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  • Writer's pictureAngie Grimes

Stress Free Day Hike

Day hikes are quick mini adventures that I frequently partake in. It's a great way to break up the monotony of the day-to-day grind. A day hike is an excellent way to get in some exercise, stress relief, and to commune with nature. A day hike is usually considered a hike that can be completed in a day and the mileage you cover depends on each individual. Don't let anyone ever tell you your adventure wasn't a hike if you only went a mile or so on a trail. HYOH! (Hike your own hike). Even if your day hike is 2 to 3 miles or 16 to 24 miles, being prepared will make for a more stress free and safe experience.

Here are some things to consider when planning your next day hike:

Snacks and water: About 1 liter of water per hour is a good rule of thumb, but it depends on the conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.). If you are hiking in very hot weather, it's best to drink more than usual.

Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm are essential items for any day hike.

Gear: Daypacks should have enough room for all your essentials and food for a day hike. A small first aid kit is also recommended — just in case!

Footwear: Hiking boots are ideal for day hikes because they offer better ankle support than running shoes or sneakers and offer more traction on tricky trails. A good pair of trail runners work great too. Some people find them to be more comfortable and lightweight especially during the warmer months.

Weather conditions determine what type of clothing you should wear on your hike. In general, you want to dress in layers so that you can take off or put on clothing as needed throughout the day.

Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. Whether you're going on a short-day hike or an overnight camping trip, there are a few things you should always bring with you.

Here are some tips for packing for your next hiking adventure:

1. Pack the essentials: Water, food, first aid kit and map. You'll need to hydrate during your hike and replenish your energy stores by eating snacks along the way. It's also a good idea to make sure you're well hydrated before heading out on the trail; dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion or worse if not treated quickly enough. Consider bringing along a water bottle or hydration pack with extra water so you don't run out while hiking through remote areas where there aren't any water sources nearby. Be sure to pack a first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic ointment, pain relievers and anything else you might need in case of an emergency. It's also important to have a map or some type of GPS tracking with you so you can find your way back or you can be found if something goes wrong. It's also a good rule of thumb to let your friends or family know where you'll be and what time you expect to be finished.

2. Wear appropriate clothing: The weather can change quickly when hiking outdoors, so it's important to dress appropriately for the conditions at hand. Choose clothes that are lightweight (so they won't weigh down your backpack) and breathable (so you don't overheat). Having extra layers in case it gets cold at night or if there's inclement weather can also help keep you comfortable throughout your hike (and make it easier for others who may be waiting for you at the trailhead).

3. Protection: I'm a woman and I really enjoy solo hiking. With that said, I carry some type of personal protection wherever I hike. It's a personal preference and something that is totally your call to make. You never know what can happen in the wilderness especially when you're alone. Yes, there are wild animals out there and it's possible that you may come across a dangerous one. Yes, there are other people out there too and it's always a possibility that you may encounter a dangerous one, although I have never felt threatened on my many adventures. I personally, err on the side of caution. More on hiking solo as a woman in a future blog.

Going on a day hike can be fun! It's a great way to get some exercise in

and a quick reprieve from day-to-day stresses. You can have a wonderful adventure with less worry and more energy to focus on the beauty around you when you've done a little planning and prep beforehand. So, whether you're planning your next day hike or your very first one, remember these easy tips to have a stress-free and safe day of hiking.

Remember, hike your own hike and happy trails!

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