If you’re looking for a popular and productive pastime that gets you out of the house, away from the city, and brings you up close and personal with nature at its absolute finest, then look no further than hiking.
Hiking is a great way of keeping fit, seeing new sights, spending time outdoors, and seeing all that Mother Nature herself has to offer, but yet despite this, it is most certainly not the easiest of pastimes and activities, especially if you’re a beginner.
Hiking requires knowledge, patience, the right gear and equipment, stamina, and much more besides. You can’t suddenly wake up one morning and decide you’re going to hike Lake Tahoe in an hour or two, you need to prepare, you need to know what you’re doing, and you need to know what to expect.
If you’d like to get into hiking more seriously, take a look at these three simple yet effective hiking tips and make sure you put them to good use the next time you hit the trails.
Wear the right footwear
Hiking is an incredibly physically demanding pastime that not only requires you to cover long distances on foot, but it also requires you to cover these long distances over some very uneven and unforgiving terrain.
You won’t be hiking on smooth tarmac; you’ll be making your way over dirt tracks, through long grass and foliage, up hillsides and mountains, over rocky and uneven surfaces, through muddy puddles, and much more besides.
Even good quality running shoes won’t protect your feet properly so you’ll need good quality hiking boots that fit perfectly before you go any further.
The boots want to support your feet, they should fit perfectly, and they should be comfortable. Make sure you try several types of boots on before you buy.
Staying hydrated during any form of physical activity is absolutely crucial, but during a hike it is even more important than ever because there is nothing that will ruin a hike, and potentially your health, quicker than becoming dehydrated due to a lack of fluid from not drinking enough water.
Make sure you start drinking water well before your hike, we’re talking days before, and keep your fluid levels topped up before and during.
Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine before a hike because they’re diuretics, which means they make you lose more water than you take in. Also, make sure you bring plenty of water with you on your hike.
Another of the more effective hiking tips that people tend to overlook, is eating enough to fuel and energize their bodies.
Running out of energy half way through a several mile hike can be disastrous, because not only will the prospect of having to hike several miles with no energy make you feel like hell emotionally, you’ll also physically be lacking strength and stamina, and you could even be putting your own health at risk.
The night before a hike, eat plenty of carbs to saturate your muscles with glycogen, have a hearty breakfast, and make sure you pack plenty of lunch to enjoy whilst out on the trails as your energy reserves do begin to drop.
It may not sound like much, but something as simple as packing an extra banana is one of the most effective hiking tips you could hope for as the amount of energy it will provide should be more than enough to keep your body’s energy supplies topped up.