There are many benefits of hiking. It can lead to a better quality of life. Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. It also is a good way to clear your mind. It’s just you and the trail. It’s time to put your worries aside and get up that mountain. Whenever I have some free time. I like to get out and hike.
I have enjoyed hiking for a long time. I have fond memories of hiking the White Mountains with my father as a child. I guess that is where it started for me. I have become much more serious over the years. It also a big part of my foraging trips.
What are The Benefits of Hiking?
- Keeps you in shape
- Good for your heart health
- Puts you in a better mood
- Meet like-minded people
- Clears your mind
- Builds your endurance
Hiking gets you outside away from the smartphone, TV, or computer. You connect with nature and if you’re lucky you might even see some wildlife. I have had a staring contest with a deer to see who will make the first move. I’ve checked out a beaver building his home and listened to the loons calling out on the lake. I’ve seen foxes and bald eagles on the trail. I’ve watched hawks dive into the water to catch fish. You can’t experience these things by sitting in front of a screen.
Things to Take on a Hike
If you are planning just a day hike, you really don’t need that much. Have a small backpack and some essentials.
- Good pair of hiking shoes
- First aid kit
- Breathable clothing
I generally have a go-to backpack that I use for foraging and backpacking. It has a little more than the essentials. I like to travel with a few more items. I bring trekking poles, a small cooking kit, water filtration system, compass, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a fire starter. I like having the comforts of cooking up a meal or a cup of tea when I am out on the trail. If you are planning to do an extended hike I would recommend you pack a lot more items. I will save that one for a future post.
Places to Hike
There are many places to hike. Just about every park, mountain, lake or forest has some type of trail. You would be surprised at what trails you can find by just looking around your local area. I have explored many trails that I never knew existed just by looking online or talking to fellow hikers. Being able to explore your surrounding area is one of the many benefits of hiking.
Great Hiking Web Sites
There are many great hiking websites to get you started. Here are some of my favorites.
Trails.com is a site that tells you where to find local trails in your area. They have some great reviews by hikers about the different trails.
Hiking Dude is a good site for hiking tips, gear and safety.
Sintax77 has an awesome site to get you motivated to get out there. He has some cool videos of his hikes and gear reviews.
The Outdoor Lab is another site on lightweight backpacking, bush-craft and wild food.
Bushcraft Survival Store has some great backpacking and hiking gear reviews.
This is what I carry in my hiking backpack:
Nalgene BPA Free Tritan Wide Mouth Water Bottle
This is the bottle that established Nalgene as a household name and remains the company’s bestseller. Hikers and other outdoor types have used Nalgene bottles for over 20 years, which is why most backpacks have a side pocket designed to accommodate a Nalgene. Its design, though simple, boasts more than 50 years of manufacturing fine-tuning that’s resulted in a remarkably durable, leakproof bottle that’s guaranteed for life.
Hiker First Aid Kit
No hiker or camper should be without basic first aid on short or long hikes. Stash the small, lightweight Lifeline Trail Light Dayhiker First Aid Kit in your daypack. Its equipped with essential items you need to temporarily patch wounds on up to three people for one day.
Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System
The Mini Water Filter is the lightest and most versatile personal filtration system from Sawyer. It weighs 2 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand. While incredibly small and convenient, this filter was tested to 10 million parts of bacteria and one million parts of protozoa without a single breakthrough, the highest testing level for filtration.
Etekcity Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove
Etekcity Ultralight is just 3.9oz packed in a case. High-quality construction! PIEZO ignition. Adjustable flame.
Jetboil Jetpower 4-Season Fuel Blend
The Jetboil Jetpower 4-Season Fuel Blend provides higher vapor pressure for better performance in cold weather. Isobutane provides more constant pressure as the fuel level gets low.
Did I miss any benefits of hiking? Do you have some to share?
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