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For those who love to walk, hike, tramp – and read; don’t miss The Hiking Wrap

For Croakey readers who love to walk, hike and tramp (or even just to vicariously experience such travels from the comfort of an armchair), we are delighted to launch the latest edition of The Hiking Wrap.

As regular readers will know, Adjunct Associate Professor Lesley Russell, who also writes The Health Wrap, is unstoppable, whether she is walking, reading or writing.

Please download, read and share. The report is also available from the Croakey Publications page.


Lesley Russell writes:

Encouraged by the response to last year’s Hiking Wrap (you can access it here), I have written up my hiking activities from 2023. Perhaps you will be inspired, hopefully there is some useful information, or maybe you can simply enjoy my adventures – almost always shared with my husband Bruce Wolpe – vicariously.

This year’s edition of The Hiking Wrap covers some of the same ground as last year. That’s because we have places we eagerly return to each year, in particular our second home and family and friends in Colorado and Kangaroo Island.

Even for these well-known haunts, we constantly find ourselves in awe at the vistas and the natural beauty; I have more than thirty years of photos taken on the Keystone ski fields and more will be taken this year.

There is substantial evidence that hiking in nature is beneficial for health and well-being. But to enjoy it – especially if you are out hiking for multiple days – some preparations and training are needed.

Many of my previous long-distance hikes written up for CroakeyEXPLORE (you can access them easily on the last page of last year’s The Hiking Wrap) outline my training regime.

Most days I am either at the gym or walking around 10 kilometres (I treat this as my thinking time); occasionally I do both. And once a week I have an hour session with an exercise physiologist who really works me hard but can also address any muscle aches and pains (the sort that come with a hard day in the garden).

And the right gear also makes a difference – sturdy boots and appropriate socks, a comfortable backpack, rain gear and sun protection, good water bottles or bladders, don’t forget collapsible hiking poles, and whatever gadgets and snacks make your life easier (but don’t weigh too much).

I also find great pleasure in doing the planning necessary for these trips. The company I use for long-distance hikes (Macs Adventures, based in Glasgow but operating nearly everywhere) provides excellent background information and maps in both hard copy and via an app. But often I need to do my own homework about transport links, distances between accommodations and facilities, and special places to visit and to eat.

For day walks I have a growing library of trail guides and AllTrails.com is also very useful (but not always 100 percent reliable). Often local Information Centres have good maps and information and I have occasionally resorted to asking advice from local mountain gear shops (the staff there usually know all the local details and news). On the trail, the people you meet will share information too.

So – lace up your boots, pull on your pack, grab your hat, and let’s relive last year’s great hiking!


There’s plenty more good reading at the #CroakeyEXPLORE archives