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If you are looking for a grand adventure, then a well-planned backpacking trip is the best way to find it because there is nothing quite like taking the long trail up a mountainside or through a gorgeous forest. However, while it may seem easy to just buy a backpack and start walking, there are many considerations and things you must do to prepare for a backpacking trip.

We are here to help. Whether you are an experienced hiker or you are just starting out, we have some great tips and pieces of advice that can be lifesavers during your next backpacking trip.

Choosing the Right Backpacking Gear

When starting to prepare for your a backpacking trip, then you will want to take some time to get your body and mind in tip-top shape so you don’t get out there to find out that you weren’t truly prepared.

For starters, you will need to choose the right backpack. If you are planning a long hike, then you will need to buy a pack that has all of the essential elements, including a top-loading design, extra pockets, and a water bladder pocket so you can always stay hydrated. Try on different packs and make sure that it is comfortable because you’ll have it on your back for long periods of time. 

As part of your training, you will want to find and purchase shoes or boots that are comfortable and durable enough to last throughout your adventure without falling apart or hurting your feet.

When shopping for boots, make sure to try them on before you buy. You’ll want to find boots that are snug around your entire foot but not too tight, and you should have a little bit of wiggle room for your toes.

You do not want them to be loose, or they could end up hurting your feet. Once you find what you need, wear them during your training.

Physically Preparing for Your Backpacking Trip

Next, you will need to get in shape and prepare your body for the long journey backpacking. You are going to want to practice by walking a lot in the months and/or weeks leading up to your hike.

You will want to aim for at least 10,000 steps a day. Once you get used to the motion, you’ll need to kick it up a notch by walking up and down hills or stairs so you can get your body used to that movement. As a final step, add weight to your backpack and walk with it a lot until you build up your muscles.

Basic First Aid for Your Backpacking Trip

It is important for both new backpackers and seasoned pros to brush up on the common risks and dangers that can occur out on the trail because if you are always prepared and you understand the potential dangers, then backpacking can be a very peaceful endeavor.

For starters, you never know when someone will trip or get hurt in some way, so it is essential to be protective and pack a first aid kit. Your kit should include basic hiking materials, such as gauze, bandages, sanitizer, and sunscreen, along with any necessary medications.

A common threat that can become a reality during a hike is the potential of ticks and other pests. It is important to know how to combat and prevent ticks, which includes wearing long pants, using insect repellant, always staying on the designated trail, and avoiding walking through long grass whenever possible.

Make it a point to stop at regular durations throughout your hike to check for ticks. Always look at the common hiding places, such as the back of the knees, between your legs, and around your waist. 

You will want to have a pair of tweezers in your first aid kit, and if you find a tick, use them to pull the head of the pest upward using even pressure. Once you are sure it is removed, clean the area with antiseptic.

Mapping Out Your Plan Ahead of Time

It is also a wise idea to research the trail ahead of time, so you don’t run the risk of getting lost or becoming stressed. If information is available, then get a general idea of the course that your trail will take and always follow all posted signage. Make sure that your phone is fully charged, and bring an extra charger so you can call for help if necessary.

Packing the Right Food to Optimize Nutrition

How you fuel your body before and during the adventure is an incredibly important part of preparing for your backpacking trip, so you have the physical strength to get through your journey. As you prepare for a backpacking trip, make an effort to change your diet and avoid the fast foods and overly sugary treats that can hinder your body and prevent you from enduring extensive periods of activity. 

Continue this diet up until the day of the hike. In the morning, make sure that you have a smart and solid breakfast. This is truly the most important meal of the day because by including fruit, dairy, and whole grains, you get the essential nutrients that your body needs, which helps to control your blood sugar levels, manage your weight, and most importantly, provide a natural energy boost to keep you going during the hike. You should bring other nutritious snacks like granola and trail mix so you can stay nourished and energized until the end.

Of course, you also need to drink plenty of water during your expedition. By staying hydrated, you replace the fluids that you flush out by sweating, and drinking water also helps you to stay alert. As a general rule, try to drink a half-liter of water for every hour of walking in moderate temperatures. 

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before you head up the trail during your next backpacking expedition. Follow the guidance provided here, and you will stay in great shape during your next adventure.

The current pandemic has proven tough for passionate travelers. During these times, many people have taken to pandemic-friendly hobbies like hiking or backpacking to satisfy their need for adventure.

If you’re looking for ideas for your next trek, want to reminisce about a former adventure, or just love the great outdoors, any one of these great backpacking and hiking movies should be just the ticket.

Even if you just want to live vicariously through the main characters, a hiking movie is a great choice– the stories take place in gorgeous locations and usually center around overcoming hardships– a recipe for a great movie night.

So without further ado, here’s a list of the best hiking movies and documentaries for a thrilling experience without leaving your couch. 

