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Photograph: Courtesy HKOutsider/Kat Odin

Essential tips for planning an epic outdoor adventure in Hong Kong

Important tips to consider before traversing Hong Kong’s great outdoors

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta

The hiking options in Hong Kong offer as much in terms of variety as they do in natural beauty, with trails catering to many different abilities, fitness levels, and tastes. Plus, with the city's numerous hiking trails offering immaculate views, it's easy to find a path that suits you. So if one of your new year's resolutions was, is or should’ve been, to conquer Hong Kong's great outdoors, check below, before you kickstart your adventure, for some tips on how to make the most of your trip. 

RECOMMENDED: To support your wellness journey, check out our regularly updated guide to home workouts, healthy meals and drinks, and self-care ideas, as well as tips and tricks to help you keep up with your goals. 

Join a legit hiking group
Gordon Hon I Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventure/Karen Chan

1. Join a legit hiking group

Hiking in Hong Kong means you'll never be too far from civilisation. Still, some hiking trails traverse remote areas, so it is essential, especially for beginners, to never hike the paths alone. While solo hiking certainly has its draws, there is definitely safety in numbers. And it is always advisable to join experienced hikers to guide you along the way. 

Joining a hiking group is an excellent way to learn more about Hong Kong trails and the essentials that you need to prepare. Expert outdoor explorers can tell you about their favourite hikes, waterfalls, and discoveries. They are also equipped to recognise imminent danger and guide you away from nasty slopes. 

It is essential to hire a professional guide to lead you or take a course before heading out for high-risk activities,” explains Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventure’s founder Gordon Hon. “Join hiking groups so you'll have experienced hikers to look out for your safety," he adds. 

Visit this link and discover hiking and outdoor adventure groups to help you get started in Hong Kong.

Research about the trail
Photograph: Courtesy HKOutsider/Kat Odin

2. Research about the trail

It always pays to know your route before heading out into nature, so do your homework. This includes knowing which trails you'll be hiking, any local sights you can check out, or the history of the place will give you a better understanding while exploring an area. This will also prepare you for what to bring in your bag and what kind of gear to wear. Learning about the trails will also point you the right direction for where to refuel before or after your adventure.  

"Know the trail and know your own limits," shares Eye Opener HK Hiking's Peter Kwong and David Kwok. "You can gain a good understanding of the trail by doing extensive research. Never place yourself in a situation where the outcome could be serious."

Pack light and smart
Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Hiking Meetup/Dan Van Hoy

3. Pack light and smart

Don't hit the outdoors without packing the proper hiking essentials that you will need throughout your trip. Know where you're going and the expected duration of the trail, so you know what to add to your pack. "Preparation is key! Understand your route and relevant dangers and options to exit. Be prepared with plenty of water, first aid, food, and protection from the elements. Expect the unexpected," shares Roland Sharman.  

Click this link for a list on what should be included on your hiking checklist. 

Wear the right clothing and footwear
Photograph: Courtesy HKOutsider

4. Wear the right clothing and footwear

Dress for the occasion, and be sure to check the weather forecast for the day. Wear dri-fit clothing on hot days, giving you as much airflow as possible to cool you down and long sports pants (yoga pants or compression leggings) to avoid minor skin abrasions for more strenuous hikes. Invest in proper footwear. Determine what to wear based on the trail. On gentle hikes over relatively smooth terrain, regular trainers with good surface contact will likely be sufficient. However, for hikes that traverse rocky, uneven ground, proper hiking shoes with adequate support and good grip will pay dividends, especially in wetter, more slippery conditions. Try looking for Five Ten shoes in Sneaker Street or order them online. Trust us; once you buy a pair, it could be the only adventure shoe you'll need. For all your outdoor gear needs, check out our roundup of the best outdoor gear shops in the city. 

Learn about the best spots to hit up in HK
Photograph: Courtesy Cindy Ng

5. Learn about the best spots to hit up in HK

Now that you know the basics, are you ready to start your outdoor adventure? Start with some of the best hikes in Hong Kong that take less than one hour to complete, or traverse accessible hikes on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon. If you'd like to know which hike best suits you, check out Hong Kong's best hiking trails with tips and directions to help you on your way. If you're looking for hikes that stop by picturesque waterfalls, visit this roundup of the must-see places in Hong Kong.  

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