If you like being outdoors and enjoy getting in touch with nature, then you must have considered or even tried going out hiking at some point. It is a fun activity to do, doesn’t break the bank, and contributes to your fitness journey.
Benefits of Hiking
Hiking comes with the advantages of fresh air, magnificent views, and the scents and sound of air. But besides that, it has a lot of health benefits for you. It is a perfect cardio workout with the following benefits to your body:
- Regulates your sugar and blood pressure levels
- Walking strengthens your core
- Because walking is a form of a weight-bearing workout, it improves your bone density.
- It lowers your risk of heart disease of heart failure
- Could tackle the symptoms of stress and anxiety, hence boosting your moods
- It helps improve your body balance and weight control
Getting Acquainted with Hiking
If you’re a beginner in hiking, it may seem like a gruesome hobby that may not sound fun at first. These few pointers might come in very handy for you:
When starting, it’s a good idea to begin with a short trail and build upon the distance over time.
Look for uneven terrains
Walking in uneven trails can improve your stability and balance and build muscle strength
Weigh yourself down, literally
Carry a backpack with a few heavy items to increase your calorie burn.
Because of body resistance, walking uphill will undoubtedly use more energy thus burn more calories than on flat terrain.
Most Important Hiking Accessories
If you want to go hiking, you are probably aware there are a few things that are critical for you to take along. If you are unsure about what to carry to your next hiking adventure, this list should serve as a guide:
Nothing is more disturbing when walking than having uncomfortable shoes. Hiking, in particular, requires you to have appropriate shoes for happy feet. They should fit well, be strong enough to support your feet well, the soles have proper traction to avoid slipping, and they shouldn’t be too heavy as this will make your hiking experience not so pleasant.
Enough Water and a Portable Filter if Possible
Hiking for long or short distances can be very dehydrating. Consider a double wall insulated water bottle that will hold enough water for your hiking needs. It is advisable to take at least half a liter per hour. Not taking enough water could cause headaches, dizziness, and general body weakness. If you have a portable water filter, it will be helpful in case you want to refill your water bottle to avoid drinking contaminated water.
Safety Equipment and a First Aid Kit
Make sure to have items like a lighter in your backpack that you could use to start an emergency fire. This could help to signal for help, and a headlamp is very useful to see the trail when it gets dark. Have a whistle if you have an emergency and need to call out for help.
A Multi-Tool for Repairs
A penknife is a very versatile tool. You could use it to chop up your snacks, or in emergency cases where you need to cut the cloth into a bandage. Having a multi-tool will come in handy when you have broken items that need to be repaired.
Always carry sun protection with you. Heatstroke and sunburn are extremely uncomfortable but easily avoidable by using good quality sunscreen. Sunglasses and a brimmed hat are also very useful. Make sure you also carry rain protection gear and have layers of clothing in case you need a change. Make sure to carry moisture-wicking clothes.
Adjustable Hiking Poles
If you’re hiking on a short, flat trail you could forego these. But if you are hiking steep or uneven terrain, these will make your work much easier, and definitely, you’ll enjoy it more. They also reduce your chance of accidents like tripping over and possibly sustaining injuries as they provide additional support to the body.
A clear map or GPS may not be considered a necessity for short, clear trails, but if you’re hiking on long, unguided terrain, it is necessary to avoid getting lost. This is a very handy tool, especially if you’re hiking abandoned trails in the upcountry. Maps are more accurate and don’t require any batteries.
With the right amount of preparation, hiking is one of the most fulfilling adventures you’ll ever experience in life. It also frees your mind, helps you bond with the people you’re doing it with, and is a fun team-building exercise.
Categories: Tips And Advice Stuff