Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hiking Essentials!

*if you like this blog, you might enjoy my book:"Quiet the Noise: A Trail Runner's Path To Hearing God"

If you have done any trail running, especially in the mountains and especially if the distance is long -- you will realize that a portion (sometimes a large portion) of the run is really a "fast hike".  Some hills are just not worth trying to run up -- you expend much more energy and don't actually go much faster, especially if you know how to "power walk".

From time to time, I receive "guest blogs" that I think might be useful and enjoyable, this one came in last week -- hope you like it!

God be with you all. 


Do Not Go Hiking Without These 7 Essential Items!

Everyone knows that exercise is key to good health; it should be enjoyable and refreshing. Running on the treadmill and lifting weights is a great workout but there is nothing like exercising in the great outdoors. Even if you do get the bulk of your workouts indoors, taking in the fresh air, the sunshine, and the scenery is revitalizing for the soul

The fall season is the perfect time to take your exercise routine on an outdoor hike. The weather is getting cooler, but not too cold. The leaves are changing color, giving us a terrific show to view as we hike from trail to trail, each one a new adventure. And hiking does not have to be a solitary enjoyment. In fact, it's even more fun to involve your family, friends or just your spouse. Walking and talking as you exercise in the outdoors is a great way to reconnect and bond with those closest to you.

Before you step out for your first hiking expedition, though, you should be aware of the 7 essential items you need to have along with you for a safe and optimal experience...

Food & Water
Be sure to pack some energizing, healthy food in that backpack and plenty of water. A water bottle with a filter is a must-have as long hikes can leave you dehydrated and you will get thirsty! Lakes and streams can be a great resource when refilling your filtered water bottle. I’ve found BPA free water bottles are great for long hikes and are environmentally friendly!

First Aid
You can’t predict when injury will occur so it is vital to have a first-aid kit with you when hiking. Thorns and other plants can cut and scratch, making Band-Aids essential. With my feet, I’ve found that blister pads are also extremely beneficial for those feet that can often feel the pain of blisters like mine.

Extra Light
A flashlight is very important, even if you don't plan on hiking into the night. Tree and cloud cover can make for a dark hike during the lightest of day. If you get deep in your hike and lose track of time, you may very well need some light.

When Nature Calls
Bring toilet paper. We all have to go at some point, and it would be much more comfortable if you have toilet paper with you, as you may not find a bathroom on your trail when you really need one. This can also serve as tissues when a runny nose won’t stop you from making that hike.

Protection From the Sun
Sunscreen is a must if you're hiking in daylight. The sun's rays may burn you even on a cloudy day. I’ve found non-nano sunscreen works great and is eco-friendly as well.

Picnic Backpack
Hiking can make you hungry, especially if the walk you're taking will be a long one. And there's nothing like breaking bread with your hiking partners for an enjoyable bonding experience. So you will need a good picnic backpack that you can easily tote along and keep your hands free. Some of the better picnic backpacks come with (or have places for you to insert) plates, forks and knives, a picnic blanket, a cooler for water and a separate cooling area for the food.

If you are like my husband and I, you and your spouse enjoy going for a nice hike. One of many anniversary gifts that I’ve found to be useful and romantic for the outdoorsy couple is a hiking backpack chuck full of picnic essentials. We use ours on every exploration!

Enjoy the Scene!
Finally, don't forget to bring a camera. You'll want to capture the ultimate view when you reach the peak of your hike.
Documenting your hike is a great way to make memories with your family and friends. It’s also an awesome way to look back on each adventure!

Hiking is great fun, and even better, it's one of the best workouts you can get while you're smiling and enjoying the journey. The scenery makes for a refreshing sight on the eyes, rather than the indoor gym we go to on a daily basis. Variety is key for your workouts, and I believe going on a hike is a great way to change things up!