Hiking might not be as popular as soccer, basketball or swimming but it is one great exercise. Plus, it gives you the chance to be out in nature and enjoy the sunlight and fresh air. While hiking doesn’t give you the same intense cardiovascular workout that running does, a brisk hike will still give you a tight workout.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate hiking in your life and make it fun and worthwhile –
- Scout for a good hiking place in your area. Even if you live in a big city, there will always be a place that’s close to nature within or near the city limits. Searching for a route near you would encourage you to go on a hike.
- Hook-up with a hiking group based in your city. Try looking for these local groups online. Hiking in a group is always the best option in terms of safety. You can also learn from the more experienced hikers and is a good way to distribute the gear and supplies you’ll bring.
Hiking is also a great way to spend weekends and holidays, deepen friendships and meet new people. Who knows, you might meet your next romantic interest while on a hike. Going on a hike is also a good alternative to the mundane dinner date.
- Make a checklist. This is an integral part of any experienced hiker’s routine. Forgetting to bring an important piece of equipment is annoying at the very least, and life-threatening at worst.
- Bring enough supplies. How much food and water or what kind of equipment you should bring depends on where you’ll be hiking and for how long.
- Your supplies will typically depend on the length of the hike. Bringing extra water is usually a good idea. To lessen the weight you’re carrying, use a fold-up water bag or a wine bladder to carry extra water. A walking stick is also ideal if you’ll be hiking in a dense area with an active wildlife population. Bringing small items like Vaseline, duct tape, ziplock bags and extra matches are also important. Vaseline will help with chaffing while duct tape is necessary for quick repairs.
- Don’t forget to protect yourself. Hiking is an excellent way to get your daily dose of fresh air and sunshine. But remember that too much exposure to the sun is harmful so always carry and use sunscreen. Bringing a wide brimmed hat will also be big help.
- Always follow the Leave No Trace principle. Spending time in nature is not a right. It’s a privilege that we need to protect to make it available for others to enjoy in the future.
- Give yourself a treat. Hiking should be an enjoyable experience. To make it more fun, bring little treats to enjoy while you’re hiking. It can be something as simple as a small bar of chocolate, a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Packing something extra for yourself and your hiking buddy will make the hike more special.
The great thing about hiking is that there are abundant places to explore. If you have the time and are more adventurous, you can go further than your city and explore your region’s mountains and deserts. Make things more interesting by incorporating other hobbies with hiking, like bird watching or photography. So grab your walking stick and gear and head out to the great outdoors.