Read these 7 Hiking Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Hiking tips and hundreds of other topics.
The energy needed for hiking is not proportional with the speed you walk. Walking on a smooth surface, you can expect to expend the following amount of energy per each 100 pounds: 2 mph = 45 calories; 3 mph = 90 calories; 4 mph = 160 calories. The energy needed to increase your speed doubles with each extra mile per hour. Therefore, hiking at a slower rate will allow you to cover a further distance with the same energy.
If hiking is your passion, you don't necessarily have to visit your nearest state park; hike anywhere in the world! Take your hiking experience to the next level. Pack up your gear and hit the trails abroad. Remember that you're traveling in different climates, so you might need a variety of different types of apparel, from hiking jackets to a couple different pairs of shoes and boots. The great thing about hiking is that many nations value it as a sport and form of recreation. From Canada to South Africa, excellent trails are available to any who wish to hike along them. Next time you're considering a family trip or even a solo journey, why not hike abroad. It's also a great way to learn new cultures.
Day hikes offer many benefits to those who take on the activity. Even with just one hike, you will burn calories and increase your heart rate. Hiking is a wonderful low-impact, non-competative workout for people of all ages. What is even better is that hiking is one of the few sports that does not require much in the way of equipment. A good pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes and a daypack to carry water and snacks to maintain energy is really all you need!
No need to reinvent the wheel when you take a hiking trip. Nearly every state park has established and maintained hiking trails. Whether you are a novice hiker or experienced, you can find a trail that suits your level of expertise. Typically, there are three levels of difficulty on hiking trails. Make sure you have the right apparel and gear for various trails. Some hikes only require lightwight boots or sandals, like merrell hiking boots, others require sturdier support and protection. Beginners can start out on an easy trail, which is usually not more than a mile or so of level ground. Intermediate trails may have rolling hills and are generally under six miles long. More advanced hikers can enjoy the challenge of longer hikes that may include rockier terrain.
If you suffer from pronation, buying the right hiking shoe can help. Before heading out on a day hike or any other kind of long walking trip, be sure to have yourself checked for pronation. This is the tendency to rotate your foot inward, which places undue stress on the unsupported edge of your foot. Walking with a heavy backpack can make the situation worse. Prevent this by paying attention to the correct placement of your foot as you walk. Insoles are also available to guide your feet into proper position.
It may seem like a strange concept to wear a pair of hiking sandals on a day hike. However, for short excursions on mostly level terrain, these specifically-designed sandals are a great choice. Be sure to select a well-made pair. Look for solid foot and ankle straps as well as decent arch support. Rubber soles are ideal, and they should have decent treading for the times you will encounter bumps on the trail. Serious hikers even pack a pair of hiking sandals for crossing streams and wet patches.
A novice hiker often makes the mistake of thinking that faster hiking is better hiking. Speed is not the point of hiking. In fact, fast hiking can tire you out faster, reducing the length -- not to mention the pleasure -- of your excursion. Endurance is the goal you should strive for when you take on this sport. Make sure you're wearing the right shoes, though. For hiking more challenging trails, look into specific brands like asolo hiking boots. Being able to hike for long periods and cover more ground is more effective, as you are better able to take in your surroundings and learn about the terrain on which you're traveling.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|