The term ‘fast & light’ is being used more and more with regards to clothing, equipment and activity, but what does it actually mean? We’ve put together a rough guide to fast and light hiking, and how shaving off those unnecessary grams can help to make your life easier when you take to the trails.
Set yourself a challenge. There are lots of documented hikes both in books and online that will not only give you an enjoyable route but will tell you how long it should take at an average pace. Why not knock an hour off the estimated completion time and see if you can make it? Once you find your stride you can test yourself further, covering longer distances and more challenging terrain.
There are many organised events that you can sign up to, during which you and other walkers will undertake tough challenges that offer a fantastic sense of achievement; the Three Peaks challenge for example, involves walking the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours. Signing up to an event is brilliant fitness motivation and a great way to meet fellow enthusiasts. It also allows you to push your limits in a safe environment where there is access to support and medical assistance should you need it.
If you fancy testing your map reading skills as well as increasing your speed, why not look out for some orienteering events? Orienteering requires you to navigate between a series of points using a detailed map and in some cases, a compass. The objective is to complete the course in the fastest time possible whether you walk, hike or run making it a really accessible sport that you can take at your own pace. Click here to visit the British Orienteering website, for more information.