A hike can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be – it all depends on your experience, time, health, weather, location, and willingness to push yourself. It can be super simple and fun like taking a stroll around the park after work or exploring the woods by your house on a Saturday morning; or a little more complex such as going on a nature trail for more experienced hikers, following a trail with altitude changes, or going on a three-day trip to hike a mountain. As long as you are going outside, putting one foot in front of another on the ground, and looking at nature in the great outdoors, you are probably hiking.
ALONE OR WITH SOMEONE
Hiking is one of those activities that can be done alone or with one other person or many. Hiking by yourself let us you experience nature in your own way and gives you a sense of freedom. It also allows you to the opportunity to open your mind to your surroundings, spend time with your thoughts, and escape the everyday issues – even for a little while. On the downside, it can be intimidating and frightening – depending on where you are going, your surroundings and how long you are out and about. If going alone really is your only option, then start out with short trips to popular hiking destinations and make sure someone always knows where you are going and how long you plan to be gone. New
Hikers are highly encouraged to go out with a companion the first few time - to keep you company as well as be there to lend a hand if you happen to get hurt. When going out into the wilderness, going with a friend or significant other, gives you a chance to bond, to share experiences, and if they are experienced, to provide helpful information and tips for future hikes.
Picking a Trail
When it comes to picking the place you want to hike, there are some things you need to consider as well as look for or think about. First is how long of a hike to you want to take? There are trails that will only take 30 minutes round trip and other that can take a solid week. Beginners should start out with hikes that are less than a day in length, and if you have not been exercising or moving around much (except for walking from the table or office into the kitchen and then back to the office), be sure to start slowly. You will want to be able to stop as necessary to catch your breath, sit a spell or just rest as needed; and be able to return to your vehicle in time to get home at a decent hour.
If you are not sure where to hike – like you are new to the area or are on a business trip with some down time, or you never really paid much attention to “trail” signs, there are places on the internet to go to in which to find all types of trails in your area. One of the best is ALLTRAILS.COM. Type that in, enter your zip code and pick your trail! You can also use Google Maps and look for parks to walk around. City parks are just as peaceful and relaxing as the woods.
Part II - April 15th