Last Updated on September 9, 2021
A perfect weekend hiking trip includes exercise and sunshine, fresh air and new sights, and a quick reminder of all the beauty the world has to offer. Whether you’re overworked and exhausted, or stir-crazy and anxious, this could be exactly what you need in order to kick your Monday through Friday blues to the curb and find joy in the smaller things again.
If you are an experienced hiker, you know how important it is to plan your trip well; and if you are a novice, you don’t want to learn the hard way. Even minimalists generally have five to ten elements of their trip that they cannot do without. Keep reading for some tips on how to get the most out of your weekend trip and come away refreshed and renewed.
1. Wear the Right Shoes
Taking good care of your feet starts with wearing the right shoes. The wrong shoes can end your trip early or leave you miserable and unable to comfortably walk for days. When choosing which shoes to wear, go with a pair that has good tread and decent support.
You are the only one who can settle for yourself, the great debate over boots, tennis shoes, or sandals. Each type of shoe has its benefits and disadvantages. Whatever you do, though, DO NOT wear brand new shoes. Shoes that have not been broken-in tend to rub in weird spots, and you don’t want those kinds of blisters on the trail.
2. Prepare to be Sore
Whether you are training for the Appalachian Trail or planning to hike a nice, flat canal trail, hiking can lead to stiff, sore muscles. Make your trip as enjoyable as possible, and ensure that you will still be able to move on Monday, by managing pain before it even starts.
One of the best, most natural ways to manage muscle and joint pain out on the trail, is with CBD. Rubbing a bit of CBD cream into your legs, your feet, and your back before, during, and after your hike will help keep your muscles more limber, prevent or reduce inflammation, and aid your recovery time. Combine the cream with a tasty CBD gummy snack for some powerful pain relief on and off the trail.
3. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
On the more severe end of things, dehydration can lead to heatstroke, swelling of the brain, coma, or even death. This can happen faster than one would expect; but before that even starts, you’ve got some other uncomfortable consequences of dehydration including muscle weakness, cramps, and headache.
If you are thirsty, you are probably at least a little dehydrated already. Make sure you are drinking water as much as possible, and consider bringing some electrolyte supplement tablets with you in order to keep your body’s hydration levels stable.
4. Feed Those Muscles
You don’t want to weigh yourself down when you’re out on the trail, and we know that every pound counts. It’s important, however, to maintain a proper protein and carb intake. If you don’t, you may not have the energy to enjoy yourself, and you could be putting yourself at risk for injury.
Make sure you focus on getting the right number of calories to support your activity level and take things that are easy to prepare. A stove for hiking is an excellent investment if you would like to cook, and modern fuel packs barely add any weight to your load.
5. Protect Yourself From …
No need to panic, but hiking in the wilderness exposes you to … nature. Depending on where and when you are hiking—and whether you are sleeping outside as well—you may need to take measures to protect yourself from insects, snakes, scavengers like raccoons, larger animals like bears, and the sun.
Make sure you are aware of the dangers of being out in the wild in whatever region you plan to hike, and prepare accordingly. No matter where you go, the bare minimum should be sun protection. A light head covering, UV resistant sunglasses, lighter clothes that cover more of your skin, and sunscreen for the exposed areas are a must.
6. Be Prepared for an Amazing Adventure
Whether this is your first hiking trip or your hundredth, you are about to have the adventure of a lifetime. No hiking trip is ever the same as the ones before, but they will always supply you with memories that last a lifetime. Whether it is spectacular sights, enormous challenges, or time for life-changing introspection (or all three!), hiking will give you what you need in order to come back to the daily grind with a fresh take.
The key to having just enough adventure is preparation. Do your research, make sure you have good shoes, you are prepared for a little soreness, and you know how to protect yourself from any dangers found where you are going, and you’re well on your way to one the best weekends of your life!