A wonderful way to learn more about the great outdoors and get some much needed exercise is to go on a hiking day trip. Usually when we think of hiking, we immediately think mountains… but you can also go hiking on city paths or nature trails, and you can make the hike as easy or as strenuous as you want it to be. As an activity, hiking is a great way to develop balance and keep in shape. So grab a friend and get going!

First things first

The first thing you need to do is select a route. Decide what you want to see while you are hiking. Consider the fitness level of everyone hiking and determine how long you will be hiking… are there places to rest along the way? Make sure you do your research so that you match the length and terrain of the trail to the ability of your group. For beginners, a shorter, well-marked route is often a wise choice.

Make it fun

Always remember that the main objective is to have fun. This isn’t just a walk, it’s an adventure! Keep your eyes and ears open to take in all there is to see and hear. Depending on the length of the hike, take along some snacks or lunch and stop for a well-deserved break along the way. Just remember to have plastic bags to clean up your trash before leaving.

Create memories

Make sure to take your camera. As you explore nature, there will be many opportunities to get some great shots of the wildlife and possibly a great view from one of your stopping points. Take the time to stop and get pictures along the way so that you can create a photo album to document your hiking adventures. Putting together a photo album will help create some memories that you can look back on years later.

Comfort is key

Comfort is a key element to a successful hiking trip. Make sure you have the proper gear for the hike. Shoes are very important – they need to be comfortable, give support and also keep your feet dry. If you’re doing a more advanced hike, make sure your shoes have good traction for climbing and rocky terrain. Also, wear your clothes in layers so that as you get warm, you can take a layer off.

Be safe

Remember safety first. Take lots of water with you. Don’t trust water from streams or rivers that you come across – you never know what’s in them. Wear a hat, sunscreen and sun glasses. Depending on where you go, insect repellant might also be a good idea. Keep your eyes open and watch every step!

Hiking is a great activity to have fun and stay healthy. Take the necessary items, but don’t over pack! You don’t want to carry more than you need. Plan your day, know where you are going and research the route. But most importantly, have a great time discovering all that nature has to offer.