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Getting back into hillwalking

Getting back into hillwalking


Postby chickadee » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:06 pm

I may have posted on this topic before; if so, sorry for repeating myself, but another year, a similar issue. I've just lost my impetus for hillwalking. I love it when I do it, but I have been out of action for a while now, because last year I had a distance learning course to do in addition to my full-time job, so weekends weren't really allowed for fun. I have my free time back again, but I've been finding it hard to give myself the kick to get back out and properly do some hills. I haven't done that many yet that aren't 'straightforward'; I did a navigation course a few years ago but I'd need to refresh that, I think, before tackling any of the tricker hills. I went out with a friend before Christmas to do Beinn Each and that was great, I'd forgotten what it even felt like to explore somewhere new.

My problem is I do much of my walking and exploring solo. I don't mind this as I'm naturally introverted and happy in my own company, although I think nowadays I wouldn't mind finding a couple of friends to do this with – my usual buddy is in a new relationship so that's him out of my life for the next few months at least, ha! I don't mind doing my own thing if need be but it makes the motivation part a bit harder in my experience. I keep thinking about buying a tent so I can start camping (I'd just car camp to begin with) and I've posted about this before here and still have not done it! No tent, no solo camp, and I've wanted to do it for over two years now. I don't know what's stopping me from doing what I used to love. I guess maybe it's like a break from anything, you maybe get a bit antsy whereas before you didn't think about it. I don't know.

Not even sure what my point is or if I have a question... I guess if anyone has ever felt a similar way it would be good to know I'm not just really weird! I've almost decided I'm going to go out somewhere tomorrow, even just a wee hill, and try to kickstart things again. I think also because there's now so much gear and so many things I don't own I always worried I'm not fully prepared. But I have waterproofs, a compass, good boots, a good rucksack, plenty of walking clothes...

I just don't know what I'm scared of!
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby teaandpies » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:35 pm

I don't really know what to advise but the last couple of weeks I've had no drive to get out at all. Sometimes I look at my hill maps on this site and get overwhelmed but the amount off hills I have to do.

I think the best thing to do has a an enthusiastic friend :lol:
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Sgurr » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:51 pm

You could try going out with the Fife Walking Club

http://www.fifewalkingclub.org.uk/Index.asp?MainID=23699

Have never joined them as husband and I usually walk together, but had a look at their programme when his consultant suggested he get a new knee. ...he's still putting up with the old one.


There's a walk from Dunkeld tomorrow.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby desmondo1 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:58 pm

Look at the Ramblers site they are not all old fogies, some active young groups around doing some god walking. You can pick & choose your walks and groups. I am in the older brigade and do a lot of walking solo but it is also good to have company at times, might even make you less introverted lol.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby simon-b » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:26 pm

Hi chickadee

You say you've lost your impetus for hillwalking, but you haven't told us if you're doing anything else that keeps you fit and active or not. We could all do with a kick start to get back into physical exercise if we lose our motivation to do that. But if you are fit anyway, then it is, as you are suggesting anyway, about what you enjoy.

So should you try and contrive a way to regain enthusiasm for hillwalking? I've had periods in my life when I haven't been to the hills very often - then, something spontaneous seems to happen which makes me want to return to the hills more than ever before. So, perhaps you should just let things happen naturally. If there is any advice I can give, wait until a good weather forecast. Keen walkers may brave all sorts of conditions. But if your enthusiasm's waning, there's nothing like climbing a hill with great views on a beautiful day to bring it back.

There's nothing wrong with what other's have suggested about joining a walking group. But if you prefer walking solo, you can have some great days on popular routes where you are likely to encounter like minded people on the hills, who are always prepared to be friendly and have a good chat for a minute or two before continuing on their way. Some of my favourite routes have a mixture of quiet and busy sections, and therefore a good balance of solitude and company. At other times I've enjoyed walking with a group of friends. There have also been memorable days in remote surroundings with not another soul around, but that's perhaps an experience for when your hillwalking enthusiasm is back in full swing.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun!
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Sunset tripper » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:34 pm

Hi Chickadee. I think a lot of folk have similar experiences to you. I am often out on the hills alone and sometimes before or at the start of a walk / hike I wonder why I am doing it but that feeling passes very quickly for me. I think it helps that usually I only go where the weather is going to be at least half decent. I dont really see hill walking as a challenge or a sport. I have no major goals I get obsessed about. I like going out a lot just for the peacefullness (if thats a word) :D

