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All about Hiking & its Benefits

Updated: May 30, 2020

Hiking is term used for long distance walks along the pre made trails/on-roads in the countryside or the wilderness. It is a popular recreational activity among the outdoor enthusiasts which helps them stay close to nature. The duration of a hike could ideally range from few hours to a day long one. Hikes are considered to be quite vigorous and exhausting then normal walks amidst the nature. And hence requires some special preparation with essential hiking gears to have a joyful experience.

Sometimes the terms “Hiking” & “Trekking” are used interchangeably due to the overlap between them, however the differences that sets them apart are the Duration, Difficulty Level & the Preparation required. Hike is typically a day activity whereas a Trek is multi-day activity with greater difficulty level involving survival amidst wilderness. Also due to the same, the preparation for the two varies like a Trek would require a person to carry a tent & sleeping bag for night stay/halt on the contrary the Hike doesn’t need the same. Also, both the recreational activities have different set of experiences that they offer.

There could be different types of Hikes primarily as per the terrain or trail one is hiking on. Broad categorization of the types of the hikes are as follows:

Normal Trail Hike – hiking done on footpaths usually found in countryside/wilderness

Rock Trail Hike – involves walking on small rocks or pebbles

Loose Trail Hike – involves walking over loose gravels and mud

Apart from the scenic experiences, hiking does offer other benefits too like Improving physical fitness, Reduction in stress level, Socializing (if on group hike) and numerous other intangible benefits that affects your daily being. Hiking becomes quite important especially for those with sedentary lifestyle or occupation, as hiking helps the gain fitness through natural means. However, there is an unsaid protocol that one needs to follows when in the wilderness as mentioned below:

Leave No Trace – One shouldn’t litter during a hike and carry all waste back with them leaving only footprints.

No Loud Sounds – Always avoid making any loud sounds like loud conversation, playing music, shouting etc. during the course of hike.

Never Feed Wild Animals – Animals in the wilderness are never to be fed as it could harm them either by inappropriateness of food or by weakening their hunting ability

Right-of-Way – It is pre-conceived that any group moving uphill has the right of the way during a hike and the same should be followed.

Another important part of having a joyful hiking experience is the hiking gears that one need to use or carry for support & personal safety. The list of essential hiking gears are as follows:

Knapsack – small backpack to carry all your essentials

Hiking Shoes – a comfortable pair of shoes offering grip as per the hiking trail

Filter Water Bottle – a water bottle with filter to keep you hydrated during the course which could be filled from any natural water body to avoid the hassle of carrying multiple water bottles

Multi-Utility Tool a multi-purpose tool which includes a knife, plier, screw driver etc.

Flashlight a hand torch so that you don’t get caught in dark anytime

Also, one would need some other hiking gears depending on the type of the trail, season of hike etc and would need to prepare accordingly to make hiking experience pleasurable. So plan your for next Hike Now!

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