a step-by-step on how to take the mountains when you’ve ever known is flat, sandy beaches or generously-inclined trails.
fall is coming, which means it’s time to grab your pumpkin spice latte and the nearest apple cider donuts and watch the color-changing leaves fall from the trees.
i get it. getting advice from someone who has only been on one hike seems like asking your friend who has never been in a relationship for love advice. but trust me, i am now your resident hiking expert.
buckle up, or should i say, strap in, as here’s some mediocre hiking advice from a mediocre now-hiker:
bring a backpack + extra water
they speak the truth. and they — as in anybody who’s hiked before. you’re going to need lots of water, and if you’re hiking up a mountain or on an uncovered trail, you may be lucky enough to find running fresh water, but even that runs through the dirt. (although, it’s great for washing off your dirty hands from climbing).
access a map of the trails.
grabbing a map of the trails at the beginning of the hike or printing off one before you leave will add much un-lost time to your adventure. (although, getting lost is an adventure in itself). even pre-researching the trails, how hard the hike is, and the times when area is the most busy/quiet is helpful, and the info online is near-to accurate.
my tip: snag two maps in case one gets lost, ripped, or too dirty to read.
don’t be afraid to fall + don’t be afraid of embarrassing yourself
it’s going to happen, and the likelihood of both is more than once. whether going up an incline, walking down the mountain, or slipping in the waterfall, gravity is going to work it’s ways against your humility, almost as if it was purposefully working against you. laugh it off, and have fun with it.
and if you feel bad or nervous, just know you weren’t me, having a group of adult tourists stopping to stare at out-of-place me walk across a fallen tree, waiting for a show of me falling to my demise (which did not happen — take that, tourists!).
go with someone who will encourage you the whole way
i can’t encourage this any more that the bold face and italics will let me. here’s when i shout out my hiking buddy and fellow oregonian, @grazia, would always turn around and shout extreme encouragements at me and my laughter-filled grunts up the mountain. get you a grazia, or a good friend who will do the same.
talk and befriend other hikers!
a good way to cheer your spirits up is making friends with those who are hiking the mountain near you, as chances are you may be seeing them again. if you pass a group that looks like frequent hikers, if you know what i mean, strike ups conversation and ask them trail advice and how long they’ve been hiking together. the good energy and good endorphins will cheer you up and make your hike lighter.
and they might even take a picture of you and your hiking buddy, too!
and always go for the greasy food after. always.
we yelped the coolest restaurants in the near town that we could find. and yeah, we chose the oldest, greasiest diner in town. where else would you find something like this in the city?
find me and other mediocre hiking advice here: