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Hiking and the Great Outdoors

Hiking is naturally good for the body, mind, mood, and relationships. According to research, many benefits are associated with this form of exercise. It not only oxygenates the heart but also helps keep the body calmer, the mind sharper, relationships happier, and creativity alive. If you live in a region with woods and trees for hiking, then you have all ingredients for the great outdoors.

What Science Says about Hiking

Why should you invest time in the great outdoors? Why should you even hike in the first place? Here is what science says about hiking.

  • Hiking keeps the Mind Sharper

Compared to other exercise forms, hiking does more for the entire body than just make you feel good. Research suggests that it can also keep your brain in top shape. All forms of exercise are good for the human body.

Whether you are riding a stationary bike, using an elliptical trainer, walking on a treadmill, or running, working your lungs and heart rate out is a great way to keep feeling stronger and younger. Hiking, on the other hand, has a competitive edge to it. It involves trails. In other words, hiking requires that you navigate an unpredictable world.

You need to guard yourself against slippery dirt, wild animals, hidden obstacles, overhanging branches, and much more. All these require that you make micro and macro adjustments to your route plan. Your brain and mind are involved every step of the way.

  • Hiking Boosts Relationships

There is no doubt that hiking is good for both emotional and physical health. However, evidence shows that it can also help relationships. Most times, you hike with others and when you exercise with others, it produces a unique feeling of closeness and safety.

According to a study, mothers and daughters who spent twenty minutes walking in an arboretum showed better attention during cognitive tasks and improved interactions.

In other words, they showed more positive emotions and connections with fewer negative emotions following their walk in the natural environment. Some other pieces of research show that exposure to nature can boost relationships, making people more helpful, generous, and empathic.

  • Hiking Promotes Happiness and Calmness

The reason for this is simple. Hiking is done in a natural setting. Of course, some other physical activities, such as backpacking and river rafting, also depend on nature. However, these require more commitment and time than hiking. You can hike anywhere, from a public garden to a city park or a mountain trail.

According to research, walking in green environments helps people to recover from attention overload. This is the mental fatigue associated with living and working in an environment where cell phones and computers are constant distractions. Walking in nature is calming and studies have shown that individuals that spend time walking in nature suffer less rumination and are less anxious.

Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors

Undoubtedly, hiking and other great outdoor activities are refreshing and beneficial to the body, mind, and heart. However, hiking in the woods comes with its share of danger. Therefore, it is crucial to put safety measures in place when hiking and exploring the great outdoors. In this part, we will look at some safety tips to follow when going for your great outdoor activities. Let’s check them out.

  • Expect the Unexpected

We recommend that you envisage possible conditions you may face when going hiking. If something were to go wrong, how will you survive it? The weather can change and deteriorate if you spend the night outdoors. How will you handle this condition? If you get injured or lost, how will you get help?

It is crucial to think over this and decide on a plan of action for each scenario you paint in your mind. You should know more about the area you are going for hiking. You should consider getting a map and checking the weather forecast. When you go hiking, go along with materials to protect you from rain, wind, and cold.

You can consider a waterproof reflective survival blanket. It is highly functional, reusable, cheap, and compact. You should also consider getting a wilderness survival kit. It may be a good idea to create an equipment checklist, so you don’t leave anything out.

If you plan to smoke weed on your hike make sure you pack a durable bong that can withstand drops so you don’t have to worry about broken glass on your adventure.

  • Watch out for Bears

If you are hiking in the deep woods, there is a tendency that you will come across wild animals, especially bears. Therefore, watch out for them. You should never try to confront a bear in the wild. It is also essential to know that bears are complex, which means there is no one strategy you can use to protect yourself. The first thing is to find ways to keep the bears away. How do you do this?

Never store, prepare, or eat food in your tent while camping. While hiking in the woods, make your presence known by making noise as you walk along the paths. If you are hiking with others, stick with your group and don’t walk away from them. Bears get attracted by scents. Therefore, avoid perfumed toiletries and keep your food and garbage in airtight containers.

  • Make it Easy to Find You

When going into the wilds, come with a map, mobile phone, and GPS. When you use a GPS with a map, you can easily find your way if you get lost. A mobile phone lets you call for help when you need one. When you realize you need help or are lost, stop where you are and stay there to make it easy to find you when you send out a distress call.

If you are seriously injured, try to build a shelter and wait for someone to rescue you. If you have to signal, go to higher ground and use signal mirrors or Aerial flares to attract attention. You can also whistle, raise distress flags, or smoke flares to help your rescuers to identify your location.