Monthly Archives: April 2017

Hiking – A Healthy Activity

As we keep traveling and viewing the country side or when we sit at home and watch documentaries on television, we are in awe of natures creation and beauty. We always wish to be part of that beautiful scenario and enjoy the wonders of nature.

Most people have a great hobby of experiencing the above by going on hikes to such destinations. Hiking not only gives you an enjoyable feeling but also is an exercise regimen for good health.

Doctors advise walking as a good exercise for one’s health. Once you develop the habit and stamina for regular walking, venture out to hike which generally is on uneven surfaces. Start with small walking excursions and gradually build it up for more challenging hikes.

One of the main reasons why most people go on hikes is to get away from the daily mechanical lifestyles and simply enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Some of them travel with friends for partying while some others enjoy the company of their family members for a picnic outing.

The following reasons should encourage you to pick up your backpacks and take a break from your daily rituals.

1. Outdoor Excercise: Hiking lets you get the much-needed exercise to keep your heart in good shape. Not only it helps you to control weight, but keeps you fit and energetic. The knee joints get the much-needed movement to keep it smooth and flexible.

2. Experience Natures Beauty: Imagine the smell of fresh air, the caressing breeze, the swaying trees and flowers with their magical fragrance. The warm sunshine, the chirpy birds and the crunchy sound of dry leaves under your feet. There is a joy in having your senses getting awakened to the wondrous world around you.

3. Freedom: Your body and mind relieve you of all anxiety and worry. You forget your office and business worries for those beautiful moments. It creates a feeling of spirituality and makes you liberated. Further, it helps you de-stress and rejuvenate.

4. Friendship and bonding: Going with friends or family members create a feeling of oneness. There is unity, love, and friendship that binds each one strongly. The destination and reasons are common as you trek along panting and laughing. A drink or a meal together on your journey can make your excursion a much more pleasurable experience.

9 Excellent Tips for Hiking in the Heat

Summer is probably the best time for hiking, but at the same time, you can often feel like it’s the worst possible time to go outside.

The clear skies and long, fresh daylight hours attract most hikers but these skies and long days can bake you in the heat. When the temperature rises, it gets tough to keep yourself motivated and calm.

You can still enjoy the beautiful outdoors in the same hot weather. You just need to take few precautions before heading out.

Don’t let the weather stop you from making some beautiful memories.

Here are few tips for hiking in hot weather that you should know before heading out.

1. Check Weather

Don’t just assume that you’d be fine on the trail. Hot weather comes with a lot of risks. It is important to check the weather forecast before planning a trip.

Humidity can be a sign of rainfall. Be prepared in advance.

Thunderstorms are also much more likely to occur when it’s hot. Keep yourself safe in all situations. So, check the weather before going out.

2. Start Early or Finish Late

Another good way to avoid heat is to start your trip early in the morning or in the late afternoon or evening. Skip the midday heat, don’t hike between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hike during the coolest time of day. Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl.

3. Choose Your Trail Wisely

Hiking in a shady forest is different from on an uncovered mountain pass. So, it’s important to choose your trail wisely. Your trail should include shady sections where you can rest for few minutes.

Try to find a trail that runs along running water/river.

You can get drinking water easily
You’ll be able to refresh yourself and cool down.
A trail at a lower height is preferred if the weather is going to be hot because a higher trail offers a lower amount of oxygen and stronger UV rays.

4. Light Apparel

In hot weather hiking, try to wear synthetic clothes as you’ll definitely sweat a lot and moisture-wicking clothes can prevent irritation.

It is better that you wear long sleeve shirts, hiking pants, and fine quality boots. The more of your body you can shield from the sun, the happier you’ll be.

Your boots should be made up of breathable fabric so wet feet won’t represent a problem during your hike. Your clothes should be in loose-fitting as it will allow for better airflow, which keeps you cooler.

5. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Staying hydrated is the key to every successful outdoor adventure. This is particularly essential when you’re hiking in hot weather.

Your body loses about one liter of water per hour on a regular hike. A challenging outing in hot weather can double that amount. Make sure you replenish, otherwise you’ll get dehydrated during a hike in hot weather.

