Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't be concerned if you aren't hiking 6+ mile trails every weekend. It isn't about how far you are going...it's about you!
Kevin and I have always had this inside joke about staying away from women who list “hiking” as a hobby on their online dating profile. My theory is that every girl writes this because they know it isn't socially acceptable to put “shopping” or “shoes” as a hobby and is they know that hiking is basically just walking. Let’s face it, the majority of us have been walking for a long time! My thinking was: I can’t exactly claim to be into rock climbing if I've never done it before…what if he takes me to a rock gym for our first date? Hiking [read: walking] though, I can pull that off!
We have recently started training for more serious hikes, but in the beginning, we just went out and got lost. Hiking can be a great experience for any age and any skill level. One major problem I have with the hiking community is the rating system. It seems 100% arbitrary! I've been on hikes rated easy where I thought I was going to die and I've been on hikes rated difficult that I finished with no problem.
As long as there is a great view at the end…or in the middle, anywhere really, then I’m in. Your fitness level or trail difficulty shouldn’t matter in the beginning. I could list a ton of reasons to skip a hike and stay home:
It’s too hot (this struggle is REAL during a Texas summer)
There is nowhere worth hiking in the city (more on this later)
I don’t know what I’m doing
...etc. But, if you’re staying hydrated and have a good pair of tennis shoes or hiking boots you can get outside. That’s all you really need! It’s just walking after all; and a short, easy hike is better than no hike at all. If you want to set your sights a little higher, here is a list of more gear that could help. While these other items may not be absolutely necessary, I prefer to be prepared!
Don’t let your fear of creepy crawlies and other animals keep you inside because apparently they can be there also…more on that next!
Coming soon....the Animals to Fear List