Hiking has easily become one of our favorite hobbies, especially in the fall. It’s such an easy activity and there’s not much to it. When we have a day off, one question we almost always ask each other is “Where do you want to go?” By that we really mean is “What trail do you want to explore next?” I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again, our goal is to visit every state park in Minnesota and there’s 67, so we’ve got a long list still. Throughout our relationship, exploring the easy trails to the very rustic ones, has taught us a few things that I want to share with you today. These are all common sense that might make you think “Well, of course” but you never really think that you need them, until you’re in the elements. I look back and think “why did I do that?” So today I’m writing to share a few things I’ve learned.
Invest in proper footwear.
One day when we were newly engaged, Sam and I decided to do a day hike. This is a section of the Superior Hiking Trail, which starts in Cloquet, Mn and stretches all the way to the Canadian Boarder. It’s our goal to one day do a through hike, but that’s another story.
I’ve hiked before and was very confident that I was properly prepared. I mean, I had comfortable clothes on, protein bars, water, and extra clothes, just in case. Now what neither of us considered was the footwear. We wore our running shoes for 16 miles. Yes, you read that right. Not just that, but this was spring time and that means it was very muddy with all the melting snow. That being said, my feet were completely submerged in mud within the first hour. Also, on our way back, I was already feeling the pain in my feet, not to mention my ankles had zero support. My feet were feeling it the next day. Running shoes were designed for running on pavement, not hiking all day in rough terrain. Lesson learned.
Not long after that, we invested in proper hiking boots. The first time trying them out, it was like night and day. My feet were properly supported as well and my ankles and I knew I could last all day. Do yourself a favor a invest in proper hiking boots.
Here in Minnesota, in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this is a must. Around here any trail is in the “Deep Woods” and that means bugs are everywhere. During one of our recent hikes to Banning State Park, we had forgotten to bring this along. Bugs were everywhere. I mean, we couldn’t walk past the parking lot without a mosquito buzzing in our ears. Needless to say, it was necessary to run to the nearest gas station, otherwise it would have been a very miserable hike.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
By this I mean, don’t wear jeans. I’ve done it. I’m sure you have too. But when you’re hiking, you need something that is breathable and will move with your body. After wearing jeans during a day hike, it was hot, there was a lot of bending and stooping, I could tell I really needed to wear something more comfortable.
We all do things that make us question “Why did I do that?” But that’s what helps us to learn from our mistakes. What are some things you have learned when you have gone on a hike?