7 Ways to Have a Great Day Hiking

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Before Baby with Cents was born, I and Mother with Cents would plan our summers going to various hiking destinations. From the local hiking trails like Muir Woods and Mission Peak to Yosemite’s Half Dome and the glaciers in Alaska, we have both enjoyed the perks of being surrounded by nature. It’s a nice getaway from everyday grind of city life. And course it’s free. Here are ways to enjoy your day of hiking without the worry of spending a lot of cash:

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The Bottom of Half Dome with lots of used gloves

1. Pack your own food and water: Depending on how long your hike is, you should bring some snacks and a bottle of water at least. For day long hikes (ie Half Dome) you should pack a lunch, a gallon of water, snacks and a few energy bars. Trail mix, sandwiches, and fruits are some examples of snacks you can pack for the hike. During one of our hikes to Half Dome, I made the mistake of only packing a liter of water. By the time we got to the top of Half Dome, I was already out of water and Mother with Cents only had enough for herself for the hike back. Fortunately a fellow hiker who overheard us that I was out of water provided me about half a liter of water. So prepare to pack a good amount of food and water for most of the day hiking

2. It’s a great way to exercise: Before hiking at Half Dome, I researched to find that the round trip hike was about 15 miles. I was thinking, ‘Oh ok, I’ve done a half marathon and do 7 mile runs weekly so this shouldn’t be hard.’ I underestimated that hike to Half Dome. The hardest part was going there since there’s a lot of elevation to hike and the rocks you may have to climb over. It can take a physical toll depending on the type of hike you’re doing but it’s definitely a workout. One thing is for sure, running on a flat surface for five miles is way different than hiking in the woods at the same distance.

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The view atop Yosemite’s Half Dome

3. Wear good shoes: They call it hiking boots for a reason. You need good traction for the uphill climbs, slippery rocks and the downhill hikes. And if your carrying a heavy backpack, the hiking boots will give extra cushion so can take on the extra weight. You can also get away by wearing running shoes that have a good grip. I wore a pair of Asics for a hike at Zion National Park in Utah and did not have any issues slipping or falling. Check in with your local shoe store and see what type of shoes you’re comfortable with hiking.

4. Start your hike early in the morning:  This is especially true if you are in for a day long hike. Getting a head start right before the sun rises is a good rule of thumb. The weather is nice and cool at the time of the morning and you will able to enjoy it. Starting your hike late in the morning may not be the best idea because you’ll be under the sweltering heat most of the time and not enjoy it as much. Having a nice and breezy hike early in the morning will make it more delightful and you will only encounter the hot weather on the hike back.

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My brother in law checking out the ices caves in Mendenhall Glacier(Juneau, Alaska)

 

5. Bring sun block: You will be outside for most of the day and protecting your skin from sun is important from preventing sunburn. Having a bottle of sun block is very beneficial to bring during your hike. An important tip is to apply the lotion right before you go on your trek and keep applying every few hours.

6. Relax by enjoying the scenery: The trees, mountains, waterfall, and rock formations. It is nothing like enjoying the surroundings with no deadlines to meet or tasks to finish. Your only mission is to take in the scenery and take as much time as you like walking through the trail. If you get tired stop, rest up, grab a snack or drink and start hiking again when you’re ready. There’s no rush, relax and have a good time experiencing Mother Nature.

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The top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park(Utah)

7. You get a goal achieved: All that hiking has paid off when you reach the top of a mountain and/or have a fantastic view of all the surroundings. You just have to take it all in and enjoy the accomplishment by knowing that you made up there all on your own.

Do you have any other ways to enjoying your hiking trek? Or want to share a hiking story? Please comment below.

 

 

18 thoughts on “7 Ways to Have a Great Day Hiking

  1. Ah, I have a dream of hiking Half Dome someday! Your pictures are incredible! I think the one additional thing I would add (for me at least!) is to put away the phone/camera for a majority of the hike. When you get to a great vista, snap a shot then put it away so you can just enjoy the scenery 🙂 No need trying to capture every moment and missing the real epic-ness of it (I may have must made up the word “epic-ness”).

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    • Haha, I think epicness is an actual word. But yes your right about snapping pics during your hike, no need to do it the majority of your hike. Just be selective because those are the shots you want to see when you look back on it
      You definitely need to go hike Half Dome with the family. Its a once in a lifetime experience especially when you get to the top

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  2. I have hiked all levels of terrain and prefer trail running shoes because they are lighter than boots and dry quicker after crossing streams. I also carry a water filter straw just in case. Great post!

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  3. Love this! I really want to do hike Half Dome some day (and climb all the way up the other side even further some day!), but I am far from being in shape enough yet! Did you do any training?? And how did you win the lotto?!

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    • Yeah you should do the hike to Half Dome sometime Jing. Its a difficult hike since getting to Half Dome is mostly uphill but not impossible. Just brings lots of fluid(gallon of water and a couple bottles of sport drinks should be good), snacks and lunch. Also do some stretching before the trek and during when you have a break.
      The only training I did was running every week and that was on flat ground. This hike was way different since it was mainly uphill. But it’s really worth it when you get to the top of Half Dome, feels rewarding with the strenuous hike to get there.
      We did this hike during the summer a few years back so we applied for a permit that spring when you can sign up for any day(s) when the Half Dome cables are up. I believe they called this process the ‘Preseason Lottery’. So about a month after applying for the permits, they emailed us saying we got the permits for the day we requested. So definitely recommend planning around the spring when you want to hike Half Dome.

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  4. Aw I really miss hiking. My bf and I used to go hiking all the time before our son was born. The last time we went hiking was with family and we went the back trail of Koko Head here in Hawaii. Not sure why we listened to my cousin because she said it was easy….it was not lol. I was 6 weeks pregnant at the time and my bf was terrified something was going to happen to me. We hiked slim ridges while looking down at slim cliffs and we had to do some rock climbing. Its crazy to think that older folks also do this hike…they’re more fit than I am! It was fun though lol.

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    • Thanks for the comment Mommy Finance!
      We are on the same boat as you and your bf. We did all these hikes before Baby with Cents was born too. So we’re putting off any future hiking trips until he gets to grade school and we can’t wait for him to experience it.
      When we hiked the glaciers up in Alaska, Mother with Cents was around 6 weeks pregnant as well so I know how your bf feels. Luckily the hike wasn’t that difficult so she didn’t have any mishaps.

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  5. The wife and I are big on hiking as well! We used to take yearly trips to Mammoth, but as of late, with the kid it hasn’t been happening =( I long for the forest! There’s something about being in nature that just helps re-sync the mind and body. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Wow I have not heard of Half Dome- I should look into it. The ice cave is so nice! I really like hiking and did the West Coast Trail a few years back on Vancouver Island, and hiked in the Himalayas a few years ago too (my favourite hike ever). I have always wanted to go to Zion. Have you been able to go hiking again with the little one? Do you get one of those hiking carriers?

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    • We haven’t gone hiking with Baby with Cents yet but we received a hiking carrier recently from MwC’s cousin and now we don’t have excuse to go on a hiking trip. Maybe sometime this fall we will do some hike with BwC.
      Oh wow, the Himalayas!! That must have been a great hike with Mt. Everest being the highest mountain in the world.
      You should make a trip to Zion one day. Yosemite and Zion are my two favorite national parks!!

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