According to Google Trends, interest in hiking in the UK has increased year on year for the last five years, and it appears to be the millennial generation that is driving the movement.

Online sports retailer SportsShoes.com surveyed over 2,000 18-35-year olds to find that 81% of them are considering taking hiking up as a hobby.

The research also found that going on a hike is proving more popular than other common hobbies. Just under a third (31%) of millennials admit that they would prefer going on a hike than hitting the gym, and 29% admitted they would prefer to hike than watch Netflix. A quarter of the generation also stated they would rather go hiking than clubbing.

Hiking appears to be more appealing than gyming, clubbing or chilling out with Netflix because the activity provides its participants with the opportunity to escape life pressures and digital distractions; almost half (48%) of those surveyed cited that hiking is so appealing to them because they can ‘escape from daily life’ and over a third (36%) said they see hiking as the ‘perfect way to disconnect from technology’.

However, a technology free hike could potentially cause issues for some millennials. A third cite getting lost on a hike as being one of their main concerns, yet more than one in three (39%) admitted they wouldn’t be able to navigate their way back to safety without technology, as they wouldn’t be unable to read a standard paper-based map.

Many modern hikers will also use technology to share their hike online. A further report by SportsShoes.com reveals the most popular hiking spots in the UK according to Instagram. The analysis looks at the 677K hiking related posts that have been published in the UK over the last three years, and reveals the top five ‘most Instagrammable’ hikes:

  1. Pen y Fan, South Wales – 2,859 posts
  2. Ben Nevis, Scotland – 2,290 posts
  3. West Highland Way, Scotland – 1,210 posts
  4. Pentlands, South Edinburgh – 1,139 posts
  5. Jurassic Coast, East Devon to Dorset – 812 posts

Gavin Bannister, Buyer at SportsShoes.com commented: “We’ve seen consistent growth in demand for outdoor gear and equipment and its great to see that its coming from a generation that can at times be branded as the ‘Netflix’ generation. Hiking provides an escape that’s rewarding for both body and mind, so is the perfect remedy for the fast paced and often stressful schedules of a millennial. While this is a growing trend, we feel that this is one that is here to stay, rather than a fad that will quickly pass”.

For more information on the SportsShoes findings, and their hiking tips and advice, visit: https://www.sportsshoes.com/hiking-hub/