Hiking is an activity that tests your stamina, concentration, and skills all at the same time. It is excruciatingly challenging for a person’s body and serves as a great workout.
But that doesn’t mean hiking if only for the physically gifted or gym nuts. It is actually for everybody and everyone interested in this activity.
So, if you own a large body and want to start with hiking, then this hiking for fat people guide is just for you.
In this guide, we will go through everything you need to know regarding hiking for overweight people and show you that hiking isn’t only limited to those who are fit.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive in, shall we?
Hiking For Fat People: The Basics
The basics for hiking regarding fat or obese personnel are the same because, as previously mentioned, hiking doesn’t categorize people depending on their body type.
Yes, the difficulty and exhaustion level will be higher than others for overweight, fat, or obese people.
Now, here are the basics that fat people need to consider when starting with hiking:
Don’t Listen To The Prejudice Regarding Fat People & Hiking
There is a lot of prejudice and false assumptions regarding fat people and hiking. And the first thing that you need to get in mind for the basics of hiking is that there is no perfect definition or body type for a hiker.
Anyone can become a hiker if they learn the skills and has the mental strength to commit him or themselves for the hikes.
So, it doesn’t matter whether you are fat or slim; you can become a hiker and go on a hiking adventure if you want to.
And that’s what makes hiking worth it because that’s what makes the experience of hiking wholesome.
The feeling of achieving something and reaching a goal through exhaustion and sweat is a different sort of achievement that sparks the embers of hope in our hearts.
So, first and foremost, don’t give in or listen to false assumptions and prejudices that people make for fat or obese people hiking.
They are not true. Just believe in yourself and start your training.
Physical Preparation For Hiking
Without any doubt, hiking is a strenuous activity for anyone. If your body isn’t adequately prepared, you will have a terrible experience when hiking, no matter fat or slim.
Therefore, you need to prepare yourself physically for the hike. And for overweight people, this is where you need to put more focus and effort than others.
Exercises & Workout Routine For Hiking For Fat People
Fat people need to follow a few specific exercises and workout routines to prepare themselves physically for the hike.
The core factor that you will need to improve is your stamina and strength (especially leg strength in this case).
But you can’t just start these exercises immediately. It would be best if you took it slow and then move up the pace gradually.
Stretches should also come into your routine, as you need to have good flexibility and dexterity to perform well in hiking. The implementation of this workout, exercises, and stretches should be regular.
Whether you are going to the gym or working out from home, make sure to practice daily so that you can build up stamina before you go hiking.
It is recommended to start working with your body at least one month or six weeks before going for your hiking trip if you have a fat body and never hiked before.
As you are fat compared to others, your exercises should differ from the rest too, but it won’t be too different or complicated, to begin with.
The standard exercise routine that a fat person should go through for hiking is squats, running uphill or stair climbing, arm circles, bicep curls, and cardio training.
These exercises don’t need to be extreme but should be moderate enough to build enough stamina and strength for the hike.
Improving The Lung Capacity For The Hike
Although some may consider it part of stamina training, improving your lung capacity is a must for hikers, and for fat hikers, this is essential as you will be out of breath easily at first if you are unprepared.
Therefore, you need to work on your breathwork so that you don’t suffer from heavy breathing.
Practicing your breathwork and testing your lung capacity should be your top priority before the hike. An easy way to test your lung capacity is to swim. Also, swimming is an overall body workout that will also be beneficial to you.
Some people also try holding their breath underwater, although we don’t recommend you go through that extreme length as it can create harmful after-effects as you are an overweight person.
Countermeasures For Pain & Aches
A core factor of hiking is making your body work harder in a harsh environment than usual, and for a fat person, it will be a bit more intense than others.
Therefore, you will experience a good amount of pain and aches in all parts of your body. Not to mention you will also have to encounter chafing after a long day of hiking.
So, it would be best if you had countermeasures for that scenario. Getting used to the pain is something that you won’t be able to in your first hike.
But if you’ve already had your fair share of hiking, your muscles would’ve hardened, and you would feel less pain than usual.
But as that’s not the case, you can prepare for remedies like using painkillers (although we recommend against that), having foot massages, using essential oils or balms, and other ways to subside the pain.
Consulting With Your Physician
Many fat people face medical conditions that many others don’t, and for that reason, it is suggested that you should consult with your physician before signing up for a hiking trip.
Getting an affirmative sign from your doctor will definitely boost your confidence for hiking too.
Selecting The Location
Now that you are undergoing exercises and training for your hiking trip, it’s time to decide upon the location for your hike.
If it is your first time, you shouldn’t pick a complex trail for hiking because, as a fat hiker on his or her first hike, getting an easier path will build up experience for more challenging courses for future hiking trips.
