Hiking Essential - Plan it right

Let’s face it, everybody loves hiking, well they love the idea of going into to the woods to get away, but most people don’t actually go hiking. It is always on the want-to-do list but never quite reaches the finish line. The truth is there is a lot of preparation  that can go into a hike, whether it’s day hiking or longer sessions of thru-hiking, and people usually put off getting prepared and getting out in nature.

What Do You Need for a Hike

First thing you need for a hike is to get prepared. Walking everyday, starting at 15 minutes and increasing the length of the walk by five to ten minutes incrementally is the best way to build up the cardiovascular reserves necessary for long hikes. Slowly start adding weight to the walk, get used to your backpack, and break in those new hiking boots. Starting off cold can lead to a terrible time with constant needs to rest, blisters and sores all over your feet, and pain in your knees and back from not getting adjusted to the weight of the pack.

The Essential Gear

When it comes to hiking, there is an essential list of gear that is necessary for all hikes. Creating a list of what you will need and checking it twice is a good habit to get into before hiking.  Start with a good pair of hiking boots. They don’t have to be expensive but comfortable. The less seams a boot has, the more waterproof it will be. The importance of having good socks can make a difference by the end of a hiking day. Getting the best cold weather socks helps no matter where you hike takes you.  If it is a day hike, then a small pack will be fine, but for longer hikes through different climates, getting a pack with a frame to haul all your stuff is a good investment.

Being Safe, Being Comfortable

Make sure the clothes you bring along fit the weather and are comfortable. Hiking is not about looking good, but about maintaining safety and comfort while enjoying time spent outdoors. If the hike ends up being miserable because your boots have rubbed your calves raw, your legs are chafed because of your pants are rubbing too much, and your shoulders are raw from your pack straps, it is all because of not getting prepared for the hike and not understanding the most important part of the adventure.

Hiking is about fun and introspection. Prepare right and a long hike is a wonderful experience that keeps calling for those who listen.

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