Do you need a vacation, but you just can’t afford it right now? Before getting too discouraged, keep in mind that there are many ways to get away for some peace and quiet. No, you may not be a tourist in a beachside resort, but you can definitely get away from the demands of day-to-day life without spending thousands of dollars.
Hiking provides the opportunity to get away in beautiful nature, enjoy the peace and quiet, and challenge yourself physically and mentally. It does take some preparation beforehand, though, but the preparation that will be worth it. Make an agreement with yourself that you will put a little work into preparing beforehand, so you can enjoy the hike as much as possible.
With the proper equipment, guidance and techniques, hiking can be a positive experience with fresh air, exercise, beautiful scenery at your fingertips, and refreshing solitude. Yes, your vision of insect bits, sore legs, and dusty trails can be part of hiking, but these unpleasant aspects can be avoided.
Let’s start by discussing what hiking is not about. You can hike up some hills or mountains, but keep in mind that hiking is definitely not mountain climbing. Mountain climbing requires special techniques and gear so you can climb very steep mountains. It can be dangerous and even deadly at times.
The dangers of hiking generally revolve around either getting lost or getting a snake bite, both of which can be avoided with some common sense and expert guidance.
Hiking can be combined with many other activities such as kayaking or cave-exploring, among others. But, keep in mind that some may be far more physically intense and/or require specialized training. It is perfectly fine to combine hiking with another outdoor activity, just be prepared for the demands of that particular activity as well.
You will need a good pair of hiking boots as well as hiking socks, appropriate outdoor attire, and possibly a backpack depending on the duration of the hike. Having the proper gear is important to ensure the hike is pleasurable and not resulting in blisters, injuries, and unnecessary fatigue during the hike.
You can find quality boots, socks, and outdoor clothing online on many sites or in your local sporting store. For beginner hikers, it is probably a better option to opt for a store, so you can try the boot on and make sure the fit is right. Outdoor clothing and socks are a little easier to find, generally, depending on the weather and area you intend to hike.
Gear such as poles, navigational tools, backpacks, and other small items like bandages, inspect spray and burn cream can make the experience out on the trail far more pleasant. A navigational tool, whether a compass, map, or GPS unit is important not only for pleasure purposes but mostly because it is easy to get turned around in an unfamiliar area, and getting lost can definitely turn an enjoyable trip into everything but that.
So, go out and prepare for a fantastic getaway and hiking adventure!