Hiking can be fun. But it can also be challenging. It can take you to new places and make you learn new things about yourself each day.
But going on a long-distance hike’s not the same as going up a short mountain trail. Though fun-filled and adrenaline rush inducing, long-distance hikes can very quickly leave you feeling emotionally and mentally drained.
To fully enjoy your next long-distance hike, here’s how you can prepare yourself to cope better.
1. Prepare Yourself Mentally And Physically
If you’re embarking on a long-distance hiking trip to the Appalachian Trail, it’s best to take the time to prepare yourself—body and mind—before the journey. This is because doing so will allow you to enjoy your hiking trip to the fullest.
To prepare, research the hiking trail and its routes in detail to know if you’ll be able to traverse them without overexerting yourself. Also check to see if the weather of the hiking destination is to your liking. Knowing the physical demands of a long-distance hike beforehand will keep you prepared regarding every aspect of a hiking trip.
In short, you know whether you’ll be able to meet the physical demands of a long-hike without putting your health at risk.
Next, to prepare yourself emotionally, recognize the real dangers that can crop up while hiking. These include, but are not limited to, animals and wildlife, inclement weather, and the possibilities of getting injured or lost. By recognizing these dangers, you’ll be better able to come up with a backup plan should things go wrong.
You can also make yourself feel emotionally at ease by letting a loved one know about your hiking destination and trails.
2. Keep Yourself Busy When Not Hiking
Going on a long hike means that you’ll be gone from home for a very long time. It also means you’ll be away from the warm embrace of your friends and family.
If you’re on a long hike all alone, the chances are that you’ll begin to feel very lonely when not hiking. Sitting alone on a rock near your pitched tent will begin to make you feel suffocated. The wilderness that you appreciated will begin to look uninviting.
All of this can take a toll on you emotionally and mentally. You can begin to lose interest in the trip and very quickly lose sight of why you embarked on it.
To prevent that from happening, make sure you have the right supplies. This can include your favorite novels, comics, or magazines. You can even carry a journal with you if you love writing.
But that’s not all! If you’re craving for some human comfort, call up your friends or family when the reception’s good.
3. Revel In The Details
Trudging along the long path every hour of the day can make you lose sight of why you went on a hiking trip. It can make it a burden that you have to lug around, instead of a once in a lifetime experience.
To inject the fun back into your trip, you can start by paying attention to the little details. Walking along a new trail path? Notice the flowers and their details. Does their color change as you climb uphill? If the flora is not your cup of tea, look at the wildlife—the birds and insects.
In short, take the time to revel in the details of your hiking trip. Look at the sky. Stop for a few minutes to breathe in the unadulterated air. Just stop for a second to stand still, and take in the beauty around you.
Looking To Prepare For Your Long-Distance Hiking Trip?
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For ultralight hiking gears, make sure to check out their collection online.