance capacities, as well as cardiac and respiratory capacities.
There are several models or training tables that can be adjusted to the conditions of each person, and the objectives they have. Thus, a beginner hiker will be able to increase his basic abilities, maintaining a daily practice of long walks, while an advanced hiker will have to combine daily running with strength and resistance exercises.
Taking into account that the best training will always be the continued practice of hiking, which will give us the opportunity to expand our physical and suffering capacity.
For hiking in summer, there are few essential materials. The first of them will be the footwear, which must be appropriate for the irregular terrain that we are going to travel on, good mountain shoes, or failing that, boots are essential. A cap is fully indicated to avoid excesses in the sun, and together with pants that allow us good mobility, we will have the three basics.
To this, we can include some mountain poles, and of course a backpack in which to carry some shelter and food.
Carrying out routes in winter implies a greater degree of commitment and therefore greater equipment in materials. The cap can be replaced with a wool hat, the pants with thicker ones, and boots will become much more necessary than sneakers. To all this we have to include thermal and breathable t-shirts, a second layer of thermal insulation, which can be made up of a fleece lining or similar. Finally, an outer layer of material that insulates against water and wind, such as a jacket with a waterproof membrane that allows for breathability.
In this way we will fulfill the theory of the three layers:
1st Layer or interior: keeps sweat away from the skin.
2nd or thermal layer: maintains body heat, promoting perspiration.
3rd or protective layer: protects from rain, wind and helps with perspiration.
The use of sunglasses, sun protection creams and lip balms are recommended.How to organize your routes:
The routes and the ascents, as adventures that they are, must always begin in our imagination, promoted by the passion of the pleasure of enjoying nature.
Once we have the idea and enthusiasm of what we want to do, we will have to work to prepare our activity.
We must collect as much information as we deem necessary, highlighting distance, slope and technical difficulty, to adapt the route to our knowledge and physical abilities.
We must collect information that gives us security about what we are going to do. There are several methods that allow us to evaluate the technical difficulty of a route and we must know them.
We can proceed as follows:
Collect tour information
Evaluate technical and physical difficulty
Evaluate fellow travelers
Collect tour information:
We can search the internet, see books about the area, and consult other mountaineers who have already done the route.
Evaluate technical and physical difficulty:
Never overvalue your abilities or those of your colleagues, if you have doubts, don't do it, safety comes first and you have to move forward little by little.
The gradient and the kilometers mark the physical hardness of the route, but there are more factors such as technical factors, climbing steps, ice, rock conditions, etc. You have to take everything into account.
Choose carefully the people who will accompany you, knowing that all of them will be able to carry out the activity without problems. Remember that a group is only as strong as the weakest of its members.
It is as important to carry everything you need as it is to know how to use it. Think about the basics, and clothing appropriate to the activity.