By: Natasha Archary
The Kaya Uncaptured duo, Kgomotso Matsunyane (@MotsoMatsu) and Ndumiso Ncgobo (@NdumsioNcgobo) are launching an exciting hiking club. The first hike takes place on the 15 June 2019 at 07h00, at a secret location just outside Johannesburg.
Selected participants will receive communication regarding the venue and the day’s itinerary closer to the time. Yes, we’re keeping you in suspense a little longer. But, if you are keen to email [email protected] and motivate why you’d like to be a part of the club, we encourage you to do so. The theme for the hike is #BreakingBig and we’d love to hear what this motivates you to achieve.
About this hike
Our facilitator for the hike, Zolie Mthimkulu, shares some practical tips to those considering hiking with the exclusive Uncaptured group. It is advised that you hike in groups for safety and the Uncaptured hikes will be professionally facilitated to give you some peace of mind.
The first thing to be mindful of is that you will need protection against the elements. Proper hiking boots or comfortable running shoes are the best fit for the first 9km trail at an undisclosed trail just outside Magaliesberg.
As much as hiking is a fun way to get fit and get the whole family outdoors and exploring, children under 10 are not encouraged to be a part of this hike. It’s a tricky trail that requires some guidance but there will be future hikes that are family friendly.
First hike 101
There are so many benefits to hiking and it’s one of the most endurance testing cardio workouts to get fit. With almost 40% of South Africans said to be living inactive lifestyles, hitting a trail is a good way to get moving.
There a so many obstacles we put in our way before attempting something new, “I’m too out of shape”, “I am scared of snakes and insects”, “What if I get lost?”. It is still moderately warm out and winter hasn’t quite sunk its icy grips into our lovely city yet and it’s a good time to hike, according to Zolie.
There is a possibility of running into snakes, dangerous spiders, bees, wasps and yes even a carnivorous mammal or two. But when you take guided hikes, the risks are much lower and you have a trained professional to lead the hikes.
Your level of fitness is no reason to thwart you from venturing into the outdoors. Don’t set mental limitations on yourself. The distance intimidates many people. When you’re first getting started, it’s important to not focus on how far or what the final destination is. Focus instead on your first accomplishment. That you got outdoors.
If on the first hike you’re only able to cover 2km, that’s an achievement. So take to the trail and you’ll soon be pushing yourself to tackle new challenges. Set a pace that’s comfortable for you and stay hydrated.
Essentials to pack
Uncaptured hikers will be provided with a hiking pack on the day. This consists of a towel, a water bottle, and light refreshments. You are advised to pack extra water bottles, sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat or a cap.
Other items you may want to consider include:
- Insect repellent
- Bandaids (for nicks and scrapes on rocks and against the bushes)
- Energy bars or trail mix
- Cameras or smartphones to capture those stunning scenic views
What you wear is the most important factor to a successful hike. The last thing you want is to get too hot or too cold because you’re dressed incorrectly. It is, therefore, best to dress in layers that can be easily adapted as the day progresses and with the weather changes.
- Hiking boots or shoes (ankle boots are best to protect yourself from getting bitten around the ankles by snakes or other dangerous insects and reptiles)
- A scarf or bandana which can be draped around your neck to protect against sunburn
- Lightweight clothing which does not retain sweat. Gym-wear is perfect. Avoid cotton t-shirts as these weigh you down and make you uncomfortable.
- If you wear shorts, layer over lightweight tights to protect your skin from cuts, scrapes, and the elements.
- A wide-brimmed sunhat or cap
- A whistle that can be hung around your neck (which can be sounded if you lose your group)
- A spare pair of socks to cushion your feet a little better or in-soles which are inexpensive and can be purchased at any pharmacy.
- A good sports bra for the ladies. You need support to prevent back strain and feeling uncomfortable.
Come prepared by having a healthy breakfast before you start the trail. You will need the energy to get through the trail and to prevent fatigue. Don’t forget to think about what the theme for this hike means to you. Your message with the #BreakingBig theme will be documented so you will never forget what you overcame during your first hike.