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Hiking can be a daunting task for some people but can also be very rewarding. It can provide exercise, fresh air, and an escape from technology.
So can hiking be a hobby? Yes, hiking can be an excellent hobby for people of all ages, backgrounds, and demographics. It can provide exercise, fresh air, and an escape from technology. Everyone can enjoy hiking – no matter your age or experience level. To get started on this hobby, research local trails near you and get out there!
Hiking can be a hobby everyone enjoys – no matter your age or background. In this post, we will explore the many ways hiking can benefit you and get started on this great hobby!
Hiking can be a great hobby.
Honestly, hiking can be one of the best things for your mind and body. It can be a great way to clear your head, get some exercise, and enjoy the outdoors. But it can also be an excellent hobby for people of all ages, demographics, and backgrounds.
Some people may think that hiking is only for young people in good shape. But that’s not true at all! There are all sorts of different hiking trails that can accommodate people of all abilities. So whether you’re young or old, fit or not so fit, there’s a hiking trail for you.
Hiking can also be a great way to connect with nature and learn about your surroundings. You can see things on a hike that you can’t see from the road, or even when you’re looking at photos of a hike online.
There are all sorts of different hiking trails and locations to choose from. You can go on a leisurely walk around your neighborhood park one day, and then someone else might want to try something more challenging, like scaling a mountain the next day. These can vary from short hikes completed in just a few hours to longer treks (often called trails) where you can hike for several days and get away from it all.
There are also different hiking styles, like walking or running on flat ground, going up steep hillsides while climbing rocks, and even technical trails that can be more challenging.
Hiking can also be a great hobby to share with someone else, like your spouse or partner. Whether you’re hiking as a couple or bringing the whole family along for an adventure, there are all sorts of ways to enjoy this outdoor activity together!
Benefits of hiking
Hiking has all sorts of benefits – both physical and mental. Here are just a few of the benefits of hiking that I’ve found:
- Exercise: One of the best reasons to start hiking is for exercise. Hiking can provide an excellent workout for your whole body, and it can help improve your cardiovascular health, increase strength, and burn calories.
- Fresh Air: Hiking can also provide you with fresh air, and this is a great way to get some Vitamin D, improve your mental health, and reduce stress levels.
- Escape from Technology: Hiking can be a great way to escape technology. This can allow you to unplug and enjoy the natural world around you. It can also be a great way to connect with friends and family.
- New Skills: Hiking can also be a great way to learn new skills. You can improve your navigational skills, develop leadership abilities, and learn about various wildlife species you encounter on the trail.
- Connecting with Nature: One of the best things about hiking can be connecting with nature around you. This is an important thing to do for people of all ages and can help to improve mental health and well-being.
Some other benefits I’ve found through hiking are things like improving your sense of adventure, strengthening relationships, and gaining new knowledge. Hiking really can be an excellent hobby for people of all generations.
How to get started on the hobby
The easiest way to get started with hiking is to find a trail near you and go for a walk. Talk to experienced hikers and ask them for advice on where to hike, what to bring, and how to stay safe.
Join an online hiking forum or Facebook group to connect with other hikers in your area. If you’re looking for something more challenging, consider signing up for a guided hike or backpacking trip.
In short – get out there.
Yes, you can get advanced and plan a very detailed (and strenuous) hike, but I’ve found that many people spend more time thinking about getting started than actually getting started.
So rather than worrying about exactly what to wear or where to go and when, get out there and start walking.
There’s a reason why hiking can be such a great hobby:
It’s accessible to everyone, can be done almost anywhere, costs relatively little money (much less than golf), can help you improve your health and outlook on life, can make you more confident in yourself, can form the basis for many other adventures, and can be a ton of fun.
Tips for beginner hikers
For beginner hikers, choosing the right gear can be tricky. Before heading out to buy any clothing or footwear, you’ll want to research what hiking is like in your area so you can get an idea of the climate and how long your typical hikes can last.
Prepare for colder weather.
On most days, it’s wise to prepare for colder weather than what you’re used to at home. If you can’t tell, look at the sky – clouds can help indicate if it will be warmer or colder than usual.
If your area is in a high-altitude region where temperatures can get extremely cold and windy, bring thick clothing (especially for hands), an extra layer for underneath all of that gear, warm hats, and booties that can be worn over your hiking shoes.
If you’re not sure how cold it can get, research the area’s average temperature at sites like Weather Underground for this time of year. Even if you don’t plan on going out in freezing weather, knowing what to expect can help prepare you just in case.
Wear the right shoes
Suggestions for newbie’s shoes include sturdy soles that can grip or scramble over dry, rocky terrain and protect against sharp rocks underfoot; closed-toe hike shoes are preferable because they prevent cuts from rough stone when laying down on hands and knees, and waterproofing can keep feet dry even when crossing rivers or streams.
When looking for shoes to hike in, it is essential to find something that can provide good traction on different surfaces. Hiking can take you up and down mountains, through rocky terrain, and even across bodies of water, so having a shoe that can handle all of those surfaces is critical. It is also essential that the boots are water-resistant, as hiking can often take you through wet areas.
Get a hiking daypack.
Newbies may not feel confident with carrying heavy (35 pounds) backpacks up/down trails which might make them consider investing in a hiking daypack that can hold necessities for a short hike while still allowing room to grow into it.
For instance, there are a lot of hiking daypacks that can comfortably carry 20 pounds which can be enough for long hikes and can even double as an overnight pack.
If you need to hike during the night or early in the morning, always bring a flashlight with fresh batteries so your hands can remain free while walking.
Be prepared for any situation.
One of the best things about hiking is that you can do it almost anywhere. However, this can also lead to dangerous situations if you’re not prepared for what could happen.
