Hiking is for everyone!

Hiking is both relaxing and good for your health. It builds muscle, gives you a workout, and clears the mind. It’s hands down one of my favorite activities. I try to go as often as I can. For me, it’s the sense of adventure. Going into the woods, on a new trail, or even an old one and discovering something new.

My favorite part about hiking, getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I get to relax for an hour or several hours depending on how long I want to hike. Breathing fresh air, the calm and soothing sounds of the woods, and the scenery. I’m sure you’ve seen photos on the internet or billboards, the woods are in the background and they are smiling and happy. Imagine that is you and you’re looking at that same scene in real life. Sounds good huh.

You don’t have to go alone on your adventure (I should have mentioned that earlier). You can take your loved ones and friends. It’s a good idea to take someone with you just in case an emergency arises and you can’t make it back to your car or beginning point. The adventure will be even more fun with a companion(s). Make it a getaway just for a few hours or days if you want to camp.

If you wish to get away and relax, you should give hiking a try. The scenery, calming and relaxing nature of the outdoors will rejuvenate you, help you to re-focus, and have you feeling great. But before you go, here are a few things to consider to get you started. 

What Should I Bring With Me

Get a backpack that suits your needs. A day pack (18-30L) will work for everyday use and short hikes. If you are going hiking and camping, I suggest getting a larger backpack. You will need more supplies on that trip. Never pack or bring more than you will need. All the unnecessary things will just add weight.

I suggest a paper map and compass. Yes, an actual old-school map. You can download an app with all the maps of the trails you plan to hike but never fully trust technology. Your phone could fail at any time (or worse you lose it). Many places in the wilderness won’t have cell service or it’s very low signal so you will need these just in case. Also, pack a first aid kit, poncho, snacks (suggestions: granola bar, trail mix, chips), and a bottle of water.

You may want to purchase a whistle. (The Osprey day pack I have has a whistle on the cross strap) These are to be used in emergencies and alert others in the area where you need help. I highly recommend you get one of these.

The Weather

Always and I mean ALWAYS check the weather. You can download a weather app for the most accurate and up-to-date forecast before you go out on the trail. I know I said previously that cell phones could lose signal while hiking but it’s never a bad idea to be prepared. Knowing the weather forecast will help you dress better for the hike that you are about to take. You don’t want to be overdressed or underdressed for your trip. You have a backpack, right? It’s never a bad idea to bring extra clothes with you. I normally pack a light pullover or small jacket in my pack when I go hiking.

Would you like to know what can help predict the weather while on your hike? Clouds and their formations. You don’t have to be a meteorologist or an expert. Certain cloud formations can give you a preview of what type of weather is coming. For example, thunderhead clouds are flat at the bottom and have a huge top that rises into the sky. This is an indication that a storm is coming. You should turn around and go back to your starting point.

You Can Bring Pets on your Adventure

Taking your four-legged friends on your hike is a great idea. They are always ready and willing to go. Hiking with your dog will help them stay healthy and keep them in shape. Before you set out on your adventure, make sure the trail allows dogs and if they do, follow all rules and regulations.

Keep your dog on a leash. This will help your dog as well as other hikers on the trail stay safe. An unleashed dog can run off/ out of sight, interfere with wildlife, and may cause damage to the habitats of the wildlife.

You may want to consider treating your dog with flea and tick treatment. This will keep them from carrying any small critters home or potentially getting sick from a bite. I will give my dog a bath with flea and tick shampoo before we leave and after we get back. A flea and tick collar won’t hurt either.

Pack some dog food and water as well. Depending on how long you hike, you can give them the food in small amounts as you walk along. This will keep their energy level up as well

I do just a few things to ensure my dog stays healthy, safe, and energetic. I’ve just touched on a few things you can do for your dog but there are plenty of other things you can do as well. Please do your research and consult your dog’s veterinarian before taking them hiking.

What Should I Wear

You don’t need to purchase expensive clothes to wear while hiking. Although if you’re going on a hike in/camping trip, you may want to invest in some good clothes. But if it’s just a day hike, you won’t need anything but a good set of sneakers, a pair of comfortable pants, and a shirt.

The most important part of your wardrobe will be your shoes. Boots are a better choice because they will give better ankle support than sneakers. The terrain might be rocky, uneven, and may be filled with tree roots and ruts. Again you don’t need to purchase an expensive pair of boots. Get the best pair you can within your price range. Get a pair that is made of waterproof material yet breathable.

When you are deciding on a shirt and pair of pants, avoid clothes made of cotton. Synthetic, moisture-wicking material works much better at keeping you cool. They also dry very quickly. Dry clothes aren’t as heavy as wet clothes. Don’t forget to check the weather as it will determine what you will wear while out on a hike.


There are lots of critters in the wilderness (yes you are going to see a few of these) Bugs, deer, bears, coyotes, elk, goats, and snakes just to name a few. The bugs will be the most problematic. I suggest bug spray that doesn’t run off when you sweat. Off! is just one brand of bug repellant that doesn’t wear off when you sweat. You should buy a can of bug repellant and add it to your hiking bag.

Bears will be in some places when you go hiking but it’s rare to see one. When you arrive at the trailhead, there will be signs posted that will indicate if they are in the area. Don’t let that deter you from a relaxing walk through the woods. You can buy something called bear spray. The bear spray also works on other animals as well. Please educate yourself on how to properly use and deploy this spray.

Snakes! Yes, snakes. Most of the snakes you will encounter will be nonpoisonous but you should treat them all the same. If you happen to see one, you should take a wide path around it to avoid any contact. If you have a four-legged friend, keep them close to you so they avoid getting hurt or causing injury to the snake. (Yes I know it’s a snake. Be kind)

Are you Ready

Are you all set? Are you excited to go? I am! I was ready to go the moment I started typing this post. Hiking is a good way to relax, see nature, and have fun. It’s not an Olympic sport and you don’t have to be in top shape to do participate. You don’t need to be a seasoned hiker or survival expert either. Grab a bottle of water, some family or friends (four-legged as well), your backpack full of supplies, and some nice comfortable clothes, suitable for the day.

The key things to get you started are above and ready for your use. There are several lists of things to take, to do, not to do, and what to be careful of. Always do your research on the area you plan on hiking in and pay close attention to your surroundings. As you start hiking more and more, several things will become second nature to you. (See what I did there?)

I’m getting up now and heading out on the trails. Maybe I’ll see you out there. Be safe, Be careful, and have some fun!

Will you see some beautiful sites? Yes

Will you You don’t have to be a seasoned hiker or outdoor expert to go. Just go and have some fun!

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