Do you feel like your summer wasn’t the best it could be? Summer might almost be over, but you still have time to try something new. Shake off that summer boredom and try engaging yourself with Mother Nature! Hiking or trekking is a surefire way to spruce up your vacation. Not only will you be trying something exciting but you will be getting a workout as well. (And who says getting workout is not worth it? Nobody!) Most of the time, if not all, hiking and trekking can be done with a group of people. So pick a Saturday and get a group of friends to go out and enjoy Mother Nature. Don’t worry, for this activity, a tan’s included. You can still get that summer bronze look you’ve always wanted.
Hiking versus Trekking
Sometimes the words hiking and trekking are used interchangeably. However, hiking is different from trekking and trekking is different from hiking. What’s the difference? Hiking involves walking on pre-charted paths (called hiking trails) in a natural environment. There are both day hikes and overnight hikes. Trekking on the other hand involves journeying on uncharted paths in hilly or mountainous areas. Usually when trekking, there is no means of transportation available.
Hiking is very popular in North America, Europe, New Zealand, Chile, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. These areas have beautiful and lush landscapes and mountains. Afraid that you won’t find a place to hike? Don’t fear – there are many hiking trails near metropolitan areas. You can check online or a tourist help center near you to find available hiking trails. Many tourist spots offer packages with a guide if you’re unsure of hiking without a guide.
A day hike involves what is implied in the name, a hike in one day. These hikes are shorter and will not require you and your friends to stay overnight. Lucky for you, your backpack will be lighter. Definite items that every hiker should bring are: water (at least 2 liters), hiking boots, sunscreen, lunch or snacks, poncho (in case of rain), plastic bag (for trash), a cell phone, GPS/compass, and a first aid kit. You and your friends should also consider wearing compression gear during your hike. Although hiking is not as strenuous as trekking, it can still result in discomfort or injury. Hiking requires walking for long periods of time, which could result in a shin splint. Shin splints are pain in the lower leg between the knee and the ankle. One way to combat this is to wear Zensah hiking socks. Hiking socks provide additional calf and shin support, and ultimately shin splint relief.
Overnight Hike and Camping
An overnight hike requires you to spend a night outside with Mother Nature. A night under the stars is a great way to relieve stress and improve your mental health. To prepare, pack a little more than you usually do on a day hike. A daypack may not be sufficient for this trip so consider bringing a bigger bag. You will need to pack a sleeping bag, matches (in a ziplock bag), pads, more water, and protein-rich foods. In addition, you will need to bring a tent. Three-season tents are great, especially for winter climates. Before you leave your campsite, be sure to clean up any messes. You wouldn’t want to deal with an angry Mother Nature would you?
Trekking is an activity that meant for explorers. Trekking is much more popular outside of the U.S. such as Nepal, Bhutan, the Andes, and India. It is much more intense and rigorous than hiking. However, if you participate in this activity, you will find it to be very rewarding and fun. If you decide to partake in this activity, here are a few tips to make your trip more enjoyable.
To Trek or Not to Trek?
Trekking requires days away from civilization, which means no television, running water, electricity, etc. You need to be comfortable with the thought of spending a few days outdoors or else this might not work for you. If you’re unsure, test the waters by going on an overnight hiking trip. If you decide that you want to become a trekker, first find a group of people you can trust to go with you. Together you can decide where you all would like to trek. To find an area, you can search online for popular sites and read up on guidebooks. Some places even offer packages with a professional trekker. After you arrive on site, be sure to communicate with the local tourist office. This is especially important if you decide to go to an unknown area.
Before embarking on a trek, it’s always important to first check the weather forecast. Cancel your trip if the weather or climate is bad. If the weather is fair, make sure to bring a raincoat or windsheeter in case the climate suddenly changes. Also, be sure to bring clothes that are versatile for hot or cold weather. One example of this is Zensah Compression Socks. These socks are designed to be used in various situations. The socks are made with silver ions for thermal regulation which is great for the cold and hot. They’ll keep you warm and provide protection from the sun. At the same time, Zensah Compression Socks will aid in your legs and feet before, during, and after your long trek. They’ll help prevent shin splints and decrease recovery time by helping to rebuild muscles faster. These socks are a definite must to pack in your trip. If you’re not feeling the socks, you could try the compression leg sleeves which gives the same amount of support as the socks.
In addition, pack your bag to make sure you have everything you need to survive. Definite items that every trekker should bring are: plastic bags, small hunting/army knife, long pants, long sleeve shirts, underwear, match boxes wrapped in a plastic bag, sleeping bag, water, food stashed in a bear canister or stuff sacks, flashlight, sunscreen, insect repellent, toiletries, First Aid Kit, trekking rope, and a camera. The best place to pack is at home. You can spread everything on the floor and visually check if you have everything.
If you’re worried about getting lost, here’s an idea to try. Wear similar bright clothing so you will be able to recognize your group. Try to stray away from greens or browns that may blend you into the environment. One great trend to try is neon compression leg sleeves. Not only will you get the benefit of the compression leg sleeves, but you will be able to spot your group from a mile away!
The most important thing to do whether hiking or trekking is to have fun. There are many health benefits to consider when deciding to hike or trek. Both activities help to combat obesity, prevent heart disease, decrease hypertension, slow down the aging process, prevent osteoporosis, improve our air quality, and much more. The list goes on.
For all of the Zensah explorers, hikers, and trekkers out there, do you have any tips or tricks to share? Where is your favorite place to go hiking or trekking? Let us know in the comment section below!