Take a Hike for Mind, Body and Soul.
Hiking is great exercise, but it’s also good for your soul. For natural stress relief and an instant mood boost, head outdoors.
It gets us out in nature among the sun, trees and grass. It clears the mind and has proven to reduce stress levels by pushing out unhealthy thoughts and replacing them with the good thoughts that are easier to tune into on the trail. Hiking helps us get a better night’s sleep. It’s that good kind of tired (28% more energy used) that comes from walking the varying ground slopes you encounter while hiking also make it different from flat-ground walking.
In other words, when life is feeling a little crazy, take a hike! A 2015 study from Stanford University found that time spent in natural environments (as opposed to busy city settings) calmed activity in a part of the brain that research has linked to mental illness.
Before you hit the trail.
Whether you want to go deep into the mountains or stay closer to home, the places to go are numerous. There are great places to hike in every state; many state and national parks offer broad networks for trails, as does national forest land.
Once you choose a location, the next thing you’ll want to do is to prepare for your day on the trail. The best day hiking packing list is different for each person, for each type of hike, and for different weather conditions.
As you look at suggested day hiking packing lists keep in mind that your day hiking packing goal is to:
- Keep your load as light as possible
- Cover your basic comforts
- Maximize your safety on the trail
Here’s a good starter list:
- Weather-appropriate clothing (think moisture-wicking and layers)
- Hiking boots or shoes (comfortable and supportive)
- Plenty of food (think nutrient-dense snacks like Grateful Snacking Co. snacks)
- Plenty of water
- Navigation tools such as a map and compass
- First-aid kit
- Knife or multi-tool
- Bug spray
Hiking can be a spiritual and rejuvenating experience. Get out there. Your soul will thank you for it!