Welcome to The Hiking Adventure

Editors’ Note:
The founder, Clare, is no longer involved with TheHikingAdventure.com. The current site owner and editors have retained her original
About content (below) for historic purposes.

I’m Clare, the founder of TheHikingAdventure.com. I started this website with the simple mission of helping people plan, pack for and get going on their hiking adventures.

A person dressed in a black down jacket with a hood, black hiking trousers and gaiters standing in front of a large white glacier in bright sunshine. Volcanic soil at the base of the large ice wall and under the person's feet. 

 

At crater camp, Kilimanjaro in front of one of the glaciers. It was cold!

I didn’t always love hiking, but I have always loved adventure. I grew up in the tropical paradise that is the Kenyan coast.

As a child, I had multiple adventures, both by myself exploring the beach and the bush around our house – but most importantly on the numerous camping safaris with my parents.

Back then we had no handheld GPS or smartphone to keep in touch and upload to Facebook.

If we broke down in the middle of nowhere (which we did, plenty of times) it was up to us to get out of there, no calling 911 and having search and rescue help us.

We camped in remote parts of the Kenyan bush, often with Elephants passing through our camp and the odd lion making an appearance.

My late mother was an avid walker. She and my father would go every year on a “camel safari” – a 250km hike through the African bush with camels carrying the camp, fording rivers, lighting fires and sleeping under the stars, with the sounds of the animals.

I did my first major hike in 2005 – while camping in the Chyulu Hills with a view of Mt Kilimanjaro, I decided “I’d like to climb that” and 9 months later I did. That was the start of my obsession with mountains.

"In the mountains, there you feel free..." T.S. Eliot

What is it about mountains – and climbing them – that captivates us so? People talk of “conquering” mountains. No one “conquers” a mountain.

A person standing in silhouette on the edge of Kilimanjaro's Western Breach. Above the clouds, the landscape is rocky and barren. The background is bright sunshine with a blue sky. 

 

Above the clouds! A view over the Western Breach, Kilimanjaro

 

You conquer what it is inside yourself that makes you think you can’t do it. You conquer parts of yourself that you perhaps didn’t even know existed.

You reach the summit and see the world through different eyes.

There is something about mountains. Pieces of the Earth that rise up and make us feel very small. As you scale a mountain, you leave parts of yourself behind you, and you find parts of yourself you didn’t know existed.

“Home” can seem a long way away. And you realize that “home” is what is inside you.

A person walking across a vast glacier at crater camp Kilimanjaro with a big rocky outcrop to the left of the frame and blue sky and bright sunshine in the background. 

 

       Walking on the glacier at crater camp Kilimanjaro

 

You go to a place that is uninhabited.

Uninhabitable.

Inhospitable.

The thin mountain air makes you experience things differently. Amongst the rocks and the sand and the task in front of you, all day-to-day problems seem miniscule.

You learn to listen to your body. You learn that your mind is only limited by your beliefs.

An ordinary person, doing something extraordinary.

A place of stones and rock and glaciers. A place of bright blue skies and burning sunshine. And ice.​

Getting there is hard. As the air gets thinner and colder the comforts of home seem very far away. The relentlessness of the day’s trekking, the little tent buffeted by wind that you call ‘home’ every night.​

A close up of ice hanging in long stalactites from a glacier. To the bottom of the frame the ice has speckles of dark volcanic ash in it, contrasting with the blue reflection of the sky. 

 

      Stalactites hanging from a glacier.

 

It’s like meditation. You are alone in the vastness of this remote and beautiful land. Your body taking you higher up the mountain.

At times it can feel as though it is you against yourself. And at times it’s like being in a trance, focused on one thing – moving ever forward.

And yet, you are not alone. You are sharing in a dream, in a reality with others.

We all suffer the same – yet different – challenges. We learn about each other – and ourselves – without any of the trappings of our modern life.

Go home with a new inner horizon.

A horizon formed by the sounds of the wind, and the singing of the porters.

Of the black rocks and stony scree. The bright white of the glaciers. Go home with a place in your heart opened up to a beautiful mountain in a beautiful land.​

Back then, there was a dearth of information available – I had very little idea of what to expect, except of course what my tour operator provided.

A person dressed in a gray fleece jacket and a beanie hat with sunglasses on stands in front of the summit sign at the top of Kilimanjaro. The background is blue sky in bright sunshine. 

 

            At the summit of Kilimanjaro

That trip was a turning point for me and my walking voyage.

I loved the high-altitude adventures of Kilimanjaro and the Himalayas, but also the closer-to-home, less vertiginous hikes through pristine bush in New Zealand and well-trodden tracks in the Peak District, England.

The purpose of this website is to share  experiences and be the best resource for hiking adventures.

 

Photos © TheHikingAdventure.