Just imagine the cool breeze and the sun hitting your skin while you set out to conquer a new hiking trail. I create different goals each time I hike such as: walking longer distances, discovering different paths/trails, or beat my last timed hike. Now I’m not a pro hiker by any means, I just enjoy experiencing different mountain trails and the beach scenery. It’s awesome to see nature and meditate with serene views. My hikes vary anywhere from 2-7 miles and range from casual hikes by the beach, to really steep hills with waterfalls at the bottom of a mountain. Hiking is such an amazing athletic activity – it’s not like a treadmill where you can push the pause button and get off. Once you take off on a hiking trail, there’s only one way back, so you have to truly put in the work. I really like that mindset and it pushes me. Hiking is an excellent overall body workout because you can engage your quads and hamstrings all at once. Depending on how intense you want to make things, running up mountain hills is excellent for the core. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even find a spot to do some push ups.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned to help with your journey:
Start off with a small trail and in an area with active paths. Get familiar with your areas, don’t just go hike some random spot and then get stuck in the middle of unfamiliar territory. Not to scare you but dirt = animals, and sometimes you might come across a snake or maybe step on a rock and twist your ankle. It’s wise to wear long pants the first couple of times you do hike. You never know, so starting off where there’s lots of foot traffic is a great way to begin. Plus, for all you women out there, hiking where people are constantly around is always a good idea.
Here are a few items I like to bring with me on each journey:
I use a camel backpack which has a water dispenser built in already so it is very convenient. It holds 70 Oz / 2L of water and has a BPA-Free bladder. I like a variety of colors, but I choose a bright color in more rural areas so it’s easy to spot me just in case.
Inside my backpack I fit the following:
- fully charged cell phone. I personally feel more comfy using a battery pack which provides an extended battery life. Depends on which phone you have. Here’s a case for the iphone6.
- a compact emergency kit
- an energy snack. These are all Organic, vegan, and gluten-free. I like a few depending on my hike (vegan organic GF choco banana bites, apple/strawberry sauce pouches, or a protein bar.
- car keys
- I squeeze my vlogging camera inside too HAHA. Hey I need great pics and video footage you know?
- compact organic sunscreen SPF30 which I leave in the car but feel free to take with you if you burn easily.
- A good pair of hiking boots and socks. It’s worth it. I had to learn the hard way and twisted my ankle once using running shoes. You need proper shoes that can grip and be flexible to holes and rocks in the ground so you dont slip. There are two styles: shoes and boots. I prefer boots as I like my ankles to be covered as it does get very dusty with all the dirt, and I just prefer the ankle support. Let’s not look at this as a fashion statement thing. You need proper gear especially if you build up and start running through all the curvy paths – besides hiking boots are sort of Laura Croft-ish…super Bad A** 🙂
- I’m a cali girl, so I like sun. But a proper hat, and clothing is always helpful so you don’t overheat or get burned. You want breathable clothing. Here’s a shirt, dry-fit tank, and shorts.
Last but not least, I always make sure I consume collagen protein immediately upon completion of my hike. I bring a packet of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Packet Sticks, open up the packet and pour in my water bottle. This provides you with essential amino acids and protein when depleting yourself of energy plus helps restore your muscles.
Now mind you, this is mild to moderate hiking ranging from 1-3 hours. Above is a shot of flat ground by Torrey Pines in Del Mar, CA. If you find flat ground, I encourage you to try some sprints. The possibilities are endless. I enjoy hiking up trails and doing sprints and other free range exercises wherever I can. Again, I am by no means a professional hiker, but I find that these items are appropriate when hiking once a week. You can always adjust and modify your gear and trails as you get better.
Now go grab a hiking buddy or head out yourself….and enjoy your journey!
What do you like to bring along with you to hike? Comment and let me know.