Going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to throw your workout routine and money out the window. See the world, workout, save money, and start hiking!
Never Hiked? Follow these simple steps to get started.
Bring the Basics
- Food and water-always bring more then you think you need
- Bring a map and, of course, know how to use it ahead of time
- Knife for cutting food, wood, bandages, etc.
- First aid kit
- Rain gear
What to wear
As a beginner, there is really no need to be decked out in expensive and heavy hiking gear just yet. Think gym attire, such as something with elasticity. With this in mind, you also want to make sure you keep your skin covered to protect you from the sun, inclement weather, or rough shrubbery and branches. It’s important to be comfortable, hiking is exercise, so if you wouldn’t wear jeans on the treadmill, it’s probably not your best bet on the trail either. As a first timer out on the trails, sneakers will be your best bet for footwear. Just make sure they are solid and not worn out.
Who to Bring
It is important to never hike alone. The best way to find a hiking buddy is to start by asking a friend who enjoys the outdoors. Make sure if your friend agrees to get hiking that they are completely sure and fully capable of the trail you intend to travel. If your friends all seem to prefer the indoors, contact a local park ranger about meeting people and, or if there are guides who are available to travel with you.
Pick an area and time of year where you are comfortable with the climate. Check on the weather the day of your hike (up until you leave) to make sure you will not be outside during any dangerous weather conditions. If the weather conditions don’t seem to be good enough to spend the day outside, it is best to reschedule to ensure your safety.
In order to decide the distance you are willing to travel, it’s important to take into account your personal abilities. It’s okay to start on a relatively small trail and work your way up.
Don’t push yourself too hard and know your physical limits. Listen to your body, and break when needed.
Give yourself enough time to hike the trail and get back. Starting early in the day is your best bet so you don’t have to worry about navigating in the dark.
According to the American Hiking Society, doing low intensity exercise, such as hiking, is a great way to keep both your mental and physical health in check. So why not start spending more time outdoors and less time at a doctor’s office and hit the trails!