Soft hiking and the rise of accessibility in outdoor adventures

Do you know that feeling? When you absolutely adore nature but every time you get invited on a hike you’re struck by sudden fear and anxiety. Maybe you’re afraid you’re not fit enough to make it, or you’ll slow down the group, or you don’t have the mobility necessary to tackle tough terrain.

You’d LOVE to hike but you don’t want to be a burden to the more “hardcore hiker” friends in your group. But know this, you are not alone. Many people in the world feel this way and that is why Camp Master has the solution for you: “Soft Hiking,” – accessible, kind, and manageable.

Are you ready to embark on an adventure that is equal parts exhilarating and comfortable? Welcome to the world of “soft hiking,” where you can enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing your body’s well-being. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the concept of “soft hiking”, its benefits, and most importantly, how to make outdoor spaces accessible to everyone. Plus, we’ll introduce you to some fantastic Camp Master products that will enhance your soft hiking experience. Lucky you! So, let’s lace up our hiking boots and get started – softly.


What is “Soft Hiking”?

Soft hiking is a delightfully accessible and inclusive twist on traditional hiking. It’s a way to enjoy the beauty of nature while being mindful of your body’s limits and comfort. Unlike its more intense counterpart, soft hiking focuses on creating a leisurely and enjoyable experience.

You can still traverse scenic trails, but at a pace that allows you to truly appreciate your surroundings. The focus here is on listening to your body’s calls to stop, slow down, and alter routes, without the oft-communicated narrative of “pushing through the pain.”

The soft hiker embraces stopping to drink in views, enjoy snacks and let the muscles rest. They’re not on a time constraint and will gleefully stop to take in a magnificent leaf for a few minutes. Soft hikers enjoy the finer details nature has to offer, check in often on the well-being and comfort of the hikers in their group, and relish the journey over the eventual summit. They also usually have by far the best snacks.


Benefits of Soft Hiking:

Reduced stress on the body: Soft hiking puts less strain on your joints and muscles, making it an ideal option for those who want to avoid excessive physical stress. It’s a great way to stay active without pushing yourself to the limits. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, inexperienced on trails, or just not all that fit, soft hiking lowers the barrier for entry for those who can participate in enjoying an outdoor adventure.

More time to enjoy the surroundings: By adopting a softer approach, you have the luxury of immersing yourself in the beauty around you. Whether it’s marvelling at a breath-taking vista or taking time to observe wildlife, soft hiking allows for a deeper connection with nature. It’s difficult to really take in all the minute marking on a particularly fascinating bug when you’re traversing past it at speed.

Increased inclusivity: In a world in which we’re all striving towards being more inclusive and welcoming to larger, more diverse groups of people, outdoor spaces shouldn’t be any different. By removing the prerequisite for advanced physical fitness, we’re giving those who were previously denied access to these activities a space to truly explore one of the most rewarding pursuits in the world. A bigger outdoor community benefits everyone involved, so opening the space to more eager participants should be at the top of everyone’s “to do this weekend” lists.


Making the Outdoors Accessible

Unfortunately, as we touched on a little earlier, there are common barriers that prevent many individuals from enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some of these obstacles, and the way Soft Hiking may make them significantly less daunting:

– Physical Limitations: Physical challenges shouldn’t hinder anyone from experiencing the outdoors. The soft hiker will look for accessible trails that accommodate different abilities. These trails often feature smoother paths, gentle slopes, and ample rest areas. Online resources and local hiking communities can guide you to find these trails near you. We’d suggest checking out trail reviews and effort levels on AllTrails.

– Financial Constraints: Money should never be a barrier to outdoor adventures, and the soft hiker will find a bargain to suit every wallet and every time of the month. You may even want to seek out organisations that provide grants or sponsorships for outdoor activities. Additionally, you could consider joining local hiking clubs or communities that offer shared equipment or organise group outings at reduced costs. The MCSA (Mountain Club of South Africa) would be a great place to start.

