Hiking Essentials: What You Need to Know
I don't write about lifestyle topics often in this space, but today I thought I'd try something a little different and share something about a hobby that I enjoy- hiking. With the springtime weather finally warming things up around here, hiking has been on my mind. It's time to get outside more often and enjoy the beauty of God's creation.
Recently, I wrote about prayer walks, and it seemed to resonate with quite a few of you, so I thought you might enjoy a quick overview on hiking: why it's a fantastic activity to do more of, what you need to know before you go, and a few fun tips and snack ideas I've picked up over the years.
There was a study done in 2012 that explored the critical role of our environment on the way we think and behave. Essentially, the findings indicated that problem-solving skills and creativity increase by as much as 50% when people spend time outdoors.
I’m not a hard-core hiker or a climber like my husband is, and I’ve never gone on an overnight hike (and I don’t want to). But I do love to roam the trails of nearby forests and mountains, and a walk along the waterfront never fails to help me feel more creative when I’m stuck with my writing.
Today, I want to encourage you to get outside and take a hike! Hiking not only increases creativity and problem-solving skills, but it’s a great way to improve your fitness level and your heart health. Also, it can be a lot of fun!
The hardest part of hiking is often just getting out the door. As long as you take some time to prepare, you won’t regret it. There’s something very satisfying about being outside, exercising your muscles, and enjoying the beauty of what God created in nature.
If you haven’t been hiking lately, I would advise starting slow. Don’t underestimate the vigor of this activity. Pack a few essentials and some snacks (see list below) and overestimate the amount of time it will take.
A reasonable estimate is 2mph + 1 hr. for every 1000 ft. gained in elevation.
If you don’t know where to go on your hike, let me tell you about a fantastic little app for your phone. It’s called All Trails. It uses your phone’s GPS to find nearby trails, it will give you driving directions to the trailhead, and it will let you know the estimated time it will take plus the difficulty level. You can also track and record the hikes you make with this app.
I was surprised at how many trails that I didn’t even know about were close to me. You may be surprised, as well.
One more important tip: it’s always a good idea to go with a friend and let people know where you’re going, and when you expect to be back.
The fresh air will help you feel renewed and rejuvenated. Are you someone who enjoys hiking? If so, do you have any tips that you might add? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. And if you would enjoy reading about more lifestyle topics in this space, please let me know. I’d be happy to provide more.