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Hiking: How To Get Started

Get up and Go!

All it takes is the ability to find a park and traverse it! It's so often that we find ourselves getting prepared for something that doesn't need any preparation. I remember at one point in my life I had a mindset that went something like this; Before I can get married, I need a car, a good job, a house and health insurance. You could see that my trust was in worldly things, yet, I got a car before I had a good job, I got married without any health insurance and I still don't have a house!

Needless to say a man plans his way, but God directs his steps. Now hiking though, it's way easier than trying to plan your life. Preparation is an important part for longer hikes, but for smaller parks and trails there's almost no need!


Finding a Park

My favorite way to pick a park is to open up Google Maps. This will usually let you know if there are any closures of tours or trails and if you put Google Maps on map view (not satellite) it's easy to find parks. You just look for the green! Keep in mind how far you want to go and how much time you want to devote to exploring. Once you choose a park, click on it and look at the pictures that people have uploaded. You want to know what you'll see! I've found this to be the best way to gage if the park is worth taking a look at, if you like what you see then you've found your park!

Tip: If you have some extra time look at a few parks, and save them in a google list for later! In the image above the green flags are the ones we plan on going to, and the hearts are the ones that we have visited!

Usually cities or counties will have a website with some additional information if you want more in depth information about the park, such as length of trails. And that brings us to Naismith's Rule! This is a way of estimating how long a hike will take:

Naismith's rule is 19½ minutes per mile, plus 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet of ascent.

This is a good, rough , estimate of approximately how long a hike will take. This will determine if you need or want to bring equipment!

The last thing to be aware of is the weather! I like to use the MyRadar app. it gives a decent radar view to see what weather may be heading your way, it also has an option to show you if there are any fires, it also tells you the air quality, wind, sunrise and sunset. The best part: it's free!



Every hike has to have at lease some equipment, I mean you need shoes right? When you are in the process of picking a park, be aware of the kind of trails, and figure out if you want to go off the trails exploring, or if you want to stick to the well-traveled trails. This will determine what sort of shoes. Jess and I started with old gross shoes, because we like to explore off the trails, and sometimes that gets you into some nasty muck, ankle deep!

We could stop here, a lot of parks are small enough that all you really need are an appropriate pair of shoes. But for the sake of a little more intense hikes, lets talk about a couple more essentials.

A backpack is one of the most useful pieces of gear you can have with you on a hike. My personal favorite is a daypack, but you can use a drawstring backpack and it will work just as well - for a a small hike at least! Also remember your climate, your weather and your park. You may want to bring with you: sunscreen, bug repellant, snacks, water, ponchos, and first aid equipment. It's always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared! Safety first on all excurzions!


Ok! Now that you have your park picked out, and your gear all prepared, there's only one thing left to do! Go! Remember to thank the Lord for the beauty of His creation!

Remember to hit the ❤️ button and tell us what you think! Agree? Disagree? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!

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