Going hiking for the very first time can be quite intimidating. I’m a city girl (with a small town heart) who’s used to navigating the concrete jungle of NYC. When my boyfriend told me he wants to take up hiking as a hobby my response was… “but what about the bears?”
I’m also a scaredy cat by nature so all I could think of was the possible things that could go wrong: attacked by bears, bitten by snakes, lost in the woods and never found, broken ankle, slip, fall and get head bashed in by rocks, etc. But this year is all about challenging myself and “yoloing”. So I decided to go with him and his friend from work.
Pre-Hike: Before hiking, it is important that you prep for it.
You need to make sure you wear sneakers that are going to give your ankles good support. Your sneakers shouldn’t fit snuggly. You want to have some space between your feet and the end of the sneakers for when you are walking down the hill.
You’re going to get hot and sweat a lot! Even if you are one of those I only glisten people. You want to wear comfy clothes that are sweat absorbent. (Workout clothes are a good option)
Be sure to pack water, water, and some more water! Also, bring snacks! My partner knows that I snack a lot and at times get a little faint so he packed tons of snacks for me. Some of the things we brought were: beef jerky, dried mango slices, and grapes. If you want to save money, you can pack your lunch and eat it on the mountain. Next time I go I’d bring more cold fruits and trail mix.
We packed a mini first-aid kit that had hand-sanitizer, band-aid, gauze, bacitracin, etc. I also pack sunscreen! I’ve been on a sunscreen obsession lately. My partner gets sunburnt really fast and bad. And because of my complexion, I grew up with the belief “black people don’t need sunscreen” (totally false). He hates putting on cream, so I’m on a quest to find a sunscreen that won’t make me look pale but also isn’t too “creamy” for his liking. (If anyone has any suggestions please share!)
Action: The Actual Hike
I would say take your time. Don’t be afraid to let your group know that they are too fast and you need a break. I was the slowest one in our group. It was my first time. I also looked around before walking and took the less intense routes. Be sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Being adequately hydrated is extremely important. Take sips throughout the walk, even before you feel thirsty.
Embrace the beautiful views and speak to other hikers! People on the trail were really friendly saying hello and even jumping into our conversations. In real life I would probably have thought “would you mind your business?” But there’s something about being surrounded by trees and hearing rustling leaves that make you feel extra friendly.
After the Hike:
When you get a home shower, stretch and enjoy your good night sleep! When you wake up the next day you will be sore in muscles you didn’t even know you had. Squats ain’t got nothing on hiking. I’ve felt sore in all of my gluteus muscles!
I must say it wasn’t all that bad. Now that it’s over and my body is no longer sore, of course. While going through it I thought it was the end of days for me! I knew I was out of shape but nothing like a good ole hike and pop-belly peak pictures to help remind you that you need to do better.
Hiking is a good way to explore and be fit at the same time. Being around all those trees and nature really helps clear your mind. So when are you going hiking? Do you have any tips on how to prepare pre-hike and what to do post hike? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Without further adieu,
*this post was originally posted on the site DoYouSalutDoYouSalut