“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

Why hike? What is the reason that some people lace up their boots, tighten the straps on their backpacks and head out into the Great Outdoors?brad-barmore-333925Because nothing could be more natural. For thousands of years humans would travel immense distances, carrying all of their worldly possessions on their backs, and think nothing of it. They would move constantly, in search of new hunting grounds, to avoid enemies, or to follow the seasons. When we’re very young, the first major challenge any of us face is the struggle to stand on two feet and start moving around. Walking is freedom. It’s hardwired into us, which explains why even though many of us today lead rather sedentary lives, we still occasionally have the urge to walk places.jan-niclas-aberle-309470But we don’t need to walk long distances – for most of us, food is readily available, we can exercise in the gym or at home, and luckily we rarely if ever face packs of marauding wolves moving into our territory anymore. So why hike?

Here’s why.

ian-froome-367862Hiking is easy

You can hike pretty much anywhere, any time. Even if you live in a city, you’re never too far from a trail. All you need to get going is a set of suitable walking boots or shoes, a raincoat and a bottle of water. Unless you start developing it as a serious hobby, hiking is inexpensive, and it’s only ever as challenging as you want to make it. tobias-cornille-142864Hiking is healthy

Around one in three people suffer from some form of mild insomnia, not helped by staring at screens in bed. Even a short hike raises the body temperature, which when it falls helps us to drop off. But hiking is far more than just a sleep-aid. It gives our cardiovascular systems a workout, staving off heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure. It strengthens our bones and joints, helping to prevent breaks and fractures. It burns calories, which is obviously great if you want to lose weight. And just being out in the fresh air, socialising and exercising, helps enormously with our mental health.wu-jianxiong-239318 Longevity

Yes, hiking will help you live longer. But it’s also an exercise that virtually anyone can do from childhood until well into their old age. It’s something you can take up from youth, or after retirement. There’s no big learning curve – you just have to start walking.john-gibbons-276648Variety of scenery 

When you’re hiking you can immerse yourself in many different types of landscape, often during the same journey. Mountainous peaks, green pastures filled with cows and sheep, river valleys, dense rainforest, jagged coasts – it sure beats staring at the TV screen in the gym while you’re on a treadmill. In the Tinggly collection you’ll find plenty of great hiking experiences across the world, from treks through the stunning Samaria Gorge in Crete, to hiking and yoga combos in Seattle, to exploring national parks in Finland. Our policy – never go on vacation without a good pair of walking shoes.adrian-154478Getting in touch with the natural world 

Hiking helps us to increase our awareness of the natural world. When we’re walking, we start to notice the different types of birdsong in the trees, the changing colours in different seasons, the animals and plants that depend on each other for survival. Things we can often miss in the cities and the hustle of our day-to-day lives. We reach a greater understanding of our own place in the environment, and the impact we can have on it, positive or negative. Hopefully, that encourages us to look after it a little better too.ivana-cajina-321250

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