6. Eat Salty Snacks

A hot weather hike will result in copious sweating. As water is essential to restore your body fluid levels, it’s equally important to restock the electrolytes lost through sweat. The most important ones are potassium and sodium. They play a major role in managing your energy levels.

Make sure to bring plenty of snacks that have complex carbs. Don’t go for simple carbs like sugary drinks and candy. You can have energy bars or fruit as they are great sources of complex carbs.

7. Take Regular Breaks

Continuous hiking in hot weather is near to impossible. Your tired body needs few minutes to relax. Regular breaks also allow your body to cool down and sweat to evaporate.

Put your backpack down, lay down, and give your body some much-needed rest. Drink water and have some snacks to restock your energy that will keep you going for the next few hours.

You may also want to take off your hiking boots and airing your feet and sweaty socks.

8. Be Aware of Heat Stroke

Be aware of the symptoms of heat stroke. Listen to your body and it will tell you when you can push yourself and when it’s time to coast. Eat when you’re hungry, rest when you’re feeling tired.

Common signs of heat stroke

Throbbing headache
Dizziness
Muscle cramps
Nausea
Disorientation or confusion
Lack of sweating, despite hot temperatures
If you feel any of the above-mentioned symptoms, immediately find shade and try to cool down as soon as possible.

9. Protect Your Skin

In such a hot weather, it is important that you take care of your skin.

Sunburns can damage your skin
They also affect body’s ability to cool itself, thus increasing risks of dehydration.
Apply a sunscreen with an SPF 30+, 30 minutes before heading out. Put it underneath your clothes as well.
Wear a hat or head covering to ensure that your head and neck area does not get too hot. Apply plenty of sunscreen and UV-blocking sunglasses
“Better safe than sorry” is always a good motto to live by.

Always carry a cell phone and let others know where you will be hiking. In case you run into trouble for any reason you’ll be able to make a call for immediate help. So, don’t just sit back thinking how hot the weather will be. Plan, prepare well, and head out!

Hiking 101: 3 Essential Tips For First-Timers

If you have a lot of friends who love to travel or go camping, you’ve probably been invited to go hiking once or twice. It’s a fun activity for everyone whether you’re the outdoor type or not. Hiking allows you to see beautiful sights first hand and experience nature like no other. Most of all, it helps you disconnect from gadgets like your phone or laptop and bond with friends in an awesome way.

If you’re planning to go on your first hiking trip, here are 3 essential tips for first-timers:

Choose an easy trail

Like any other sport or outdoor activity, hiking can be done in various difficulties. It all depends on the trail you choose that should be appropriate for your level. As a beginner, choose one that is appropriate for your level of fitness. As you start to get the hang of it, you can opt for more difficult trails in the future. You should also do your part to condition yourself and get ready for the trip mentally and physically. Practice at a nearby trail, going as far as you can each time and resting when you get tired. If you don’t have a trail to practice on, the gym would do – try exercises like the elliptical and stair climber.

Get the basic gear

Since hiking is an outdoor activity, you should be ready for the outdoors in terms of clothing and gear. The most important one is the footwear that you’re going to use. A good, quality pair of rubber shoes would do (depending on the trail), but it is recommended that you invest in a good pair of hiking shoes/boots that offers ankle support and preferably one that is waterproof. It is crucial that you break in these shoes before your hike to avoid blisters. But just in case, bring a couple of blister band aids.

Eat well and stay hydrated

You’re going to need plenty of energy on your trip. Be sure to eat a good, solid meal before going and that you pack snacks with you (preferably light ones that contain lots of natural sugars and healthy fats). Dried fruit and nuts are highly recommended. Stay hydrated as well, so don’t forget your water bottle!

Keep in mind that hiking is both a mental and physical activity so you should condition both of these aspects of yourself before your trip. When it seems hard, just remember that what you’ll see at the end of your hike will all be worth it.

Daniel J. Smith is a survival expert. Having lived the outdoor life since he was very young, he loves sharing his expertise about camping, hiking, traveling, RV living and many more. He has also started his own company called OutBright, which will soon be selling products that cater to campers, hikers, travellers and all outdoor-loving adventurers.