1. Mile… Mile and a Half

Set on the John Muir Trail

Mile, Mile & a Half, one of the best hiking movies set on the John Muir Trail
This backpacking documentary depicts a month-long hike on California’s John Muir Trail. The hikers themselves also happen to be professional photographers, so the epic film is also full of California landscape eye-candy.

This beautiful hiking movie is a must-watch for anyone who has dreamed of taking a few weeks to go backpacking in nature.

Watch for free with Amazon Prime

2. Tracks

Set in Australia

Tracks, one of the best backpacking movies

This Australian film is inspired by a true adventure: In the late 1970s, a young woman walked across Australia without much more than our dog and four camels. It took eight months and 2,700 kilometers across Australia’s harsh outback to complete the journey.

The leading character is cut from a different cloth compared to the heroines of a lot of the other solo female travel movies, and the stunning film adaptation allows you to follow her on a journey that very few people will ever take. 

Watch for free with Amazon Prime

3. Edie

Set in the UK

Edie, one of the best hiking movies

This heartwarming film tells the story of a woman in the sunset years of her life who fulfills a lifelong dream. Instead of going into the retirement home her family plans for her, she decides to go hiking in the Scottish highlands. Even with 80+ years, Edie proves that anything is possible.

Watch for free with Amazon Prime

4. The Way

Set on the Camino del Santiago in Northern Spain

The Way, a classic backpacking movie set on the Camino del Santiago

The Way is the story of a father who walks the Camino del Santiago in honor of his son. Anyone thinking of walking the famous pilgrimage route should catch this hiking movie about backpacking from France to the western coast of Spain.

The film will give you a glimpse into the Spanish countryside and the different types of travelers that you are likely to meet on the trail. 

Watch it on Amazon

5. It is the People

Set on the Pacific Crest Trail

It is the People Backpacking Documentary about the Pacific Crest Trail

This is one of the best hiking movies about the Pacific Crest Trail– it’s beautifully shot and masterfully edited. Anyone who dreams of the PCT will love this short documentary about backpacking that depicts the raw experiences and cast of characters you’re likely to meet along this famous west coast trail. The real stories and personalities of the outdoors adventurers will inspire you to plan your own trip as soon as you can.

Watch for free on Youtube

6. Into the Wild

Set in Alaska

Into the Wild, one of the best travel movies about wilderness adventures

This moving film is a visual treat and a beautiful tribute to a man who felt compelled to go off the beaten path and immerse himself in nature. Though the ending is tragic, anyone who hears the call of the wild can relate to the spirit of the main character and his search to discover the natural beauty of this earth.

In addition to being a gorgeous film, it also features one of the best travel-themed soundtracks of all time. It’s a classic backpacking movie that is a must-watch for any true explorer and is available on Amazon.

Watch it on Amazon

7. Wildlike

Set in Alaska

This indie adventure film set in the Alaskan wilderness has won multiple awards at film festivals. The wild Alaskan frontier serves as the background, and reflects the personal hardships that the main characters are trying to overcome.

It’s the perfect film for anyone who likes the great outdoors but also wants the watch a character-driven survival story.

Watch for free with Amazon Prime

8. Wild

Set on the Pacific Crest Trail

Solo female backpackers everywhere have been inspired by this movie. Here is the true story of Sheryl Strayed, who embarked on the Pacific Crest Trail after a deep heartbreak. Besides the beautiful images of the Western U.S. landscapes, we love the adventure film for its depictions of everyday struggles that every long-haul backpacker has experienced.

Watch it on Amazon

9. Jungle

Set in the Amazon Rainforest

Jungle - A survivalist movie set in the Amazon Jungle

Based on a true story, Daniel Ratcliffe plays the main character who has to survive in the Amazon Rainforest after getting lost during a backpacking adventure with his friends.

Hopefully, none of us will have to experience the near-death experiences depicted in this survivalist film, but from the safety of your own couch, you can watch how this ultimate backpacking adventure goes down. This is one of the best hiking movies for anyone who wants to see the resilience of the human spirit go head to head with the raw power of nature.

Watch it on Amazon

10. Do More With Less

Set on the Pacific Crest Trail

This backpacking documentary shows short interviews with over 100 hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. Some of them have been returning to the trail year after year, some are doing the trail for the first time in their life.

The hiking movie captures the sense of community on the Pacific Crest Trail and the inner passion for the great outdoors. Plus, the genuine and inspiring people depicted will give you hope in humanity. Once you see the film, you’ll probably start planning your PCT trip.

Watch for free on Vimeo

11. Touching the Void

Set in the Peruvian Andes

Touching the void - one of the best hiking movies set in the Peruvian Andes

Touching the Void is another epic backpacking and adventure film that is based on a true survival story. Touching the Void recreates a harrowing trek in the Peruvian Andes, where two friends have to figure out how to overcome the impossible.

Watch it for free with Amazon Prime

12. A Walk in the Woods

Set on the Appalachian Trail

A Walk in the Woods - a classic hiking movie set on the Appalachian Trail

There are a few hiking movies about the Appalachian Trail, but this classic is one of our favorites. The charming story features a stellar cast that includes Nick Nolte, Robert Redford, and Emma Thompson. What more could you want out of a hiking movie?

