You all have excuses to avoid hiking
And those excuses have become myths I often hear from a lot of people. “It is too difficult”, “it is dangerous” I have no sense of orientation. Maybe for some of you, it is the first time you hear this, but those are all myths about hiking I think we need to demystify
Beginners will never break those beliefs unless they start hiking themselves. I will try to break those myths about hiking hoping that it helps you remove those excuses so you can finally go out and start real hiking.
1. I need expensive gear
Yes, if you start to buy a lot of hiking gear, it can become expensive. Hiking boots are costly, a real backpack too. If you go to the North face website, you will see that yes, even sports clothes are expensive.
But the truth is, you don’t need gear to start hiking. The other day I saw a kid in crocs with no backpack and only a water bottle. Guess what, he made it to the top. If you read my article on how to start hiking, I go over many types of gear that I recommended for hiking. But you don’t need all of them. If you bring water, you will be fine.
Hiking shoes or boots are ideal but can be expensive. You never hiked before? Bring classic shoes. The only downside is that those shoes will only be good for one or two hikes as they will break easily. But at least you will find if you love hiking or not.
2. I need to be in shape to start
You are currently not in good shape, and you think you can go out there and hike? Guess what? I started hiking before any other sports. Back then, I couldn’t even run for 5 minutes without being out of breath.
If you are badly out of shape, I would advise against hiking some of the highest mountains. The goods news is you have some different levels of hiking to do. If you open all trail apps, you can filter the search list by difficulty from beginner to expert.
Did you find it challenging to climb stairs? You also have many flat hikes. Start slowly, and the more you will hike, the easier it will get. Are you afraid that it will be difficult? You have no time limit for your hike. Take your time to climb to the top of the mountain. If you are out of breath, take a break. You will enjoy your hike more. And you will enjoy realizing that those myths about hiking are false.
You can look at my list of beginner’s mountains if you want ideas about some easier hike.
3. Hiking is boring
I laugh every time I hear this myth about hiking. If being alone with yourself is boring, maybe you need to work some things out.
Nature is beautiful. Hiking allows you to see much vegetation you can’t see in the city. Vegetation and animals. I often see birds, rabbits, deers or any wildlife while hiking. Have you ever seen the view at the top of a mountain? Those views at the top of a hill are Breathtaking.
Those are not enough for you? Make it a challenge. Calculate the time of your hike and try to beat it next time. You can wear wireless earphones. Sometimes I listen to music, or often I listen to an audiobook while hiking. Make a game out of it, or just enjoy being here.
If you find it challenging to have time with yourself, look at the art of living book*. And learned to enjoy each moment.
Hiking will only be boring if you let it be boring.
4 – Hiking is dangerous
People die in the mountains every year. It’s dangerous. Do you know that people die in car accidents every day too? Will you stop taking your car now that I’ve told you this?
Accident happens. In four years of hiking, the only serious accident I had was tripping on a rock and falling face-first on another rock. Yes, there was blood and stitches. But it happened one time in four years, a good ratio, I think.
Especially in Quebec, the trails are always taken care of. You don’t often have loose rocks or random roots in the middle of the road. Still afraid? Often those accidents happen when people are not careful. Take your time, be careful, and everything will be alright.
What about dangerous animals? In Quebec, the black bear is the only animal to fear. You should know that popular mountains often have so much traffic on trails that wild animals stay far from those trails. This is true for many more countries. If you hike alone, be sure to make some noise, and you will be safe. Also, SEPAQ park often closes the trail if a bear has been spotted. If you are still afraid, take a look at this great article on how to behave with a bear http://www.bearsmart.com/play/bear-encounters/
Finally, winter hiking is more dangerous than summer hiking. It can be easy to fall on a steep icy trail. With the risk of frostbite and hypothermia, you need to prepare more for the winter hike. Be sure to look at my article on winter hiking to make it as fun as possible. There will be no fun if you are not prepared in winter.
5. I will get lost
You probably have no sense of orientation and get quickly lost in your own street? If that is the case, maybe you shouldn’t do any backcountry hiking.
This is one of the strong myths about hiking, but the truth is different. In standard hiking, it is hard to get lost. Often, many mountains only have two or three trails to follow. Each trail is marked with a colour code you can easily find on trees. In an intersection, you often have the name of the trail with a direction sign. Also, a lot of parks even offer maps during the hike.
Some places like the Adirondacks can be more difficult without any sense of orientation. Take a look to know if the park you are going to is popular. If you are not sure where you go, my recommendation, always asks at the reception for your path and even for a map if you need it.
With today’s technology, many websites offer an itinerary for the hike you want to do. And I know you always bring your cellphone with you. Download the itinerary on it or download the All-trails app. It will help you to find where you need to go.
6- It’s not a workout I need.
In today’s society, the standard person never moves enough. With television, video games, and cellphone, we sit so much more on our ass than before. That brings us to our last myths about hiking.
Even if you are not overweight, you probably need to move more. We all know the importance of working out for your body. Not a lot of sport offers the same need for stamina, strength, and mental endurance. Those skills are excellent for your body and can be used in your daily life.
Hiking will give you strong legs, strengthen your core and help you build endurance. As a bonus, people you meet on the trails are always lovely and hiking in nature will reduce so much stress. Usually, now my body moves better than before.
Have you ever try trail running? It is so much more fun than running in your street and even better cardio. Give it a try sometime!
If you want to read a great article about the benefice of hiking: https://www.shape.com/fitness/cardio/benefits-hiking-will-make-you-want-hit-trails
That is all
I hope that this article helps you to break those myths about hiking you always believed. In the end, you can only confirm all this by going outside and take your first hike.
You always will need to use your good sense and be careful about it. But you will find that hiking a mountain is a great sport. If you have other questions or other myths you want me to demystify, leave a comment or contact me
If you are ready, go read my article on how to start hiking. And I hope you will become a hiker like me. Now go, be healthy and have fun!