Why reading the information pages in a walking guidebook is so important

The walking guidebook

You are holding the brand new walking guidebook in your hands and can`t wait to start planning your walking holiday.

Choosing the trail

There are so many trails in the walking guidebook and your holiday is not long enough so you will have to select the trails you might want to try. It depends on the destination but there are certainly many ways of choosing a walk from a walking guidebook. Like many people you don`t have time so you just turn the pages to the walk descriptions. Let`s say you select some trails. You scan the text and then you decide to follow the description on the ground. There is nothing wrong with that, right?

Things to consider

But there are some things to consider. The first couple of pages of your walking guidebook hold some very useful information about the area, the walks, the waymarks, the times and distances. Yes it is possible to follow the trails in the book without this knowledge. But you might enjoy the routes more if you learn about the plants and animals, geology and history of the area.


The trails may be graded to help you to find the most suitable trail. These grades are probably explained in the ` how to use this guide` section of your walking guidebook. Problems may occur if you don`t read these information pages. You won`t know why the trail has a grade 1 or grade 3. These numbers won`t mean too much to you, therefore it won`t help your planning. It might be useful to know that the times provided in any hiking guidebook - both for the walks themselves and between landmarks - are only an approximate indication. The times are often given generously, as it is intended to provide guidance for the wide range of people when planning a hike. So you might finish the trail before the given time. However if you tend to stop to take lots of photos or admire flowers or observe insects, if you stop leisurely for long picnics then you should always allow extra time for your walk. But if you don`t read the first pages of your walking guidebook you will only find out all of these things once you are on your walk.


The information provided at the beginning of a walking guidebook is there to help YOU, the walker, to make your day on the trails more enjoyable, in some cases this information might even help to overcome challenges that you might face during the walk.