NOTE: Once in a while I’ll be presenting guest posts from my friends and colleagues on fitness and health topics. To start it off, here’s some tips on hiking from Quinn McAdams.
Working out in a gym has its benefits, but sometimes gym life can become repetitive. Switching up your routine by getting out of the gym from time to time is always a good thing. With the advent of fall come the changing colors of leaves, milder temperatures and an opportunity to turn your workout into a hiking adventure.
You can truly appreciate the beauty of nature when you take your workout outdoors. Breathtaking views, rolling hills, waterfront spectacles, wildlife and the overall sense of appreciating the natural really enhances ones workout. A physically fit body aligns superbly with a holistic appreciation of the great outdoors.
Hiking is an adventure sport that everyone can enjoy with others. It is a fun and relaxing way to get out of the house to get some exercise. To get the most out of your hiking adventures you will want to consider some items to take along on your hike. Consider these seven hiking essentials to make your hiking trip successful. With the holidays coming up, these items can even be great gift ideas for anyone who enjoys the outdoors and working out.
Perhaps the most essential piece of hiking gear to take along is a backpack. Various kinds of backpacks exist for every level of hiker ranging from beginner to expert. Some packs are more comfortable while others focus on look and flash. Backpacks come with elaborate compartments for all of your gear and devices. The key is to finding a backpack that is both comfortable and practical. While shopping for the right backpack, try on different options, and put some weight into the pack to test weight distributions and comfort. Don’t go hiking without a comfy, practical backpack.
Make sure that you provide food and water for your journey. Consider a water bottle with a filter to ensure that you are adequately hydrated. Be sure to pack healthy food that energizes your muscles to endure the strain of the hike. Remember, this is a workout, and you need adequate nutrition. Bring food that digests easily and doesn’t need refrigeration. Plan ahead with others to bring the right kinds of foods and distribute the load equally among all hikers.
Also, a first aid kit with basics such as Band-Aids, blister pads and simple medications will keep your hike pleasant. In the unfortunate case of emergency, you want to be prepared. Like the old saying goes – “Better to be safe than sorry.”
You always need protection from the sun. Sunscreen will protect your skin from being overexposed. It is important after being outside for several hours at a time that you protect yourself from the elements. Tree cover and clouds can make it feel unlikely that you need any protection, however UV rays are still penetrating and can cause a burn.
Weather in the mountains can change quickly and you want to be prepared. Because of this, throw in a piece of rain gear such as a poncho or nylon coat. I’ve found that Ripstop material works great in damp conditions.
Finally, a compass and a map of your hiking trail will keep you from getting lost. Even the best hikers get lost now and then and you want to be prepared. Always have your adventure mapped out before starting to help eliminate the chance of becoming lost, even if you’ve been on this route before.
Hiking is a lot of fun and you’ll be amazed at the great workout your body will receive. Not only that but your heart and mind will be set free from the daily routine. While this is a truly great workout and can be relaxing, it is important to be prepared with the correct items and equipment. Bringing the right gear is imperative to a safe and enjoyable hike and workout.