You can find package holidays to take you everywhere from a beach resort to a dude ranch to an outdoor wilderness adventure. If you anticipate traveling anytime soon and want to experience the great outdoors, you might want to consider hiking. If you are a beginner hiker, read some of the tips and techniques below to help get you started. Hiking is not simply a long walk.

Hiking through ordinary terrain requires that you maintain a steady pace for hours at a time, and do so with only short breaks each hour. This might not seem that bad, until you ad in creeks and steep, slipper slopes that can make hiking at a higher altitude seem nearly impossible. It surely isn’t impossible, but it does require certain techniques that must be adjusted according to the conditions you are in.

Walking on ordinary level terrain is usually done at a speed of two to four miles per hour at which pace you can burn anywhere from 50-150 calories hourly. Additionally, you lose about one litre of fluid for every hour of hiking and even more during a hot climate. This fluid loss must be replenished to keep your body hydrated. But, when the conditions become more challenging, you often find yourself walking up steeper slopes and at high elevations causing more of a strain and requiring your heart to work harder.

The more challenging terrains tend to be the most beautiful, though. Would you rather stroll around some brush in ordinary terrain or hike up a thick forested mountain? But, the conditions up that thick forested mountainside require more from the hiker tackling it. Be sure to pace yourself and monitor your heart rate. Try to stay on the lower range of 70 to 120 beats per minute, the average rate at rest and then during a harder workout.

This can help you avoid what is sometimes called Acute Mountain Sickness or High Altitude Syndrome, among other terms. Just as high altitudes can present challenges, crossing rivers and lakes can as well. Along with strength, experience and technique can make it a lot easier also.

Finding quality boots is the first step, specifically a waterproof, high-top boot to keep your feet dry. This is a must to avoid foot problems.

As far as technique for such conditions, it’s about experience, common sense and intelligence. For instance, avoid the temptation of fording a river when you do not need it. Undercurrents, cold temperatures and slippery bottoms are only a few of the dangers you could face. If possible, step on rocks in a stream rather than directly walking through the water. Or, take a bridge or walk around the lake rather than swimming through it.

These alternatives will actually save energy. You will have less fatigue with a longer walk than a cold, short swim. Remember, a lot of it is about common sense. Hiking in the great outdoors can be an amazing experience, but getting injured or becoming unwell should not be part of the experience.

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