Wide Open Spaces: Get Started Hiking!

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Ah, nature! Full of adventure and opportunity. Maybe you want to get out exercising, hike the trails, enjoy the fresh air—but you don’t know where to begin. Take it from us, there’s a lot that goes into starting a new hobby, especially one that has you frolicking through the wilderness. If you’ve ever wanted to do more than just walk around the block, we have some tips to get you started on your next adventure.

Solid Shoes

Ana Essentiels | Unsplash

Every hiker needs a pair of sturdy shoes to keep ankles supported and footing secure. But buying a good pair for outdoor excursions doesn’t mean you need to empty your wallet. Do your research – you’ll want something with breathability and security.

Start by checking out REI, which has some great vegan hiking boot options!

Gear Up

Yaroslav Shuraev | Pexels

Your mom’s age-old advice to “dress in layers” holds especially true when hiking. Even the best day can turn sour. Bring a light jacket in case of rain or wind and wear long, breathable pants (no jeans!) for tall grasses.

Bring a hat and/or sunscreen (you can check out plantie.com for suggestions on DIY sunscreen) as well as energy-filled snacks and plenty of water. And always, always charge up your phone. You need to be able to communicate with people if you get lost as well as take pictures of the amazing flora and fauna you see on your trails.

Two Roads Diverged

Andy Holmes | Unsplash

When choosing a hiking trail, don’t go for the hardest route right away.  Pick something with more walking and less climbing and maybe a half mile total. Pro tip: not all trails are loops. Some will only give you a distance out, and you’ll have to traipse back double what you might have thought!

Bring a Buddy

Ivana Cajina | Unsplash

We get it, sometimes you just need space for you, and hiking can give you that rewarding alone time. But if you’re just starting out, take along a friend for company and security. Even though it’s unlikely for something to happen, having someone you trust along for the hike will increase your confidence and your enjoyment!

Smell the Roses

Cynthia Magana | Unsplash

Hiking is a journey, not a race! Make sure you set aside a decent amount of time to complete your trail, taking into account that you will be more tired coming back than you were heading out. Don’t push yourself. If you feel sore or are injured, listen to your body and let it set your pace.

Give yourself the best summer gift: a hobby that gets you out in the world. Hiking will keep you active, give you a beautiful look at nature, and kick off a lifelong journey. Start a new adventure today!

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