Hiking is great for exploring unknown places, undertaking physical challenges, and calming the senses. There are also incredible health benefits associated with hiking, both for fitness and mental well-being.
Knowing why hiking is good for you is the first step to planning amazing hiking vacations. Here are some of the benefits:
- Increased balance and stability
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Improved heart rate and blood sugar levels
- Improved mood
- Reduced stress and anxiety
Did you know that walking on uneven terrain can use 28% more energy than walking on a flat surface? (Time, 2017)
With the “why” of it covered, here are some helpful tips for planning hiking adventures that will maximize your time enjoying the great outdoors.
3 Tips for Planning Hiking Vacations
Turn hiking vacations into hiking adventures, all while respecting the natural environment, by taking into account these 3 very important things.
#1 Always Put Safety First
It might sound cliché, but putting safety first and always being prepared can never be understated. A big part of hiking safety is letting someone know you’re going. That way, someone will know if you’re not back by the time you planned to be, in the rare event that something goes wrong.
Bringing a first aid kit is also a key safety measure for hiking vacations. Add items such as water purification tablets or a small size water filter in case you’re in a jam for water. Speaking of water, starting your trek with a full, refillable bottle is another good safety measure.
#2 Plan the Right Route for Your Experience Level
Hiking can be hard work, and while it’s awesome to challenge yourself, you also need to be certain you can complete your journey without too much difficulty. Furthermore, when you’re exploring a large area, you want to be confident that you can stay on track.
For instance, Haliburton Forest spans over 100,000 acres, or 400 square kilometres, with more than 300 kilometres of trails. It’s not hard to imagine how easy it might be to lose your way! Fortunately, we provide forest maps to hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers, colour coded accordingly to the level of difficulty.
Adventurers planning hiking vacations at Haliburton Forest can download our Interactive Trail Map ahead of time to help plan their route. We also encourage visitors to monitor weather and trail conditions ahead of their hike to get a better idea of what to wear, and what to pack.
#3 Come and Go Without a Trace
While spending time outdoors has great benefits for us, we don’t always have great benefits for the outdoors. That’s why our third helpful tip for planning hiking adventures is to take your trash with you and leave no trace of your visit on the Forest; in fact, whenever possible, it’s best to leave your campsite looking better than how you find out.
Environmental sustainability is a key element of Haliburton Forest’s operation. We’re grateful for the enjoyment and resources the Forest can provide for us, and in return we ask our guests to aid in the Forest’s preservation by leaving no waste or other material behind.
The Next Planning Phase: Know What to Pack
The tricky thing about outdoor recreation is just that: it’s outdoors. Being ready for changing weather can be a tall order in Canada!
Know what to pack for any activity in any season with our FREE Essential Packing List for Families. Be certain you have everything you need for outdoor recreation and adventure activities, rain, shine, snow or maybe even all three.