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Hiking is an excellent sport for those who want to get some outdoor physical activity into their lives. It can be challenging, but it can also be relaxing and enjoyable and a great way to meet new people. Here are a few tips to make it a lot easier to get into hiking as your new hobby.
Planning doesn’t have to be complicated,you just need to decide what you want to get out of hiking. Do you want to challenge yourself? Do you want to get outside and enjoy nature? Decide what motivates you and choose a trail that addresses those needs.
If you’re going to challenge yourself, find a route that will make you work hard. Pick a path with much elevation gain or loss, so you’ll have to work hard but not so hard that you get bored. If you want to get outside and enjoy nature, find a trail with a lot of scenery, but it isn’t so challenging that you’ll be too tired to appreciate it.
Bring the Right Stuff
If you’re hiking in the summer, you’ll need a lot of light clothes. The problem with having a lot of exposed skin is you need to pack sun protection cream, and if hiking through shrubbery, have some tall knee socks to protect you from scratches from the vegetation.
In winter, you’ll need a lot of warm clothes, a jacket, and a good pair of hiking boots. Make sure these still aerate your sweat, so you do not get sticky. It helps to bring a small change at the end of your hike, because keeping damp clothes on you will increase you chances of developing a cold!
With shoes or boots, make sure you pack some appropriate socks, and perhaps a blister strip (to prevent rubbing) or two, just in case skin sores swell up.
You’ll also need snacks to keep you going while you’re on the trail. Protein bars and fruit are great light and small options to give you sugars for energy along the way. Remember to pack a bottle of water, hopefully reusable so you can refill it along the way whenever you encounter a drinkable water source.
Take Hiking Buddies Along
You’re going to want to go hiking with a buddy or two. Hiking is a great way to spend time with your family.
Hiking is also a great way to meet someone new. You can find hiking buddies online or in your local community. If you want to meet someone new, you can use social networking sites like hiking groups and Facebook hiking groups.
Don’t Forget To Stop And Smell The Flowers
Most hikes will take you by beautiful natural areas, so take a moment to stop and look around. You don’t have to take it all in at once. Pick a flower and smell it. Pick up some of the leaves that have fallen to the ground and smell those too. You don’t have to do it right then and there, but it will help you to appreciate the area you’re in a little more.
Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy being outdoors. Hiking can be a great way to get outside, which statistically improves your mood and mental health – not just your physical health!