But there are a few factors that you need to check before picking a location for your hike, and they are:
Finding Guidance Regarding The Hiking Route
This is the most important part because without proper guidance, following the trail or hiking route would be difficult and almost impossible for first-time hikers. If you are going solo, then it becomes more dangerous.
So, we suggest that you get as much information regarding the hiking route as possible before selecting it for the hiking spot for your first hike.
You can find information using guidebooks, websites, maps from hikers who previously went there, and talk to the locals about the possible hiking zones.
Estimated Time It Will Take For You To Complete The Hike
Now, determining the estimated time for your hike is also critical because you are a fat hiker; your pace will be slower than the rest and depending on that, your estimated time to finish the hike will change.
Now, if it takes too long, we suggest that you pick another hiking spot where the distance will be less so that the duration is reduced significantly.
Because if it is your first hike, then starting with a small route is always preferable.
So, factor in the distance, elevation, time, and physical capability before fixing into a hiking spot.
The Weather Of The Hiking Area
Depending on the weather, many gear choices and tactics will be changed, so you must check on the weather or wait for the perfect time of the year to go hiking.
Because hiking in disadvantageous weather like extreme heat should always be avoided and this will be more troublesome for you because of the extra weight.
Selecting Your Hiking Gear
Your hiking gear is your lifeline, and apart from your physical attributes, the only thing you will depend on is your hiking gear. But finding the hiking gear is difficult for fat people as finding gears available for their size is more challenging.
But with that in mind, here are the standard hiking gears that fat people should bring for their hiking trips:
Trekking poles are the best friend for fat hikers because they provide you with so much support while hiking.
Using trekking poles will make moving upward easier and give you the much-needed balance you need due to your obesity.
As you will put almost all of your weight on it, your trekking pole should have a strong, durable structure while being lightweight.
The grip should also be comfortable for you to use.
Backpack For Hiking
Your backpack will carry most of the gear and clothes for your hiking trips, and finding the right bag for yourself is a must.
Your backpack must have adequate space and different chambers and partitions to store various items depending on your hike.
Furthermore, the backpack needs to have a decent amount of heat resistance and good durability for those rough hiking days. It should also be waterproof.
As a fat person, your backpack will always feel heavy as you need to carry more weight than others.
For that reason, it is safe to ensure that your shoulder straps can endure an intense amount of weight.
Essential Gears For Hiking
There is a lot of hiking gear that you need to bring for a hiking trip, but all of them can be divided into ten parts; these are referred to as the ten essential systems of hiking, and these include:
- Navigation devices like maps, GPS, compass, satellite messengers
- Light sources similar to headlamps, flashlight
- Sunray protective gears such as sunglasses and sunscreen
- First aid kits along with insect repellents
- Knife (swiss army knife is most favorable)
- Matches, lighters, and stoves
- Emergency shelter and camping tools
- Extra food
- Ample amount of water
- Extra clothing
Make sure to get all these items, as they will play significant roles in your hike. Also, add some medication if you have any medical conditions.
Clothing For Hiking
This is where fat people face the most problem as finding the perfect sized clothing is tough and quite costly. Nevertheless, it is worth the investment if you want to enjoy the life of hiking and adventure.
Let’s start with the boots; you need to get hiking boots that give your feet breathing room because after hiking for hours, your feet will need that comfort; otherwise, you might end up facing cramps.
So, never compensate on your boots and get the best one for yourself.
Regarding clothes, the first thing you need to consider for your upper and lower body is that they should be comfortable and not a tight fit.
Picking clothes that can dry up quickly should be a priority. Your clothing option will also vary depending on the weather of the hiking site.
Navigating The Trail And Tips For Fat People
Although simple, the navigation process can be hard to follow through. The first thing that you need to understand is navigating through the trail. Understanding the trail map is a must in this case.
Always try to stick with other hikers and follow the navigator’s path. Don’t wander off, and you will do fine. If you are hiking solo, ask for others’ help, if possible, to stay on the trail.
Here are a few tips that can help fat people during their navigation:
- Always stay on the path
- Try to keep yourself as hydrated as possible
- Take it slow and go at your own pace; as long as you are following the trail, you are doing fine; there is no need to overextend yourself
- Take a break to catch your breath, notify your navigator while taking a break
- You need to eat properly because you will need the calories to hike, don’t hesitate or feel awkward just because you require more food than others
Hiking is an activity that gives a person the joy and the feel of adventure through hard work and sheer will.
And for fat people, hiking gives them more pleasure and a sense of accomplishment that can’t be obtained elsewhere.
Hopefully, this hiking for fat people guide helped and inspired you to start hiking.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to begin your first hiking adventure!