Hiking For Health and Fun
Be Healthy and have Fun
Most of us want to be healthy, live a long life, and have fun in the process.
I will give you some resources here in how to accomplish your goal if you are interested in hiking as an activity.
When hiking, do not push yourself, and use common sense as you build up your endurance. Be sure, if you join an organized hike, to be in the right category for your level of expertise. If you are new, do not take on a hike that is 10 miles with posted anticipated altitude gain (such as 2000 or 3000 feet gain). A new person would want a fairly level hike that does not exceed 2 to 4 miles in distance.
You can find hiking clubs online in most cities in the United States. One of the great resources is through MeetUp.com. Another is through the Sierra Club. These both are easily found on the internet.
It is important to have the right gear and know what to wear when you start to hike. I have seen many new hikers show up at a scheduled hike, and be wearing inappropriate clothing or shoes. The problem is, no one has told them what they should do, or worse, they have little or no common sense.
So here are a few tips to help you on that score:
Shoes: Probably the most important article of clothing are the shoes. They can make or break you. Tennis shoes are not what you want, and they do not provide enough traction. You must have hiking shoes with aggressive lug soles to get the traction, and hence, not slip on the up or down hills. Ankle support is another consideration. We recommend having ankle high shoes for support.
Packs: Back Packs enable you to carry extra items that you will need...such as extra clothing, water, first aid kit, food, snacks. Also, having a Camelback is good as you can carry your drinking water with a tube attached so that you can drink as you hike.
Clothing: 'Wear comfortable clothes that are not too tight. Also, wear enough clothing for the weather. Too light in cold weather can be miserable. Sometimes weather changes so it is a good idea to pack extra articles in your back pack.
Skin Protection: If you are sensitive to the elements put on sunscreen. Cloudy days can fool you because the infra red light is still hitting you. Additionally insect repellent is most essential at times...you will be glad you remembered it if you run into flying gnats or mosquitoes.
Hat: A good hat can be most important if you are in the elements a long time...especially the sun. Plus a hat will help you stay warm if it is cold.
Hiking Pole: A good hiking stick is not essential, but it can be mighty helpful. You will find that it can be a great aid in climbing or descending hills.