Have you ever been hiking? A lot of people enjoy hiking as an outdoor sport, and it is a great way to exercise. In some cases, it is an activity the whole family can do together, too. Not only that, it is an excellent way to keep your body and mind prepared for survival mode. Here are 10 reasons you should try hiking if you haven’t already.
Going hiking will get you moving over all kinds of terrain, in different conditions and get your heart pumping. It is also helping you to build up your endurance should you have to walk a great distance in a survival situation. You will already be confident that you can, because you already have.
Break in Your Boots
Got hiking boots? A good hike (or ten!) will help you break them in so they will be ready to go when it’s “go-time” and you have to travel on foot. The last place you want to try and break in new boots is when you are literally walking for your survival.
Handle Weather Changes
If you have spent any amount of time hiking or in the great outdoors, you have probably dealt with sudden weather changes. Hiking gives you the opportunity to figure out what you would do if a sudden shower came up, or if temperatures suddenly dropped.
Predict the Weather
If you are spending lots of time hiking, you are going to be able to notice weather patterns and changes in the weather. You’ll be able to spot and identify different types of clouds, and what kind of weather they might be bringing your way. This will be immensely helpful to you and to your family should you be traveling on foot to survive. Your knowledge could help you get to shelter in plenty of time.
Practice Carrying a Load
When you are out hiking, you are probably going to be carrying a backpack of some type with your necessities inside. This is actually great preparation for traveling on foot over rugged terrain with your bug out bag, which you might very well have to do in a SHTF scenario. It’s also good practice for possibly having to carry a small child on your back, too.
Use That Compass!
Most people today probably don’t have much practice using a map or compass, thanks to GPS in our cars and on our phones. Hiking a lot can help you with that really quickly! Your compass and map will be your best friend if you are lost, or walking to safety, so practice all you can using them now, and don’t wait for an emergency to try them out.
Get To Know The Area
People who hike and spend a lot of time exploring nature have a one up on those of us who don’t: They know the area well, and can find all sorts of things that we would never know to look for. A hiker can tell you where water can be found, and where you might find a group of trees that make a good shelter. They can also tell you how to look for and identify danger zones.
Identify Local Edible Plants
This is a huge skill to know should you ever run out of food. Hiking gives you a chance to truly learn what plants and berries are in the area, and which ones you should avoid. A good idea would be to pack a plant book in your backpack, and use it to identify the different ones you see out on hikes, so that if you have to forage for food, you’ll be better prepared.
Use Your First Aid Kit
Spending a lot of time hiking will give you practice runs with your first aid kid. This is a big help should you face a minor injury when you are just trying to survive. You’ll already be confident in using those items, and will be able to remain calm.
It is common knowledge that exercise and spending time outdoors will clear your head. A lot of people use outdoor activities as a stress reliever, and a way to take your mind off of anything that might be causing you to be overwhelmed. That old saying “take a hike!” can get a whole new meaning here!
As you can see, there are many benefits to hiking, not just for your health, but for your prepping, too. Get out and take the family on a hike this weekend!