“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.”
This is probably one of the best quotes to describe hiking. It is a popular outdoor activity among all age groups.
Whether you’re a newbie or have been hitting the trail for ages, you won’t regret checking out some of these interesting facts about hiking.
1. Easy On The Pocket
Hiking is inexpensive compared to outdoor recreational activities. You can get through short trails with a water bottle and an energy bar!
Of course, we’re not talking about trails like that of the Kalalau Valley which is a different ball game. But hey, beginners don’t have to be afraid of getting started as a hiker.
There’s absolutely no competition in hiking (which is why it’s not considered a sport). You are free to do things at your own pace. This puts zero stress on your mind and you can relax without any distractions.
3. Sleep Like A Baby
Hiking can cure insomnia and improve your sleep quality. Being exposed to sunlight and the increased heart rate during a hike reset your body clock and you can notice these positive effects for a while after coming back.
4. Other Names
In the UK, words like walking and rambling are often used instead of hiking. In a few countries, it is also called bushwhacking if it involves hiking through dense forests. In some Asian countries, the words hiking and trekking are used interchangeably.
5. The Appalachian Trail
Considered one of the longest hiking trails in the world, the Appalachian Trail stretches over 2100 miles. It takes around five to seven months to finish the trail. Though thousands attempt to do it, only a handful actually cover the entire distance.
6. Calorie Burner
Hiking can double as a cardio workout. A person weighing 160 pounds burns around 440 calories by hiking for an hour. An uneven terrain makes your muscles work even harder which means you’ll burn more calories.
7. Looks Great On Your CV
A proper CV plays a crucial role in helping you to land that job. What’s better than hiking in the hobbies column of your CV? It shows your employer that you love challenges and can stay calm in the storm. It also indicates high self-confidence.
8. Natural Therapy
Do you often get anxious? Are you feeling low lately? Well, it only takes a hike in the woods to feeling rejuvenated. Spending time outdoors soothes your mind and increases happiness. And the good thing? Nature doesn’t charge you for therapy.
9. The Maze
The Maze stays true to that name with some of its paths leading only to dead-ends. If you think your navigation skills are on point, The Maze is the ultimate test for you. Park rangers strictly advise novice hikers to stay away from it.
10. Get Creative
A study published by Stanford University showed evidence for a nearly 60% rise in creative inspiration among those who walked around instead of sitting in one place. Another study found that hiking boots creativity and problem-solving in young adults.
11. Bond With Nature
As Helen Keller beautifully put it, “To me, a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”
Hiking brings you close to nature and makes you feel at home. And, there’s no place like home.
12. Learn The Risks
Despite being extremely enjoyable, hiking poses several threats too. Getting lost in the woods, injuries, wild animals, poisonous plants, and many more. But by taking adequate measures, all of them are avoidable.
13. Invention Of Backpacks
Did you know that backpacks were the invention of a hiker too?
Asher Dick Kelty was an enthusiastic hiker who invented the world’s first backpack with an aluminum frame. His company Kelty still specializes in external-frame backpacks.
However, if you’re interested in internal frame backpacks you check out some in this article.
14. Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail is another super long trail that sees only dedicated hikers. Keeping aside the time required to finish hiking, hikers take at least months to plan and prepare for their journey as the trail runs through six different terrains.
15 . Improve Balance
Hiking is a perfect workout for your core and legs, thereby improving your body’s balance eventually. If you use trekking poles to hike on rough terrain, it can ease your spine and improve your posture too.
16. Elevate Your Senses
While hiking, you get to explore nature with all your senses. This sensory elevation is highly important to stay mindful amidst the struggles of everyday life. From hearing the birds chirping to touching the soft flowers, you’d be filled with appreciation.
17. Socialize Better
Solo hikes are a different story. But hiking in groups has immense benefits. While you’re out in the wilderness without electronic interventions, it’s easy to develop new relationships by ditching that social awkwardness.
18. Benefits For Children
Hiking with kids is something every parent must consider. To their curious little minds, getting in touch with nature can be refreshing. In children with ADHD and similar behavioral issues, hiking and camping can improve their cognition.
19. Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is a majestic mountain in Africa and is considered the easiest to climb among the seven summits. Technically, there’s no climbing involved and even new hikers can take up the challenge given they’re trained enough before the adventure.
20. Bear Safety
Encountering a bear while hiking through a national park can be exciting. Incidents of bears attacking humans are rare, but hikers must be aware of basic bear safety tips because bears are wild. Carrying bear spray is mandatory when hiking through such areas.
21. Back In The Day
The Italian poet Petrarch is mentioned as one of the earliest examples of hikers. According to him, he hiked a mountain for solely recreational purposes. However, these claims were labeled fictional by some although they served as motivation for others.
If you like this article, do share it with your friends who have a knack for hiking.
Res Marty has created his blog to share his passion for hiking and camping. He wants to provide value and introduce the netizens to some of the best trails in the world. Additionally, he likes to help by giving honest product reviews and comparisons for all kinds of hiking equipment.