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:
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.
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.
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.
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.