Tips for Making Your Hikes More Enjoyable
Whether you hike for exercise or sheer enjoyment of nature, the whole point of hitting the tail instead of hitting the sidewalk is to enjoy yourself. Unfortunately, factors from pain, to fatigue, and even boredom can put a damper on what you would normally savor. If you’ve been stuck in that oft-feared “hiking rut” and a change of scenery or new trails to hike aren’t helping, try testing out some of the following outdoor gear. It may just reinvigorate you, providing the zest for the outdoors that seems to have been lacking.
1. Hiking Boots. The number one concern for avid hikers should always be based pragmatically. That is, you’ve got to be comfortable to enjoy walking through trails. If you’re wearing an old pair of tennis shoes or boots that don’t fit quite right, all you’ll end up with is sore feet and a desire to never set foot in the woods again. See a knowledgeable representative at an outdoor apparel store for help on finding boots that fit correctly. They should be snug, have as little slippage as possible, and have tread specialized for the type of terrain you typically hike.
2. Trekking poles. Much like an endurance athlete, avid hikers often get an uncomfortable buildup of lactic acid in their leg muscles – especially when navigating hilly terrain. To help alleviate this pain and restore some of your lost energy for hiking, consider using a trekking pole as your own personal “hiking assistant”. Modern poles are quite convenient, in that they often telescope for easy transport when not in use. Be sure to use the right size trekking pole on your hikes – most agree that one which comes up to eye level is best.
3. Binoculars. If it’s not pain that’s making your hikes less fun, then it’s most likely boredom. People who hike the same or similar trails day after day often end up getting burned out on familiar scenery. But by bringing binoculars, you can pick up on the hidden beauty of oft-treaded trails that you were never able to appreciate before. Scouting for birds, looking for larger game, and using them to view breathtaking landscapes can easily restore your wide-eyed awe for the outdoors.
4. A fishing pole. So it’s not pain, and it’s not scenery – maybe what your hikes lack is a goal. After all, many feel like their hikes should have a point, and not be walking for walking’s sake. If there’s a body of water near the trails you hike, try punctuating your mini-excursion with a little fishing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bubbling creek or raging river – giving your hike a purpose can help you from feeling listless or aimless on the trail.
From time to time, just about everyone gets a little burned out on things they normally love to do. But if your hikes have lost their sense of fun and it simply refuses to come back, it’s certainly worth making an attempt to switch things up a bit. By mixing in some new nuances to old standbys, you might just find something that turns hiking from the chore it may have become into an activity to look forward to again.