Noted environmentalist and outdoorsman, one of the greatest outdoor enthusiasts (John Muir) once said “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” That’s exactly why we here at SolTech+ are so passionate about being outside and experiencing the beauty of the world. Not only is hiking a great way for us to hit individual fitness goals (and get a healthy dose of Vitamin-D), but more importantly, it’s a way for us to commune with nature, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
It’s a way to find that singular thread that connects to all that surrounds us. We can talk all day about the scientifically proven benefits of soaking up Vitamin-D in the sun (and don’t worry we will), but in the end, it’s about so much more than that. To us, hiking represents a lifestyle and an attitude choice. We want to engage with nature, to treat it with respect and awe, to explore and be confounded by the beauty that surrounds us. We know you feel the same way. That’s why you’re here. It resonates.
So what do you do when you feel the call? How do you start to hike, especially when it can feel daunting and overwhelming to the novice backpacker? Not to worry, we’ve come up with a list of ways to get the most out of your experience. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a seasonal trail vet, try these ideas to maximize your experience in the great outdoors.
Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small
While it can be tempting to go for whatever trail is going to give you the best insta pic, that’s not always the one that’s right for you. It’s OK to start small. Did you know that you can get a healthy dose of vitamin D from just ten minutes of outdoor activity a day? That means that you don’t have to overdo it right out the gate.
Here’s a helpful tip for figuring out the time of a hike; estimate around three miles per hour on average, then add a half hour for every 500 feet of elevation gain. Use that to figure out your best trail experience. Once you’ve hiked a few times, you’ll know your limits better and can work toward improving those goals. Plus you won’t be so tired that it won’t be fun — and still very insta-worthy.
Check the Weather
While SolTech+ gear might be able to handle the elements, it’s important to remember that (especially when you’re starting) it’s always better when the sun is shining. Trails can often be altered during especially bad weather, so make sure you check your app before beginning a hike. Even small weather changes can make for vastly different hiking experiences, but that unpredictability is what makes these lifestyle activities so exciting. Just be sure you’re ready for anything!
Wear the Right Gear
Obviously we recommend SolTech+ for enjoying the maximum benefits of being out in the sunshine, but it’s also about the right shoe and sock choices. Don’t think heavy leather boots, there are plenty of light hikers available. Think about if you’re going for a quick afternoon trail run, or something more intense and pack accordingly. And don’t forget to pack blister dressings, especially if it’s your first time out in a while.
This is the first in a series that SolTech+ has produced to help you become the person you want to be. It starts here, with healthy minds, bodies, and spirits. We’re excited to go on this journey with you. We can’t wait to see where on the trail we all end up. Happy hiking, fam.