By Rachel, Contributing Writer
No matter where you live, there is a hike near you. Some take longer to get to, some are more scenic, and some make you work a little harder than others, but trust me, they’re there. Hikes are a great way to spend active time with your hubby, family, or friends that can be as easy going or hard core as you want. They make great dates too, especially if you pack a fun snack to share when you reach your destination or when you get back to the car (we like to call that trail-gating ;) ).
I love being outside. We are blessed to be a two teacher family (both high school science teachers though I’m home for now to have babies) so we are lucky enough to have more time during our summer to go on hikes that the average couple. But just because you don’t have a lot of extra time doesn’t mean you can’t get outside too.
Doesn’t hiking take a lot of skill and stuff?
Hiking isn’t as scary or difficult as people make it out to be. You don’t have to be in amazing shape or be a marathoner…you just have to be ready to go on a walk with some hills here and there (usually). Sure, it’s a good idea to make sure you have your 10 essentials in case anything happens. You can also read up and prepare yourself with great tips on how to get started with hiking.
All you really need, though, is a sturdy pair of shoes, good socks, some water, a buddy (never go hiking alone!), and a place to start. Tell someone where you’re going and when to expect you back and you’re good to go.
Where do I go?
Check out sites like Backpacker.com or Google regional sites (we are lucky to have wta.org catalog great hikes around here). State parks usually have hiking trails within their boundaries and you’ll be close to a toilet and parking, too. If you are struggling finding a place to go, email me and I’ll help find you something.
Why should I go?
Hubby: a lot of guys love being active and outside. The fresh air is energizing and invigorating and something fun to be shared between to the two of you. Plus, most guys open up when they’re doing something. A walk in the woods might be just what the two of you need to get chatting about things beyond “how was your day.” Also, how sexy is it to see your honey break a sweat? ;) Especially when you’re in God’s wondrous creation together…just sayin’…
Dog: your pup will thank you for the frolic in the woods. Even if they can’t be off leash, there are tons of sights and smells to break up the monotony of your normal around-the-neighborhood walk. If you’re lucky, there will be a lake to play in or field to run in along the way.
Family: what an awesome way to get your kiddos to experience in God’s handiwork! Our kids are nature-deprived…don’t let your child be one of them! It’s getting so bad people are writing books about it. And what a great way to talk about our role as God’s stewards of Earth? It’s an integral time to introduce children to the natural resources we’re blessed with all around us.
You: fresh air, check. Workout (read: endorphins!), check. Time away from the hustle and bustle of life, check. Time with a good friend/your hubby/your kid(s) in God’s creation, check. And even though I hike with others, there is always quiet hiking time on the trail when I carry on a dialogue with God about how amazed I am at His handiwork. Sound like something you need right now? I know I do…
Alright…have I convinced you yet? If you need more inspiration, check out our anniversary hiking tradition, an adventure I had with some girlfriends on the trail, and hikes with baby. And if you don’t get on the trail til the rains of fall and snows of winter come, be encouraged by this account of snowshoeing in January with our then-4-month-old.