Are you looking for a change of pace? Then it's time to give speed hiking a try! Faster than the classic hike, but less intense than trail running, this new leisure activity offers a more sporty approach to your mountain outings.
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1. What is Fast Hiking?
It is essentially a hike at a steady pace. It is also known as speed hiking.
How Fast is Fast?
It's the pace you adopt just before breaking into a jog. Of course, you vary your speed depending on the incline and the type of terrain. And you keep up the effort when climbing, to get your heart pumping on the slopes. Then don't forget to have fun downhill, at a simply exhilarating pace!
2. The Best Place to Try Speed Hiking
The mountains tend to be the destination of choice for speed hikers, who are ready to take on the peaks all year round. But if you're training or getting back into sport after a lazy winter season, then you can start by speeding up the tempo of your favourite hikes in a hilly or semi-mountainous environment.
I would recommend starting with a half-day trip before progressing to a full day. As you get used to the pace, you can gradually increase the difficulty by trying more technical routes. In doing so, you will be able to increase your altitude while gently improving your cardiovascular fitness.
And to help you keep up the pace, why not go speed hiking in a group? Find the approach and the partners that suit you, and make the most of the good weather to get started!
3. Travel Light With the Perfect Kit
To keep up the pace, two words: hike light!
Unlike traditional hiking kit, the equipment designed for speed hiking is known for its lightness, starting with shoes, essential for safety. The designs created for speed hiking combine robustness to "grip" the terrain, lightness to facilitate your movements, and flexibility to offer optimal foot motion and encourage to step things up a gear. And for fans of whizzing down scree slopes, we have shoes with stone guards to protect your toes!
Then, when it comes to backpacks, you can leave anything with a capacity over 25 L at home: much too big for speed hiking.
A lightweight bag, with a low compression strap to bring its weight closer to your body for firm support, is much more suitable.
Similarly, a bag with a built-in hydration pack allows you to quench your thirst without breaking your precious momentum. On the clothing side, you can opt for breathable fabric jackets that have various zips to let you modulate the ventilation depending on your level of exertion and environment (sun, shade, wind, etc.). As for your legs, our carbon hiking poles will take the pressure off your lower limbs for the duration of your walk. To learn how to use them, follow our advice:
Now that you're up and running, you can start the season with a "spring" in your step, in your favourite natural setting!
To take full advantage of your mountain treks we suggest some safety reminders specifically applying to hiking. Don't forget to tell a friend before you leave prepare your first aid kit, make your vaccinations up to date and protect your skin from little creatures. Nothing will stop you from going on the adventure!