As an avid hiker, Jonathan Kimpson always tells his friends and family about the benefits of a good hike. The biggest reluctance towards hiking is often a feeling of inadequacy. People fear that they won’t be “good” at hiking, so they instead stay home. However, Kimpson believes anyone can grow into a hiking enthusiast. It all starts with just getting out there and doing it. The first couple of hikes do not have to be long excursions. Simply identifying some paths for beginners can unlock a lifelong love of hiking.
Hiking is a great source of exercise, but it should be more than that. Mr. Kimpson believes too many people focus on the physical aspect of hiking and do not look at how hiking can connect us with nature. A lot of the benefits of hiking come from the fact that people disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. Hikes should provide ample opportunities to stop and take in the ambiance. Developing a love of that time in nature will improve mood and make a person a better hiker.
One of the best ways to stay motivated and get better at hiking is to do it with a buddy. Not only will it be safer when you start to take on more challenging terrain, but it also is the best way to stay accountable. When you hike with a partner, you usually have to plan it out in advance. This will keep you on schedule and allow you to look forward to your next trek.
It’s important to maintain some level of enjoyment while hiking. While it may seem fun to push your physical limits, everyone is one injury away from not enjoying their hiking experience. No one should ever push past their limits. One way to change what your limits are is to look to exercise when not on a hiking trail. Yoga is one of the best ways to stay flexible and stretch out after hiking as well.
Finally, when you get to a more advanced level, you will need to up your safety precautions. Although technology is advancing, learning how to use hiking tools that are non-electronic could be lifesaving. Do not let a dead cell phone battery compromise your safety. Learn how to use a compass and a map so that you are always able to return safely after a hike.