Hiking Voted Favorite Camping Activity and Outdoor Recreation

Firemen The About.com 2012 Reader’s Choice Winners are in, and hiking takes first place in the Favorite Camping Activity and Outdoor Recreation categories. Hiking is a great sport for individuals of all activity levels because of the different types of trails available. This activity can be as simple as walking on a flat path in a wildlife sanctuary to testing your balance on steep, rocky trails. With a bit of planning and the right equipment, you, too, can be ready to hit the trails in no time.

Reasons Why People Love to Hike

  • You can explore and exercise at the same time.
  • It’s a great way to exercise your pets.
  • Hiking is a good family activity.
  • Camping and hiking go hand-in-hand.
  • Hiking doesn’t have to be hard or take all afternoon.
  • Other than the occasional park entrance fee, it doesn’t cost any money to hike.

Things to Take on Your Hike

  • Pair of supportive hiking boots
  • Backpack with a CamelBak-type device for water, or include enough room for water bottles
  • LED flashlight
  • LED headlamp
  • Extra batteries for the flashlight and headlamp
  • Snacks
  • Whistle
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Charged cell phone
  • Compass
  • Multi-tool
  • Map of the trails
  • Lightweight waterproof clothing
  • First aid kit
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Hiking partner

Planning Your Hike

  • Look for a park, campground or wildlife reserve with an established system of trails.
  • Plan your hike the night before so you can highlight your trail, plan for the weather, know the location of ranger stations and can have a good sense of how long the hike will take.
  • Give a copy of the hiking map to a family member or friend, and highlight the trail you’ll be trekking.
  • Make sure the batteries in your LED headlamp and LED flashlight work.

[ Photo by: cogdogblog, via CC License ]

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