Before heading out on your hike, always research the area and trails you’ll be taking. Know how long the hike will take, what kind of terrain can be expected, and any dangerous animals in the area.
Be sure to bring along plenty of water and snacks that can help sustain you on your hike. If you’re going out with a group, make sure someone brings first aid supplies like bandages or extra clothing in case anyone gets hurt or has an accident.
Wear lightweight clothes
Lightweight moisture-wicking clothes are essential, made of synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon, and quick-drying if you sweat.
Abandoning cotton clothing is generally recommended when engaging in outdoor activities; once cotton gets wet, it can take up to a day for the clothing to dry. Avoid wearing cotton socks, too, as they can make your feet feel wet much longer than synthetic materials.
Protect yourself from the sun
When hiking, it’s essential to protect yourself from the sun. Sunscreen is a must, and it’s also a good idea to wear sunglasses and a hat. In addition, try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
This will help keep you hydrated and help protect you from the sun. If possible, try to hike during the morning or evening when the sun is not as intense. Hiking in direct sunlight can be dangerous and can lead to skin cancer.
By being prepared and taking these precautions, you can enjoy your hiking experience while staying safe from the sun.
Watch out for dust
Gaiters can be a lifesaver when it comes to protecting your feet from dust, sand, or mud. They are easy to put on and can be very effective in keeping unwanted debris out of your shoes.
There are a variety of different gaiters available on the market, so finding the right pair for your needs should not be too difficult. Most gaiters can be easily attached to your shoes or boots, and some even have straps that go around your calf to keep them in place.
If you are often hiking in areas with a lot of dust, sand, or mud, it is worth investing in a good pair of gaiters.
You can also try wearing a bandanna or scarf around your mouth and nose to help keep the dust out.
Don’t forget to tell someone where you’re going.
Always tell someone where you’re going and when you plan on returning so that if something does happen, people will know to start looking for you.
Hiking can be an excellent hobby for people of all ages and backgrounds, but it’s crucial to remember to tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return. This is especially important for beginner hikers who may not be familiar with the terrain and could find themselves in danger if they’re not careful.
By being prepared and taking these precautions, you can enjoy your hiking experience while staying safe.
Be familiar with Leave No Trace Principles.
The Leave No Trace Principles are guidelines that can help hikers stay safe and minimize their impact on the environment.
There are seven Leave No Trace Principles in total, and they are:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Leave What You Find
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
By familiarizing yourself with these principles, you can help ensure that your hiking trips are both safe and environmentally friendly. Following Leave No Trace Principles can also prevent injuries and damage to the environment.
Hiking can be a great way to get outside and enjoy nature, but it’s important to remember to practice Leave No Trace Principles so that everyone can enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly.
Make sure you have food and water.
Bring plenty of food and water (at least a gallon per person) in case you can’t reach your destination within the time allotted for your hike.
When hiking, it’s essential to bring plenty of food and water. This is because you may not be able to reach your destination within the time allotted for your hike, and you’ll need to have enough food and water to get back safely. In addition, if something happens and you’re stranded in the wilderness overnight, you’ll need food and water to survive.
It’s also a good idea to bring a map and compass so that you can find your way back if you get lost. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s best to avoid hiking alone.
By being prepared and bringing plenty of food and water, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.
Also, make sure you tell the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous plants.
Watch out for bear country.
For new hikers, I would highly recommend you avoid bear country, but if you insist, there are some things you should know.
When hiking in bear country, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid encounters with bears.
Some things you can do to minimize your chances of encountering a bear include: making noise as you hike, hiking in groups, and carrying a can of bear pepper spray.
If you’re planning on hiking in bear country, be sure to bring a canister of pepper spray and know how to use it. You can also bring a bear bell or air horn to warn bears of your presence.
If you do encounter a bear, never run. Instead, try to back away slowly and make lots of noise, so the bear knows you’re there. If the bear starts to approach, use your pepper spray to scare it away.
In addition, it’s vital that you make yourself as visible as possible while on the trail and always carry bells so that you can alert other hikers if you spot any wildlife along the way.
If signs indicate recent bear activity (such as bear scat or tracks), don’t hike in that area.
When camping, always store food in a bear-proof container or hang it from a tree limb at least 12 feet off the ground and four feet from the tree’s trunk. Never leave food or trash lying around camp – even if you’re only gone for a few minutes.
By being cautious and following these tips, you can help reduce the chances of encountering a bear while hiking.
Where can you find trails near you?
You can find trail maps on government agency websites. You can also search for trails near you or in a different state.
There are multiple ways to find hiking trails near you that can easily be accomplished with a few clicks of the mouse!
One option is to look up your local US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, or other agencies which maintain hiking trails in your area. Each one can have a different website with a map and directions. These sites may offer the ability to print out maps and have phone numbers so you can call them directly for more information about specific trails.
You can also try searching online using the organization’s name and then adding the word “hiking” to the end of it (for example, US Forest Service can be found as usforestservice.gov, and searching for hiking after this will take you directly to their website).
By doing a quick Google search using keywords such as state name followed by ‘state park’ or ‘national forest,’ you can find parks, forests, and other protected areas that can give you access to hiking trails.
You can also use the phone app “All Trails,” which offers a map of all public lands in America along with descriptions of each trail. This can be an excellent tool for finding new places to explore!
If your town doesn’t have many parks or public lands, you can check out the website worldwalking.com which gives a map of trails around the globe and can be sorted by state or country, then can be narrowed down based on your interests.
Hiking can be an excellent hobby for people of any age, background, or demographic. Hikers should always take precautions when hiking in bear country and can use the tips provided here to minimize their chances of encountering bears while on the trail. If you’re looking for new places to explore, check out apps that can find trails near your location or around the globe!