Take a Hike! Tips For Fun, Adventurous Hikes

By Rene Santana on March 4, 2019

As spring rolls around the corner, now’s the time to take a hike with a few buddies and classmates. Hiking is a great way to connect with friends, exercise, and get away from the stresses of life for a few hours. And while hiking seems simple enough, it does take some planning and preparation to ensure you have a safe and fun, adventurous hike!

Take a Hike!

Image by fxxu on Pixabay

The first tip is to find the right equipment. A few hikes I went up, I didn’t have the best shoes and realized that shortly after my feet and legs were burning from the pain of walking up inclines. Having learned my lesson, it made a world of difference when I picked up a pair of comfortable, used sneakers with extra padding.

Nothing, however, tops actual hiking shoes, as now I use a pair of them and can go hours without feeling any bit of pain. Another thing to bring always bring is a small backpack to carry snacks, first aid supplies, and light coats. And lastly, a pair of walking sticks can help for trips lasting longer than an hour as they help keep your legs from tiring out over long hills.

While you may lose cell service on a trip, there are apps that work off of your phone’s GPS. Traditionally, you would buy or get a map from the store or park bulletin to map your way around the trail, especially for the longer trips. Getting lost on the smaller, open trails isn’t easy, but it is for the more extensive paths that are in the secluded campsites, so it helps to carry some sort of map.

However, if you want to make use your phone, you can download AllTrails, a hiking app that gives detailed routes for many hiking trails and can also track your speed for future reference. Best of all, it works offline in the case you lose signal and need to quickly find your way back.

Perhaps you’ve been considering going on a solo hike to de-stress from life’s trouble. As tempting as this sounds, you wouldn’t have someone to share the beautiful scenery with, plus, you wouldn’t have someone to help you if you got lost or feel safe deep in the forest.

Chances are, you’ll have less to worry about when you travel with someone rather than going solo. If you’ve gone on long hiking trails, then you know what not to do, but for most people, it never hurts to have a tag-along to help you get to the top or end of the trail.

As I mentioned before, carrying a backpack is a must for any hike, but it’s what you carry in the bag that matters. The number one thing to carry is a first aid kit. Though it’s hardly used, I’ve been on trips where we did break it to help someone that fell from walking back down a trail. Next things to pack are a flashlight, and pocket knife. These things help immensely if you’re on an unfamiliar trail and want to feel safe and have peace of mind.

Last, but certainly not least, are snacks and water. Always take an extra water bottle, either for you or a buddy, as staying hydrated helps with stamina and fights fatigue. And of course, snacks, such as granola bars, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches, and some apples and or oranges always make the trip worthwhile.

One more thing to note is pacing. If you’re a novice or advanced hiker, it is always an excellent idea to learn how to pace yourself on a hike. Remember, you’re not on a race, and can always turn back if you feel too tired to continue. But if you want to make it to the top of a mountain, range, or the end of a trail, you’ll need to walk at a pace you’re comfortable with.

As spring lengthens each day, you can spend more time outside before it gets too dark, meaning you can spend longer on a trail at a slower pace to help you hike to the top. Having a friend to hike with can also help you move at a slower pace so you can talk more or simply walk at an easy pace. However, make sure you communicate with your friend(s) on how long you can hike for, and how fast you normally go, as you wouldn’t to drag behind or leave your friend in the dust.

Springtime is prime time for hikes as the temperatures aren’t too high to melt in, and not cold enough to freeze you in place. The days are longer, and the plants bloom. And of course, it’s the best way to get out and away the overwhelming loads of homework and projects.

CWU Graduate | Writer | Editor @WaldorfPress | Favors Tech, UX, and the Serial Comma.

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