Teaandpies I would suggest that you dont look at the hills as an overwhelming big job that you have to finish. Just go out and enjoy each day for itself and if one day you finish all the munros or other hills thats great but its no big deal if you dont.
All the best guys :D
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:47 am

I have similar experiences with photography, sometimes getting up at stupid o'clock to stand on a beech on the off chance of a good sunrise seems quite idiotic, why would I lose several hours sleep on an off chance? I do keep going back however and in all honesty I can say I've never regretted losing a few hours sleep to potentially witness a wonderful event. There are times I have to force myself to get out of bed but I know it will pay off in the long term, just like hillwalking does. What I tend to do is go back to a favourite location that I know well which removes all doubts and questions apart from the most simple enjoyment of the activity. Perhaps try a hill you've climbed before at first just to get you going but try it very early, before many people get there. Sounds to me you just need to get your confidence back, and rediscover just what made you love it in the first place. Whatever you decide the hills will always be there.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby chickadee » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:09 am

simon-b wrote:Hi chickadee

You say you've lost your impetus for hillwalking, but you haven't told us if you're doing anything else that keeps you fit and active or not. We could all do with a kick start to get back into physical exercise if we lose our motivation to do that. But if you are fit anyway, then it is, as you are suggesting anyway, about what you enjoy.

So should you try and contrive a way to regain enthusiasm for hillwalking? I've had periods in my life when I haven't been to the hills very often - then, something spontaneous seems to happen which makes me want to return to the hills more than ever before. So, perhaps you should just let things happen naturally. If there is any advice I can give, wait until a good weather forecast. Keen walkers may brave all sorts of conditions. But if your enthusiasm's waning, there's nothing like climbing a hill with great views on a beautiful day to bring it back.

There's nothing wrong with what other's have suggested about joining a walking group. But if you prefer walking solo, you can have some great days on popular routes where you are likely to encounter like minded people on the hills, who are always prepared to be friendly and have a good chat for a minute or two before continuing on their way. Some of my favourite routes have a mixture of quiet and busy sections, and therefore a good balance of solitude and company. At other times I've enjoyed walking with a group of friends. There have also been memorable days in remote surroundings with not another soul around, but that's perhaps an experience for when your hillwalking enthusiasm is back in full swing.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun!


Hi, yes I took up running last year and so I do that sometimes, plus yoga. It's often hard enough getting out to run when I'm not in the mood (and I am very slow!) but when it's hillwalking I have to drive to a hill then do the walk, then drive back. And I think that's the main thing, the drive adds so much time and energy and I drive already every day on my commute (unavoidable). But all the great hills require effort!

I think basically I do want to start again but it's become a bit of a mental block. I got used to being alone and people seeing me walk by myself. And getting organised and forcing myself out of the door. But after a break I feel like it's starting all over again. I might try today. Was going to attempt The Cobbler, but there is rain in the forecast! Rain scares me, and I don't know why. I worry about visibility and being stuck somewhere, even though rain itself is a natural and likely byproduct of a Scottish walk...!
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby chickadee » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:10 am

Sunset tripper wrote:Hi Chickadee. I think a lot of folk have similar experiences to you. I am often out on the hills alone and sometimes before or at the start of a walk / hike I wonder why I am doing it but that feeling passes very quickly for me. I think it helps that usually I only go where the weather is going to be at least half decent. I dont really see hill walking as a challenge or a sport. I have no major goals I get obsessed about. I like going out a lot just for the peacefullness (if thats a word) :D

Teaandpies I would suggest that you dont look at the hills as an overwhelming big job that you have to finish. Just go out and enjoy each day for itself and if one day you finish all the munros or other hills thats great but its no big deal if you dont.
All the best guys :D


Yeah same here, I don't have much interest in walking if I can't see anything or enjoy it. That's why it's hard too I guess, a lot of the year the weather isn't good and when it is sometimes that's when I have something else to do. I would like to do more Munros, but just because they look cool and I love being at the top getting a great view and being away from the cities!
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby chickadee » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:12 am

johnkaysleftleg wrote:I have similar experiences with photography, sometimes getting up at stupid o'clock to stand on a beech on the off chance of a good sunrise seems quite idiotic, why would I lose several hours sleep on an off chance? I do keep going back however and in all honesty I can say I've never regretted losing a few hours sleep to potentially witness a wonderful event. There are times I have to force myself to get out of bed but I know it will pay off in the long term, just like hillwalking does. What I tend to do is go back to a favourite location that I know well which removes all doubts and questions apart from the most simple enjoyment of the activity. Perhaps try a hill you've climbed before at first just to get you going but try it very early, before many people get there. Sounds to me you just need to get your confidence back, and rediscover just what made you love it in the first place. Whatever you decide the hills will always be there.


