by LJ Dovichi | April 18th, 2008 | Walking

The skies are clear, the weather is warm, there’s a gentle breeze — it’s spring and the perfect season for hiking. With the right attire and equipment you can hike year round, but spring is truly the perfect time — everything is green and blooming, the trails are dry, and the weather is perfect — neither too hot nor too cold. Hiking is good for any age and fitness level; it just depends on the trails you blaze. If you’re athletic, you’ll want to pick mountain paths with sharp inclines to give your muscles a workout, and if you aren’t, then just pick a flat path and see where your ‘ramble’ leads you.hiking photo

There are some definite safety measures that you should follow if you decide to go hiking. Before you ever hit a trail, you should learn about your local flora and fauna. Do some research and make sure that the places where you might be hiking aren’t fraught with dangers such as bears, mountain cats, coyotes, poisonous snakes, or poisonous plants. Now if you have stuff of that nature in your area, it doesn’t mean you can’t hike, it just means you need to learn about what to do in case you run across any of them.

The next thing you need to do before you actually take the hike is to make sure you have the right shoes. Hiking boots are best because they have thick non-skid soles as well as go above your ankles — that helps to support them, as well as give protection while you’re out walking. A word of caution, if you buy new boots, make sure you break them in beforehand. Otherwise you’ll get blisters.

Never, never, ever, hike alone, and always take a backpack.

Backpack checklist:

1.) water bottles (several depending on length of hike)

2.) first aid kit with antiseptics, bandages, ointments, plus cures for indigenous plant and animal life

3.) snacks

4.) dry socks

5.) sunscreen

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.