How to Hike Like a Sherpa and Tips For Your Next Outdoor Recreation Adventure

The best path to good health involves exercise. This does not mean joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer. A brisk walk is great for a cardio workout. Best of all, it’s free to walk. After making several circuits around the neighborhood, it might help to expand the walking route. This is where the idea of hiking along a trail comes into play. The abundance of state and national parks means no one would be prohibitively far from a hiking trail. Just because someone has mastered the energetic walk does not mean they are ready to take on the next level of outdoor recreation that would be an intense hike. This is an exercise that should be approached much like the hike itself: Slow and steady. Here are some valuable tips to make sure a hike experience can be a winning one.

Leave the Denim in the Drawer

Check the label on a pair of denim jeans. It will read, “Made with cotton.” That’s great for casual wear but horrible on a mountain trail. Wet denim takes forever to dry out. It also draws out body heat leaving the wearer shivering. Embracing outdoor recreation means being prepared to embrace the elements and geological waterways. Cotton is not the clothing to be worn on these adventures.

Always Drink Water

Headaches, dizziness, and lack of focus are all signs of dehydration. The number one sign is when a person becomes thirsty. At that moment, the body is asking for water. On a hiking trail, the hiker needs to carry his or her hydration. Ideally, that would mean a six-ounce drink every twenty minutes. That keeps the hydration flowing before the body has a chance to get thirsty. Keep in mind that water is needed just as much on the way down as on the way up.

Break in Hiking Shoes Before the Hike

The first time a person goes on a hike is not the time to break in a pair of hiking shoes. Those shoes should be worn around for a few days before hitting the trail. It is also helpful to give the feet a break. During lunch or rest, remove the shoes and massage the feet. A nice foot cool down will help prolong the outdoor recreation.

Start Early

Hikes work best in the early morning hours. The sun hasn’t had a chance to reach its zenith for the day, and that means cooler temperatures. The longer a hiker waits to take to the trail, the less actual time they’ll have outdoors. Getting stuck on a trail after dark is not recommended even for the most experienced hikers.

Notify Friends

Despite all the preparation, an outdoor recreation adventure can go south in a heartbeat. Look no further than “127 Hours” for a prime example of that. There is nothing wrong with wanting to commune with nature by hiking solo. However, it is highly recommended that any hiker tells a friend where they are going and what trail they intend to use, just in case.

How to Pack Light for Hiking Trips

Hiking is all about fun, thrill, and excitement. All it requires is good stamina, a bit of patience, and a lot of energy.

Hiking with a lighter backpack can make your venture far more comfortable. You’ll be able to hike better and for a longer period. With a heavy backpack, you’ll soon feel tired and your back, knees, and feet will start aching and you lose all your stamina in no time. You won’t be able to enjoy the adventure.

A lightweight backpack is important for efficiency and enjoyment. So, it is important to pack everything intelligently. When you are on the trail, your backpack will carry everything you’ll need to sustain yourself in the wilderness.

Here are 10 tips that can help you lighten the load but still carry everything you need.

1. Examine current gear

Check every piece of your gear. Try to weigh them first. This will give you an idea of the weight of your load. You will be able to better decide which items to keep in the bag and which ones to skip.

2. Lightest equipment in bag

Select the lightest equipment for your bag. Choose the lightest sleeping bag, backpack, and shelter per your budget.

3. Keep yourself light

In summers, you can’t predict how the weather will treat you. It can be hot… or it can be too hot. Wear light clothes and soft boots on your hike as they’ll make you feel more comfortable.

4. Only select what you need

“Pack everything you think you will need, then get rid of half of it.”

This is the most important tip. Pack only what you need, not what might be useful. For example, a laptop is a luxury and not a must-have to take on a hike, skip it. Don’t carry things just because you think they can come in handy. From experience, most of the time those “handy” items are never used; but you end up carrying them all the way.

5. Consume the heaviest food first

Food and snacks take a significant amount of space and weight. Carrying them for a long hike will make you tired. To lighten your load, eat the heaviest and freshest items first.

6. Try light options for liquids

Try to take juices and other liquids in powder form. Carrying the liquid bottles will add a significant amount of weight. For soaps, you can go for dry, thin, paper soaps and other dehydrated alternatives. If you’re taking water bottles, place them in the side pockets of your backpack.

7. Survival skills

If you’re experienced, you’ll get to know how “survival” skills help you overcome many situations with minimal equipment or supplies. This reduces your backpack load. And if you are not experienced, don’t worry! Head out and explore! From small to big, each challenge will impart upon you the tactics you’ll need to deal with any difficult situations as expertise is acquired through experience. The more you hike, the more experience you gain, and the more innovative you become. The more experience you have, the more exacting you become on carrying the right “stuff”.

8. Don’t hang extra stuff

Always try to avoid hanging extra items from the outside of your pack. They will continue to move from one side to another while you hike. This can shake off your balance, can make unwanted noise, and can catch on tree branches or brush.

9. Distribute weight

* Start packing the hip belt and shoulder strap pockets first. These pockets are always easily accessible and great place to put small, important items that you’ll need throughout the day.
* You can put a few energy bars and snacks in a hip pocket as it’s important to have lots of small meals throughout the day.
* You can put your sunglasses, camera, lip balm, or sun block in your shoulder strap pouch.

10. Use common sense to pack

Have common sense of what you need to carry. You’ll see, this is a process that is mastered as you gain experience. Make a list of all the items that you think will be useful during the hike. Try to take along multipurpose items.

Before, during, and after every trip, take the time to learn about your packing habits and get to know what items you used. Taking the time to analyze what you packed and if it was useful will help to reduce the amount of unnecessary weight and help you become practical on your next outing.

A lightweight backpack plays a very important role for a successful and revitalized hiking adventure. Carrying light loads and minimum amount of gear makes your bag much easier haul and less time-consuming to pack.

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.