Need to get away?
Tired of being inside?
Take a hike!
Hiking is a great way to relieve stress, clear your mind, and get some exercise. Plus, you get out of the house and away from technology during a time when many of us are working from home. For those of you with kids, it's also a great way to bond and spend time with your family.
You're probably among the many people who would like to do more hiking, but don't want to invest a great deal of time or money to do it. Perfect, this blog is for you. Regardless of your hiking experience or ability, we all want to come home safely. Here are a few practical things you should do to help keep you and your family safe on a hike.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
The first rule for staying safe is to always have someone with you when you hike. If possible, go with with someone who is familiar with the area. Advanced knowledge of the trail you choose will usually keep you out of trouble. If you do hike alone, make sure you have a phone with a charged battery with you at all times. It's also a good idea to carry personal protection. If you're hiking in areas where there is a bear population, Guard Alaska Bear Spray from Mace® Brand is a smart way to prepare yourself. And a personal alarm from Mace® easily clips onto a purse, backpack or set of keys.
DO SOME QUICK RESEACH
- Figure out how long the trail will take to complete based on your fitness level.
- Read about the local wildlife and terrain to understand the potential dangers.
- Know the weather forecast and be ready to cancel if things change. Also, pack the rain gear in the car, you just never know.
TELL SOMEONE YOUR PLANS
This may sound simple, but it's a must. Let a friend, neighbor or another family member know where you're going and what time you expect to be back.
Hiking can drain your energy quickly. Be sure to bring water and take frequent stops to drink it. It's a good idea to snack on trail mix, nuts, or granola bars to keep your energy levels high.
Another benefit of hiking, as we mentioned earlier, it gets you outside and gives you and your family a break from technology. According to outdoorfederation.com, hiking is critical to both your mental and physical health. Hiking gives you much more than exercise alone can give you.
Some research even suggests the physical benefits of hiking may go as far as helping certain cancer patients recover. In study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine researchers measured something called oxidative stress, which is thought to play a role in the onset, progression and recurrence of cancer. The oxidative stress rate was measured in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer before and after hiking. The study found long distance hiking trips may help improve the body's ability to fight off these diseases.
Take a hike, enjoy the benefits, and stay safe.
Additional information: American Hiking Society - Protect the Places You Love to Hike
Get that peace of mind, that self-confidence, that empowerment, that comes with knowing you can protect yourself.
Another story you'd enjoy: Parking Safety for Health Care Workers and Patients - Tips to Keep You (mace.com)
Tell us about your favorite place to hike, just leave a comment below.