Hi, I’m John @john__lees I guess I started hiking when I was a kid. My dad was a member of the local rambling association. So when I wasn’t playing football he would take (drag!) me with him. I didn’t really appreciate the outdoors back then, I suppose its something you enjoy more as you grow up. Once I could drive, I started heading further afield, usually to Snowdonia.
Nowadays, I live in Scotland (I’m from Shropshire) which is pretty much a playground for the outdoors! With 282 of some of the UK’s biggest mountains there’s certainly enough to keep you going!
My biggest challenge yet was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago. It had been a goal of mine and I was lucky enough to head over to Africa to climb it. It took 7 days in total to climb to the peak. On the last day we left camp at midnight and we got to the top while it was still dark so we managed to watch the sunrise from the summit. It really was a great experience!
Currently I’m training for my Mountain Leader qualification. Its taking me all over Scotland and climbing some of the best mountains in all weathers. There’s a lot to learn but hopefully I’ll pass this year.
My advise to anyone who is wanting to start hiking is to just go and do it! Start small and see if any of your friends are keen and go together! The hills are a great way to form friendships. Especially when you can be stuck with each other for 8 hrs. Also buy the best gear that you can afford! Buying a cheap waterproof is great for the wallet but not so great when you’re in the rain for 6 hours and wet through after 10 minutes!
I personally believe hiking is one of the best things you can do. It gets you outside in the fresh air, clears your head and gives you a sense of freedom that is tough to get these days with everyone living such hectic lives. Not to mention the added value of exercise, and the feeling of accomplishment you get.
Thanks for sharing John 😊good luck with your mountain leader. Make sure you follow his adventures.