Hiking is fun. It’s a rare opportunity to explore and enjoy nature’s best. Hiking is an excellent outdoor activity that allows you to bond with family members and friends as you walk on uncharted paths. Proper preparation will ensure success whether you plan to go for a day’s or week’s hike and camping.
You’ll need someplace to store your gear and dress appropriately for the hike. Read on to find compelling reasons for hiking instead of remaining indoors to watch a movie.
1. Physical exercise
Hiking offers unlimited opportunities to exercise the body. Hiking exercises the whole body, unlike other activities that target a specific body part. Hiking for a day or more will;
- Build your muscles and bones
- Improve your body balance
- Improve your heart performance and health
- Reduce the risk of chronic and respiratory diseases
An explorer climbs steep hills, walks on winding narrow paths, and more to exercise the body by walking, jumping, and bending, offering a variety of body exercises.
2. Promotes mental health
Interacting with nature is rejuvenating. Nature has an inert power to boost one’s moods and improve mental health. Spending ample time outdoors is an excellent way to relieve stress and calm anxiety. As you breathe fresh air, watch birds, see flowers and enjoy flora and fauna; the mind relaxes to give your inner peace.
3. Promotes relationships
Are you having a hard time with a spouse, child, or friend? Do you find it hard talking to them behind closed doors? Exploring nature is one of the best ways to find new ways to hold conversations and connect with others. You can also try hiking as a group activity. Hiking offers a different range of difficulty, making it fun to help each other. As you walk along the winding paths, you connect with the person you love, bringing you close.
4. Adds to your list of sightseeing
Hiking is a creative way to get outdoors and tickle your exploration sense. Many people who indulge in hiking and camping get a compelling desire to go to more places. An outdoor activity opens your eyes to many other opportunities in the world around you. Therefore, if you’re considering touring different destinations as a hobby, begin with hiking and camping. In a nutshell, you can never have enough of the winding paths, meandering rivers, multi-colored flora and fauna, wild fruits and more. Hiking is the first stage to touring, cruising, and making more road trips.
How to prepare for a hike
Adequate preparation will lead to a successful hiking experience. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you reap maximally from your hike.
1. Tell someone about your plans
Always confide with a friend about your plans to go for outdoor activity. Such a confidant will keep checking on you and help you in an emergency.
2. Pack appropriately
A day’s hike does not need too much preparation. However, ensure you have the following essentials:
- Navigation tools such as a map, GPS, and compass. These tools help you to find water sources, emergency exits, and rest points within a location.
- Adequate water is one of the essential items you need for any outdoor activity. You’ll need to replenish the water you lose through sweat. Typically, you can increase your water intake days before the hike to prepare your body for the expected temperature difference. Carry water bottle and more storage if the trail has no definite water sources.
- An adequate food supply is necessary to keep you going. Hiking is fun when everyone is full because food boosts energy levels. Further, you can add fruits to your supplies to replace refined snacks.
- Safety gear is critical because an outdoor activity is unpredictable. Carry a whistle, matchbox, flashlight, and first aid essentials.
- A first-aid kit is a hiking necessity because you may need to treat a blister, oil a wound, ease swelling and more. Ensure your first-aid kit has an antiseptic, ointment, gauze pads, an antibiotic, and paracetamol. Remember to carry other personal medication interventions such as inhalers.
- Sun protection will safeguard your skin from harmful sun rays. Carry a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 15 and more. You can also wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your skin. Remember to reapply the sunscreen every two hours if it is too hot.
3. Dress appropriately
Dress in the most appropriate outdoor attire that will allow you to walk comfortably. Keep away from shorts because you’ll suffer many stings and irritation. Wear light cotton long pants to allow your body to breathe under the hot sun. Close your look with the right type of shoes. The footwear you adorn can significantly impact your hiking experience.
4. Mind what you eat before the hike
Hiking is an energy-consuming activity. Therefore, you need to eat right to keep your energy levels high. Your food is the engine to keep you trudging the hiking terrain. Eat a balanced diet made of:
- Whole-grain cereals
- Low fat or fat-free ghee or yogurt
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Plant protein or white meat for proteins
- Whole grain carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, and brown rice
And while at it, do not overload your metabolism with saturated fats and animal protein because they take longer to digest: consequently making you sluggish and bloated. Remember to take your proteins at least 30 minutes after the hike to repair injured muscles.
5. Locate your hiking trail
You’ll need to map your hiking trail so you can plan adequately. The course helps you to anticipate and prepare for the appropriate dressing and food supplies. You can check online to see details about the trail. The details will describe the nature of the challenges and how to prepare for a successful day out. Locating your trail also helps you estimate the time you need to complete your hike and get back home.
Hiking is a refreshing outdoor activity. It helps you to connect with nature and bond with yourself and others. However, prepare adequately to reap the most benefits from the experience. And enjoy yourself while at it.