I can relate, I used to enjoy photography too and then started to think why do I bother, no one cares if I take a photo, etc. Wrong attitude, but it can creep up when you're not expecting it! I had so little weekend time last year and I think it just knocked the confidence. I think I am quite gutsy but I lose it easily too. I might just wander up my fave wee West Lomond today, I've done it many times so it's nothing new, but it's not long and would be a good refresher. Although I wanted to try a new view!
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:38 pm

chickadee wrote: I might just wander up my fave wee West Lomond today, I've done it many times so it's nothing new, but it's not long and would be a good refresher. Although I wanted to try a new view!


Which way do you tackle West Lomond from? If you haven't tried it start near Gateside, good track and also offers plenty of different ways you can ascend - having said that some are very steep.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Yoke » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:05 pm

Get or borrow a dog, something like a border collie or any of the working breeds that need lots of exercise that way you have to get off of your butt and out of the door whatever the weather.

Works for me my Border collie is my best mate and we cover between 120 - 160 Km a week and so far this year we have done 2905.0 km with 64,335 mtrs of ascent.

Obviously if work prevents you from devoting the time needed to be with your own dog then borrow one. You could even try volunteering for somebody like the Cinnamon trust.

http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/volunteers/

That way you are doing yourself a good turn and helping somebody else at the same time.

Whatever you do stop finding excuses and get off your Butt an get out and feel lucky that you can, because there are thousands of folk that would love to get out, but for for whatever reason they are unable to.

Stay lucky fit and healthy good luck :clap:
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby litljortindan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:41 am

I've found setting myself a target of one per month has worked to keep me going and I've also employed the favourite wee hill approach to re-start but after minor injuries and once after a touch of the dolldrums. Maybe try that favourite wee hill at sunset or sunrise as another means of seeing it in a different way?
I did a lot of walking in the 80s and 90s then went off the boil a bit in the 2000s. I think that promise to myself of a monthly walk and also keeping a blog here has helped a bit. Into my fifties now I know obviously that my final hill walk will arrive one day so I feel an extra impetus to grab opportunities as they arise.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby chickadee » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:20 am

Fife Flyer wrote:
chickadee wrote: I might just wander up my fave wee West Lomond today, I've done it many times so it's nothing new, but it's not long and would be a good refresher. Although I wanted to try a new view!


Which way do you tackle West Lomond from? If you haven't tried it start near Gateside, good track and also offers plenty of different ways you can ascend - having said that some are very steep.


Usual way from the car park. I did think about trying a new way, but to be honest just going out was half the battle. I did, though! Up on Sunday and it felt good.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby chickadee » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:23 am

Yoke wrote:Get or borrow a dog, something like a border collie or any of the working breeds that need lots of exercise that way you have to get off of your butt and out of the door whatever the weather.

Works for me my Border collie is my best mate and we cover between 120 - 160 Km a week and so far this year we have done 2905.0 km with 64,335 mtrs of ascent.

Obviously if work prevents you from devoting the time needed to be with your own dog then borrow one. You could even try volunteering for somebody like the Cinnamon trust.

http://www.cinnamon.org.uk/volunteers/

That way you are doing yourself a good turn and helping somebody else at the same time.

Whatever you do stop finding excuses and get off your Butt an get out and feel lucky that you can, because there are thousands of folk that would love to get out, but for for whatever reason they are unable to.

Stay lucky fit and healthy good luck :clap:


Appreciate the suggestions; however, I find the thinking of 'I'd better do this because others aren't so lucky' the opposite of helpful for me, because it just contributes to the guilty feeling which in turn adds to a low mood. It then means I just don't go out but in addition I feel even worse about not doing so! Being unable to go out because of something more mind-based is just as legitimate a reason than anything else and I know when I need to pull back and when going out will actually benefit me. But the recent issue has been a collection of things. I think going out when it's sunny and getting a view and remembering why hillwalking helps my mental health is probably the way forward.

I'd love a dog but can't afford or spend the time looking after one, so would unfortunately not work out for me (plus not allowed one in my flat, grr).
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