Every hiker needs to start somewhere. But why shouldn’t you start with a hike that is well worth the effort?
Multi-day hiking comes with great rewards. Every outdoor enthusiast will acknowledge this, but the main problem of stepping into the wilderness and not returning for days is that you need your own food and shelter. For many, the extra weight is more than enough discouragement to keep them from going on a hiking trip.
Long-distance routes are daunting enough for beginners, so here are a few easy-multiday trekkings that are ideal for people who are setting their first steps into hiking. Without giving up on the huge rewards.
1. Kungsleden, Sweden
Kungsleden is regarded as one of the most beautiful trails in the world. Carved through the spectacular mountains, forests and lakes of Swedish Lapland, this trail is as good as it gets. From Abisko to Hemavan, Kungsleden measures 425 kilometers, but you can take on as much or as little as you want. The trail is divided into different sections with multiple entry and exit points. Along the way there are different mountain huts where you can spend the night, so this makes carrying your tent unnecessary.
Where? Swedish Lapland
Why? Natural beauty of Swedish Lapland under the Midnight Sun. High chance of seeiing the Northern Lights during autumn.
2. West Highland Way, Scotland
Starting in Milngavie, just north of Glasgow and heading all the way up to Fort William. The West Highland Way is an iconic multi-day hike traversing the Scottish Highlands. While this sounds challenging at first, there is little elevation gain throughout the trail as the bens (mountains) are admired from the glens (valley). There are plenty of villages and resupply options along the way, making it doable to do the full hike with only a daypack. Most hikers opt to complete the hike in 6-9 days.
Where? Scottish Highlands
Distance: 154 km
Why? Admire the Scottish Higlands and lochs from the best point of view.
3. Sunshine Coast Trail, Canada
With 180 kilometer winding along the scenic coastline of British Columbia, this is the longest hut-to-hut hiking trail in Canada. As it passes along mountains, old-growth forests, lakes, creeks and rivers, it highlights all the best of British Columbia. There is the option to hike a few hours or complete the whole trail. While there are several campsites along the way, those who wish to hike with a light backpack can spend the night in one trail’s twelve cabins. If you are looking for a little challenge on your first hiking adventure, try to complete the 10-day trek from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay near Powell River. Those who can’t get enough of the outdoors, have the option of paddling back again.
Where? British Columbia, Canada
Distance: 180 km
Why? Enjoy Canada’s natural beauty by exploring its coastline
4. W Trek – Torres Del Paine, Chile
Chilean Patagonia is one of the most breathtaking but challenging regions in the world. While it has been the playground for extreme outdoorsmen, it doesn’t mean that a new hiker can’t enjoy its beauty as well. In Torres del Paine National Park, the W trek is a popular trail for those who don’t wsh to face the harsh conditions in their own tent. The trek is divided into sections by refugios that offer meals, showers and even rooms. So basically you don’t need much more than a basic daypack.
Where? Torres del Paine, Chili
Distance: 90 km
Why? Explore one of the most rugged environments on planet earth with luxury facilities such as dorm-style rooms, meals, and showers offered in the refugios along the way.
5. Inca Trail, Peru
On the Inca Trail you will be spending your nights in a tent. But fortunately, the burden of the extra weight will be carried by porters. The Inca Trail can only be walked with a guided group, but this comes with great advantages. They will set up camp, cook the meals and prepare tea when you wake up. All you need to do is enjoy the scenery. You will embark on your journey in Cusco before reaching the world-famous Inca site four days later.
Distance: 43 km
Why? The goal of your trekking is Machu Picchu, one of the world wonders. Do we need to say more?
Going on your first multi-day hike? Check out our post Start to hike: hiking tips for beginners