For some, hiking can be a daunting outdoor activity. Many fear the cold weather, the idea of being away from the convenience they’ve gotten used to, etc. But, it’s actually a fun and healthy activity to try to reconnect with nature, your loved ones, and even with yourself. If you want to get rid of your fears and make them more memorable, here are some tips.
If it’s your first time trying hiking, one of the important things to do is to start small. This is because first experiences last. And if you’ll choose more advanced routes, you’ll likely find it hard and only remember how bad the experience was.
To enjoy it more, make sure to start small first and choose routes with minor elevations and short hikes. This way, you’ll enjoy it more and your body won’t be surprised by the strenuous activity. You can then increase the length of your adventures once you’ve gotten used to hiking.
Stretch And Warm-Up
Hiking is a serious physical activity. If you don’t prepare, you’re going to be gravely sore the morning after. As such, it’s best to stay prepared and ready by warming up and stretching before you begin. A lot of newbie hikers make the mistake of not doing so before their hike and we’re sure they regret not doing so.
To begin with, make sure that you stretch the joints on your leg and back area as these are going to be used mostly for the hike. As a general rule of thumb, you should at least take 10 minutes of your time to stretch and warm-up.
Aside from avoiding muscle pain and joint soreness the day after, stretching also prevents potential injuries as well.
Sport The Proper Attire
You definitely need to wear the right clothes when hiking. For starters, it’s really important that you wear hiking shoes or any rubber shoes for the trip. Ideally, you’d want to wear shoes that are very durable and have a good sole fit for traction. If it’s a question of straps or laces, go with laces as this provides more comfort and a tighter fit. To get the latest footwear releases specifically designed for hiking and other outdoor activities, be sure to check out specialty stores or online sites that specialize in hiking gear. Make sure you look for shoes with a waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex as these will help keep your feet dry and comfortable while on your trip.
As for your body, try to wear cool clothing especially when it’s warm out. The last thing you’d want is to have your body overheat because you’re wearing something too thick. Wear clothes that are made out of breathable materials. If it’s rainy, try to get a waterproof jacket too.
Prepare What You Need
The things you bring (and even those you forgot to bring) can also affect your hiking experience. If you brought everything you’ll need, you won’t have to worry about anything.
But, if you forget even one important item for your hiking, your experience can be negatively affected and you won’t enjoy the whole experience. A piece of easy backpacking advice for this is to make sure to prepare everything that you’ll need for your hike even days before you hit the road. A list of things to bring will help you too, to ensure that you won’t forget anything.
It may seem counterintuitive but you need to pack light as well. Bring what’s only necessary. This includes an extra pair of clothes, an emergency first aid kit, a lot of water, some food, and of course, a map to the hiking trail.
Check the Weather
Speaking of preparations, don’t forget to check the weather too. This way, you’ll be able to prepare proper clothing and other items that will either keep you warm or fresh throughout your hike.
Doing this will also help you to plan your activities and your schedule when you get to your destination. This way, the weather won’t affect your experience. Another reason why you should be careful about the weather is that hiking can be significantly dangerous if the trails are wet.
Muddy trails are harder to traverse simply because they are more slippery. Another thing you should worry about is the fact that after it rains, there will be puddles of stagnant water that’s possibly infected with bacteria and bugs that carry serious diseases. As such, make sure to avoid these as well or simply stay prepared by bringing bug sprays and ointments.
Bring Your Loved Ones
Hiking alone is fun. It lets you connect with yourself more as you have more quiet time alone. You also won’t need to think of anyone but you as you hike. However, hiking with some friends or family can be fun too and it’s worth giving a chance.
Hiking with your loved ones lets you have a bonding time, making it more memorable. Plus, in case you get bored, you have someone to talk to or play games with. It’s also safer to hike with a buddy, especially if you’re taking advanced routes.
Bring Something to Pass Time
If you’re hiking with your buddies or fam, don’t forget to bring something that you can bond over with, such as board games, cards, etc. This will not just help you pass time, but it will surely help you create more fun memories with them, especially when you’re traveling with children.
While most of the activity will be focused on hiking, there will be times where you’ll be left to do nothing while resting. These activities that help you pass time will simply make the trip more enjoyable.
Let Others Know Where You’re Going
This is just for emergency purposes only but it’s very crucial too. It’s important that you let others know where you are headed too. Just in case something goes wrong, others will know what to tell the authorities. It’s definitely going to pay off once something goes wrong.
Some hiking trails have very weak signals so it will be hard to contact others. As such, it’s better to inform everyone else where you are off to instead.
Hiking isn’t boring and there’s nothing to be scared of. It’s actually fun and will help create good memories, especially when you’re with your loved ones. By following the tips stated above, you’re sure to have a hiking experience you will never ever forget.