A hiking tour is one of the most rewarding ways to see a country, both in the physical accomplishment and the fabulous views. Hiking brings you close to the earth, as you wind through natural habitats, feeling the weather and smelling the air. And many options now exist to satisfy even the most cautious traveler.
Choosing a Route
It's important to make sure you look at the tour's activity level before picking the trip. If you're already physically fit and are looking for a challenge, feel free to go for a trip with a "hard" physical level! While no hike is going to be 100% comfortable (this isn't sailing through the British Virgin Islands on a luxurious cruise ship!) it is possible to find less intense outings. And not all hikes are up and down. For example, Mt. Cook in New Zealand is a mainly flat hike, though long. A good option for those worried about elevation or wanting to avoid a strenuous hike. If that still sounds like little too much, consider starting out with a walking tour, or having a look at the easy hiking/walking trips that we at Stride have conveniently marked.
What to Pack
The most important thing to have before you start packing is a sturdy backpack that you have tested out before the trip. Walk around with it at home and make sure it sits properly on your shoulders and back. Next, make sure you have a mix of long and short sleeve shirts, as well as shorts and pants. Depending on how long your trip is, a few of each should be enough. You don't want too heavy of a pack that weighs you down. Sunscreen and a collapsible water bottle will be something you can use everyday as well.
How to Dress
The most important things to consider when dressing are the activity level, the weather where you're going, and the time of year you're going there. The hike might start off early in the morning when it's cold, but dress in layers so you can easily peel them off as the day goes on and you warm up. A good waterproof coat will be essential as well. It can easily fold up in your backpack, but will save you from soaking through your clothes should a downpour happen.