Hiking, for me, is not about going as far as you can as fast as you can, nor should it be the sole domain of the athlete or risk taker. I’ve tried all of that and just ended up injuring myself!
Hiking is simply the act of walking in nature for the joy and sense of personal achievement that comes with it. It can be about pushing beyond your comfort zone but you should not feel pushed beyond your abilities. Hiking is about exploring new places at your own pace and experiencing the reward at the destination – a vista, a cave, a waterfall, an old rusty car or whatever it was that drew you to that trail.
Hiking should also inspire. Whether it be a long trail, a tall peak, a charity hike, an event or the simple act of sharing the experience, a hike should inspire you to do more and inspire others to consider what they too can do.
With that in mind, I have put together a “12 Hike Challenge” for this year. It has variety and reward. At least once per month I shall head out on a hike, each one different in length of trail, destination and level of challenge. I will not complete them in any particular order, the goal is to make it fit into my life without pressure.
The goals I have chosen are:
1) A short hike with a waterfall. Accessible and satisfying!
2) A short walk with a view. Quick rewards! Done! Click here to read all about it!
3) A hike featuring history or heritage. This can be an urban hike along a heritage trail or perhaps a trip to some aboriginal engravings or an abandoned building. Local council websites will be a great resource here. Done! I walked an old convict built road.
4) Giving Back: a charity walk, organised group walking event, a fundraising hike, hike it out (collect trash from a trail), cache in trash out (a geocaching version of Hike it out). There are many options here. Just do something worthwhile. Done: Giving Back
5) One peak walk: a mountain or hill walk with one main peak 12 Hike Challenge: The highest point on Dangar Island!
6) A Multi-peak hike: A Mountain or hill tour with more than one peak. Done! I climbed the three highest peaks in Australia!
7) A Coast or Lake Walk Done! Great North Walk Teralba to Newcastle. An ocean and lake walk!
8) A River or Creek Walk Done! Terry’s Creek Walk
9) A hike to a cave Done! I walked to Pindar Cave in Brisbane Waters National Park
10) An overnight hike
12) Someplace new: a National Park or Reserve never before visited Palm Grove Reserve and Jilliby State Conservation Area
If you are interested in doing this too but want some other options here’s a few I can think of: A snow hike, A canyon hike, a forest hike, a geocaching hunt, a wildlife photography hike, hike and read, yoga hike, hike to a swimming hole. There is great scope to personalise this challenge.
-There must be at least one hike per month for twelve months. Doesn’t need to start in January, any twelve month period will do. The idea is to get out there regularly. There may be twenty or thirty in total if eager.
-Multiple goals cannot be combined into one hike – there must be twelve seperate hikes even if the criteria have been met on another walk. It’s more fun this way!
– There are no distance requirements for each hike. An overnight hike can be 5km or 30km. The destination, time and personal abilities will decide.- Leave No Trace principals must be followed.
– Hikes can be challenging but should not exceed abilities. A safe hike is a fun hike.
I’ve created this challenge to suit my goals for this year, I’m not out to create a movement or anything (!) but if this resonates with you then why not give it a go too? It should be a bit challenging and offer lots of variety and rewards. I’ll use the hashtag #12hikechallenge and post on my blog as well as on my instagram @solo_hiker.I’m looking forward to it! Have a fantastic year of hiking everyone!