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Whether you do it for the views, the challenge, or the stories to tell afterwards—hiking in the mountains is something truly special. It’s to give yourself up to adventure; to put your fate in the hands of Mother Nature with the trust that she’ll deliver you safely back to civilization, but not until you’ve completed what you came to do. It’s fresh air, endless possibilities and the unbeatable sense of true freedom—and all you need to experience it is a route, a pair of boots and the curiosity to take you there. So, tie up your hiking boots, throw a sandwich in your pack and get ready to explore more of nature’s greatest accomplishment—the mountains—where you are and across the globe.
To get started on your next mountain hike, all you need are some sturdy boots, a good route and an adequate supply of water. If you’re new to this sort of adventure, however, it’s highly recommended that you start light. Don’t go hiking in any overly-remote mountain ranges, and don’t try and conquer any towering peaks just yet. To ensure you stay safe in the case of sudden weather changes, wear clothing that’s bright, eye-catching and easy to find, and avoid heading off into the mountains entirely alone. Always let friends and relatives know where you’re going, inform them of your route ahead of time and request that they contact mountain rescue if they don’t hear from you within a predefined time limit. Also, ensure you take enough food and water for the duration of your trip, just be sure not to overpack. Remember: Whatever you pack you have to carry, and every ounce will make that incline feel that little bit steeper. In terms of footwear, a sturdy pair of hiking boots is recommended for particularly mountainous terrain. Consider investing in a pair of shoes that will offer all-important ankle support to prevent unexpected injuries while guaranteeing to keep your feet dry. If your route is going to be less challenging, however, a good pair of sneakers or trail-running shoes will reduce the weight you need to carry while allowing your feet to breathe.