When is the last time you went on a day hike? Last week? Last month? Last year? Never? Whatever the case may be, don’t worry, hiking is an activity that’s easy to get back into – or into for the first time. The reason for this is because most people who go hiking feel invigorated. When you’re constantly moving and one with nature, endorphins are released throughout your bloodstream. The release of endorphins leads to a happier mood. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many people become addicted to hiking.
If you live in a mountainous area or within driving distance to elevated land, excellent, you have a big advantage over the average hiker as far as convenience is concerned. But hiking is often misunderstood as having to move in an upward direction. This is not the case. Hiking is simply going on a trek from Point A to Point B without any motorized assistance. Therefore, hiking can be done on any type of land. For example, if you live on Long Island, you can attempt to hike the island from north to south. There are trails for that stretch 19 miles across. If you live in Manhattan, you can attempt to walk from South Street Seaport to uptown. Even though you’re on concrete, this is still considered a hike. And if you live on the California coast, you can hike on the beach. The point here is that hiking is a possibility no matter where you live.
The most obvious benefit to going on a hike is that you will be getting fresh air and away from the world. Americans are known for working too hard. There’s a good chance you fall into that category. If so, you should strongly consider rewarding yourself with a day hike. This is a unique way to spend your free time, and it’s extremely rare that someone doesn’t enjoy a day hike. The only times this happens is when someone veers off the marked trail and gets lost or if they don’t bring the right footwear.
Another big benefit to taking a day hike is the amazing views. Have you ever sat at a peak and eaten lunch on a rock? If not, try it, and listen to everyone that reaches the peak after you arrive. At least 50% of them will look at the view and say ‘Wow.’ It’s funny to see how many people react the same way. And don’t worry about if you will have a good view or not. Most trails are designed to end up in a spot with a great view. This is also the case on flat land. You might end up at a lake, a pasture, or some form of unique landscape. Regardless of what type of land you’re traveling on, remember to bring plenty of water and proper hiking shoes. It’s also wise to bring a cell phone in case of an emergency. Since going on a day hike is a time to get away from the world, most people like to keep their cell phones off while on the trail. This is highly recommended if you really want to get the true feeling of being away from society. Knowing you have a cell phone on-hand is simply for peace of mind. Of course, once you’re at an observation point, you cannot help it if others are on their cell phones.
An often overlooked advantage of going on a day hike is bonding. If you’re traveling with a friend, your relationship will only grow from this experience. This is the case regardless of how long you have known him (or her). Even if you’re going on a day hike with your spouse, you will find yourself asking each other intimate questions. This experience is made even better when you end up at a romantic observation point and you can enjoy a memorable kiss.
Perhaps you’re the type of person who likes to day hike on their own. That’s great; you have a true attachment to the natural world. You also love the feeling of accomplishment once the hike is complete. This is one major reason you’re so motivated to hike again. It also leads to increased confidence in your career and social settings. Many lone hikers will invite others on day hikes, but end up realizing they enjoy hiking themselves a lot more. Everyone is different, and it’s okay to spend time trying to find your niche. Once you find it, you’re sure to be addicted to day hikes. Few experiences in the world are more rewarding.