Basic tips that will make you a better hiker

By Stef Zisovska
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Perhaps the best tip regarding hiking is to just get out there and walk around the great outdoors. There is nothing really complicated about it. Of course, you can always work at improving your skills and knowledge. Every sport or activity you do in life can be done better if you are prepared to learn new techniques, and try hard. Hiking is simple but often challenging, and it’s fun for sure. Besides its recreational benefits, hiking is good for your mental health and helps you get closer to Nature.

Avoid the hiking trails with the most reviews

Find a trail that’s not so crowded

When choosing a restaurant for a nice dinner, you need to look for the one with the most reviews and the one that the most people visit. Going to a restaurant that everybody likes means that you’re up for being in a crowd. When choosing a trail, you should do the opposite. A trail that has a lot of reviews means it’s going to be crowded pretty much all the time. When you go on a hiking trip, you’re doing so in part because you want to escape the crowds. So, avoid the popular routes!

Be smart and plan your trip

Plan your route and always follow the path. Trails are where they are for a good reason. Hiking by yourself is cool, and sometimes it’s just what you need, but only do it if you know where you’re going and you have experience.

Bring your phone

Bring your phone

Yes, it’s good to escape all the trappings of civilization, but there are useful things your phone can do in the wild. You can take photos, write about what you see if you get inspired, and of course, use it as GPS device in case you get lost. Hiking increases the blood flow to the brain, so you become more creative and bursting with new ideas. Write them down!

Bring your kids with you

Parents! Don’t use your children as an excuse to avoid hiking. Start taking your kids on walking trips. Even if they can’t yet get about on their own two legs, you can always get a baby carrier and enjoy the surroundings together. It may take you longer to complete the route, but you’ll enjoy it. If you are a parent to big kids, buy them a pair good hiking shoes and wake them up early one morning and get them out and about.

Incorporate exercise into the hike

Why not make your hike even more of a workout?
  • Do a few pull-ups on every strong branch you see.
  • Do walking lunges every 15 minutes.
  • Sprint up every other switch back you encounter.
  • Stop and do push-ups every 10 minutes. Do dips instead if you can find a suitable place or don’t have the strength to do push-ups.

Climb

Climbing is a perfect way to get your body fitter, lose weight, and have fun. Look for some trees that you can climb and remember how it felt when you were a kid stealing cherries from the neighbor’s backyard. But don’t step on any branch thinner than your wrist and avoid old branches. Also, look for some boulders and try to climb them. Seeing the world from a different perspective will open new ways of seeing. Always be very careful, and don’t climb anything that doesn’t look stable.

Slow down and be present

Use your time in the outdoors to let your mind relax

Not everybody likes meditation, or finds it easy to do but if you do and you can then surrounded by nature is the perfect way to practice. Even if you don’t fancy meditating you can still take time out to slow down now and again. Be still and become aware of everything that’s around you. Be present. Breathe. Let the fresh air fill your lungs and let all the negative energy drop away. Relieving stress is one of the main reasons why people go hiking.

Smell the flowers and observe the insects. It’s so calming and great for your nervous system. And at the same time it will help you remember that you are part of a beautiful world.

Go hiking! Good luck!

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