The importance of a route plan
Do you know where you're going? No hiker sets out without a trail map and/or a compass or gps unit, and neither should you head out without an idea of where you are going. Some may find wandering around a bit lost to be enjoyable, but most people find it frustrating or scary. Your hike leader should know the route well so if you are on an organized hike you won't have to worry –hopefully at least not with me :) -usually.
Attending a hiking event relieves you of some of the responsibility for planning your route. You still need to figure out how to get to the event. Most hikes/walks have a route diagram available to study, often on their websites, such as this site.
Each of our hikes on torontohiking.com features a Google road map showing the location of the start of the hike (the trailhead). If you click on the green hikers icon, a dialogue box will open with “Directions” in the bottom left corner. Click on that to open a new section on the top left with your destination already filled in in field “B”. In field “A” type in where you live and Google will give you text directions and a map to follow to find the trailhead. You can print out both the map and the text by clicking the check box for printing the map as well.
Now that you are at the hike trailhead, plan to pace yourself throughout the hike. Unless you are on a rigorous fitness march, pace yourself at a comfortable even pace. Take short breaks. Remember the object is to enjoy the outdoors, not get yourself all pooped out.
You don't have to show how fit you are by climbing the hill without stopping for a rest. In fact new evidence shows that it's wise to stop and rest on the way up.
Hiking Route Plan/Pacing VIDEO: