Your Guide to

Confidence and

Walk complete, boots loosened, a satisfying ache settles in your legs. But before you fully bask in the afterglow, take a moment for a crucial conversation – the post-hike debrief.

Did that unexpected off-trail detour leave you questioning your map-reading skills? Did your legs protest a bit too loudly on that relentless uphill stretch? Did the rock scrambling have your knees wobbling?

Embrace these moments of uncertainty – they’re not setbacks but stepping stones to future confidence. Let’s transform those questions into tools for building future bushwalking success.

Here’s how to reflect and prepare for even more confident strides on the trail:

Review your experience

What surprised you?

Reflect on any moments of uncertainty: What caused them? Was it navigation, physical demands, weather, or something else? Understanding the source of your doubts can help you address them next time.

Celebrate your successes: Remember all the things you did well! Did you navigate a tricky section of the trail confidently? Did you manage your water and food perfectly? Recognising your strengths will boost your confidence.

Make notes for next time: Based on your reflections, jot down any changes you could make to your planning, gear, or skills for future hikes.

Build knowledge and skills

Learn new skills: If navigation was a concern, consider taking a map and compass course. If you felt unsure about the terrain, practice walking on uneven surfaces or uphill in a safe environment.

Research more hikes: Look for trails that match your current fitness level and skillset. Start with similar lengths and difficulties before gradually challenging yourself.

Read about bushwalking: Books, online resources, and blogs can provide valuable tips and advice from experienced hikers.

Gain experience

Join a bushwalking club or hiking group: Hiking with others, especially experienced hikers, can be a great way to learn new things and build confidence. Find a club near you.

Go on short practice hikes: Before tackling longer or more challenging trails, test your skills and gear on shorter walks closer to home.

Volunteer for trail maintenance: This is a great way to learn about different hiking areas, contribute to the community, and gain confidence on the trails.

Practice, reflection, and knowledge

Everyone feels uncertain sometimes: Even experienced hikers face challenges and moments of doubt. Don’t let that discourage you!

Focus on progress, not perfection: Every hike is an opportunity to learn and grow. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress, no matter how small.

Enjoy the journey: Bushwalking is about more than just reaching the destination. Focus on appreciating the beauty of nature, the sense of accomplishment, and the joy of exploration.

With continued practice, reflection, and knowledge, you’ll build your confidence and tackle your next bushwalk with even greater enthusiasm and certainty.

Connect with Fellow Adventurers

The hiking and bushwalking community is welcoming and supportive. Join a local group or club, find a guided walk provider, or explore online forums to connect with like-minded individuals. Share your experiences, learn new skills, and discover hidden gems with the help of your fellow hiking enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just getting started, online forums are the perfect place to connect with other outdoor enthusiasts. Ask questions, share tips and tricks, and plan your next adventure with our friendly and knowledgeable community.

Remember, every step you take – whether on familiar trails or venturing into the unknown – is a chance to learn, grow, and not just traverse the terrain, but rise above your own doubts.