Take A Hike! No Really, National Take A Hike Day Is Monday

Happy Friday, readers! If you’re counting down the days until Thanksgiving like I am, we now have less than two weeks before we can indulge in a delicious meal. But, if you’re also like me, you may be finding ways to lose a few pounds before Thanksgiving so you don’t feel as guilty about eating so much food. Look no further, as I have a solution for you!

National Take A Hike Day takes place this year on Monday, Nov. 17. It seems that no one is truly aware of how this holiday originated, but I’m going by the belief that it encourages people to go outside and explore the world around them. Others may celebrate this day by telling others to, “Take a hike!” but do this at your own discretion!

A hike and a walk differ in that a hike is generally for a longer period of time and most often takes place in more rugged terrain such as dirt paths or rocky hillsides. The benefits of hiking are the same as going for a walk (I wrote about the benefits of walking in this blog post), but hikes usually provide some scenic views, which is a reward in and of itself.

If you plan to celebrate this day by going on a hike, make sure you’re prepared for the journey. Once you’ve decided where to hike, research any park rules before taking off. National parks and many hiking areas have rules and regulations in an effort to preserve the wildlife. Check out information such as hours of operation, activities that require a permit, any winter guidelines and if pets are allowed on the grounds.

Layers are a must for the chilly weather, and you will need to wear a good pair of hiking shoes or tennis shoes. It’s ideal to wear waterproof outerwear in case of rain or snow. Some other essentials include a map of the area (don’t rely on cell phone service in the wilderness!), a compass, a water bottle, a first aid kit and some snacks or a lunch that you can enjoy on the path. If you plan to bring your dog with you, make sure to bring a leash, a warm cover up and a dish or a shallow container for water. Also be sure you have some waste bags on hand. In some parks, pets must be on a leash at all times. For those that don’t, consider bringing a ball to play with! Be sure to check this detail before heading out.

If you still want to tell someone to “take a hike” instead, tell it to a friend whom you want to go hiking with. Going on hikes is better in a group and you can reap the benefits of the outdoors together. Plus, your friend can’t be too upset with you if he or she takes the phrase the other way. Happy hiking!

Where is your favorite place to hike?

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