– Lack of Transportation: If getting to the trailhead is a challenge, explore public transportation options or carpool with fellow hikers. Any aspiring soft hiker can also join online forums or social media groups to find hiking buddies who might be willing to share rides. Sharing the journey can be just as exciting as the hike itself but be sure to make sure your new-found hiking buddies are aware of your intention to take your time and take it easy on the trail.



Soft Hiking Trails in South Africa:

South Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, offering soft hiking trails that cater to all levels of fitness and mobility. If you’re nervous to head out onto a “trail,” we also have tons of truly beautiful municipal parks in many of our neighbourhoods that offer an abundance of sunlight, critters and gorgeous flora to delight and excite the nature lover.

For a slightly bigger adventure, here are a few trails worth exploring. Note though, that any trail can be a soft hiking trail. It’s about your mindset, taking it at your own pace, and doing away with any harmful preconceived notions of what a “hiker” might be.

  1. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: Located in Cape Town, this scenic garden offers mobility-friendly and wheelchair-friendly trails that wind through breath-taking landscapes. The promenade is stunning. Enjoy the diversity of indigenous flora while immersing yourself in the tranquillity of nature. There’s even music there sometimes, too!
  2. Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden: Situated in Roodepoort, Gauteng, this garden boasts well-maintained paths that lead to impressive waterfalls and bird hides. It’s an ideal destination for soft hikers looking to enjoy the beauty of nature without strenuous climbs. It’s also got a wonderful restaurant and info centre, so there are tons of activities to enjoy after a walk.
  3. Dolphin Trail, Tsitsikamma: For those seeking a coastal adventure, the Dolphin Trail in the Tsitsikamma region offers a moderate yet magnificent hiking experience. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the rugged coastline, indigenous forests, and the chance to spot dolphins playing in the waves, without having to push your body too far or too fast. This region also offers pretty moderate temperatures, so could be ideal for hikers who are relatively temperature sensitive.

Camp Master Products for Soft Hiking

Guess what? Camp Master stocks a wide range of products to make your soft hiking experience even easier and more enjoyable than it already was. Because of course we do – we’re prepared as heck! Now, let’s take a moment to introduce you to some essentials that will elevate your soft hiking experience:

Lightweight Chairs:

Camp Master offers a range of lightweight chairs that provide comfort and support during your hiking breaks. These chairs are designed to be portable and easily collapsible, making them a perfect addition to your outdoor gear. We’ve even got hammocks.

Easy-to-Carry Tents:

Setting up camp is a breeze with Camp Master’s easy-to-carry tents. These lightweight and compact tents are designed for quick assembly and provide a cosy shelter for your overnight stays in the wilderness. We’ve even got self-assembling pop-up options on offer!

Durable Backpacks and Bags:

Carrying your essentials is made effortless with Camp Master’s durable backpacks. These packs are designed with comfort and functionality in mind, featuring adjustable straps, ample storage compartments, and ergonomic designs. Stash those trail snacks seamlessly and always be the soft hiker packing the very best trail mix.


Soft hiking is a wonderful way to connect with nature while ensuring your comfort and well-being, no matter your previous experience or your skill level. By making the outdoors accessible to everyone, we create opportunities for people of all abilities to experience the beauty of our natural world, especially in a country as gorgeous and naturally diverse as South Africa.

So, grab your soft hiking gear from Camp Master and embark on an adventure that will leave you rejuvenated, refreshed and – most importantly – not exhausted, injured or disappointed. Remember to explore the incredible soft hiking trails at our disposal in South Africa whenever and let the beauty of the outdoors inspire you to create lasting memories. With the help of Camp Master outdoor gear, of course. Our full range is available at a Game, Makro or Builders’ Warehouse near you.

Starting today, let’s embrace the concept of “soft hiking,” and make the South African adventure landscape more inclusive for all! Except for people who litter. They can stay at home.

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