Pelican Flyer • November 10, 2020
Looking for a hobby that’s rewarding, inspiring and good for you to boot? Hiking is a mighty fine option! Seriously, few recreational activities tick as many boxes as this one. Studies show that hiking has a calming effect and can stimulate better mental focus and feelings of happiness. Of course, combining the benefits of outdoor enjoyment with exercise is pretty powerful, so it’s no surprise that hiking can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and anxiety. Sign us up!
If you’re brand new to the activity, hitting the trail can seem a bit intimidating. But getting started is easier than you might imagine. Read this guide to learn all about how to hike like a pro even if you’ve never set foot in the woods.
Let us be the first to say that you don’t need any special tools or gear to become an avid hiker, and that’s part of the beauty of it. With that said, you do want to make sure you have a couple of key items to ensure that every trek is a safe and enjoyable one. Here are the essentials you need upfront.
Now that you’ve got your backpack stocked, it’s time to figure out where to hike. Even if you live in a region rich with natural splendor and ample trail opportunities, you don’t want to go into this blindly. Trails vary widely based on their terrain and difficulty, and hiking something you’re not ready for can put you in an extremely dangerous situation. Use AllTrails, Gaia GPS or another hiking app to discover the best trails in your area and see essential info such as difficulty, length and whether or not a trail is dog-friendly (surprisingly, not all are).
Even if you’re just heading out for a quick day hike, mastering a few hiking basics can be a literal life-saver. Here are a few important things to keep in the back of your mind when heading out and about in nature.
Remember: You’re a guest in the wilderness, and your presence there can be threatening to insects, animals and plants. Hiking is a valuable recreational activity that we want to preserve for future generations, so make sure to explore in a way that has the most minimal impact on the environment. That way, it’ll be happy trails to you and future generations!
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