Watch it on Amazon

Living La Vida Loca? Sorry, Ricky Martin, it’s all about the Pura Vida (“Pure Life”) in Costa Rica. And the best way to experience this is by visiting the multitude of national parks — 28 in total. And, because the country’s so small, it’s easy to visit many of them in a short trip. So, let’s dive into the best hikes in Costa Rica for your next visit.

The Catarata del Toro Waterfall Hike

 

Catarata del Toro Waterfall cascading into a volcanic crater - hiking in costa rica

Catarata del Toro Waterfall cascades into a volcanic crater

About two hours outside San Jose is a towering waterfall you won’t want to miss.

As you hike, tropical rainforests engulf you like a pig-in-a-blanket. There are a few viewpoints you’ll pass before arriving at the waterfall. Snap some pictures along the way before you descend to the waterfall itself. 

If you were thinking this was an ordinary waterfall, you’d be wrong. This waterfall is an astounding 270 feet high, and it sits inside the crater of a now-extinct volcano. The impressive waterfall alone makes this one of the best hikes in Costa Rica.

Because this waterfall isn’t as visited as other sights, you’ll experience wildlife living undisturbed by civilization. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and more zip from tree to tree as you wander the trail.

So, take your time and enjoy the experience; it’s sure to be good.

Hike Details

Length: 1 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail: The start of the hike is located between San Jose and La Fortuna. Two hours driving from San Jose, this trail is easily accessed for anyone staying in the capital. The closest town is Bajas del Toro, which is a good starting point. You can find the start of the trail on Google Maps here.

Rio Celeste Hike

The other-worldly colors of the Rio Celeste - one of the best hikes in Costa Rica

The other-worldly colors of the Rio Celeste – one of the best hikes in Costa Rica

Timing is essential to this hike. It’s straightforward, and signs are posted to help you stay on the trail. But, to experience the magic of what makes this one of the best hikes in Costa Rica, you’ll want to visit during the dry season — from December to April.

Why go during this time?

When it rains, mud mixes into the water and turns it a dark brown. But, when it’s a clear day, the water turns to Cool Blue Gatorade, and it’s beautiful.

Whether you get to catch the blue waters or not, the hike itself is full of flora and fauna for you to observe. Snakes, birds, and rare plants litter this hike, so keep your eyes peeled for any animals or plants who may be hiding just out of view.

Hike Details

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail: Rio Celeste is located inside Tenorio Volcano National Park. The closest town is Bijagua de Upala. However, trips can be arranged from La Fortuna, a more popular option for visitors to Costa Rica. La Fortuna is 29 miles from the national park.

You can find the start of the trail on Google Maps here.

La Leona Madrigal Trail

Parque Nacional Corcovado - one of the best hikes in Costa Rica to experience wildlife

Parque Nacional Corcovado – one of the best hikes in Costa Rica to experience wildlife

National Geographic labeled Corcovado National Park as the most biologically intense place on the planet. And it contains a plethora of hiking options. 

So, you’re sure to have a close-up experience with various wildlife, making this one of the best places to go hiking in Costa Rica.

What type of wildlife exactly? Tapirs, monkeys, jaguars, and eagles are some animals you’re sure to see on your hike.

I recommend the La Leona Madrigal Trail if you’re looking for a hike that will give you a dose of all that this park has to offer.

This out-and-back trail will take you along the coast, where you can enjoy the stunning beaches of Costa Rica. But that’s not all. It also takes you inland to the jungles, so you can live out your inner Indiana Jones.

You can book overnight stays in the park, which will give you an immersive experience in the wild. Or, you can stay in one of the nearby towns for easy access. The closest towns are Puerto Jimenez and Drake Bay.

Hike Details

Length: 6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail: The trail begins between Carate Mixeo Wildlife Refuge and Playa Madrigal, located on the southern end of Corcovado National Park. You can follow National Route 245 to easily access the area.

You can find the trail start on Google Maps here.

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges

One of the many hanging bridges on the trail in Arenal

One of the many hanging bridges on the trail in Arenal

The area around Arenal is known for it’s many hiking options. A shorter hike near the Arenal Volcano offers a more accessible way to experience the cloud forest. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still full of novelty and intrigue.

The Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges hike consists of 15 total bridges, six of which are hanging. As you navigate the forest, you’ll get fantastic views of the volcano and the occasional visit from monkeys, birds, and other wildlife.

This hike would be excellent to pair with another hike near the Arenal Volcano — which are plentiful.

I’d recommend the Los Tucanes hike, a 2.5-mile hike across hanging bridges and lava fields. Wildlife fills Arenal National Park, so you’ll encounter unique animals on this hike.

Hike Details

Length: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail: Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park is located on the northern side of Arenal Volcano. From La Fortuna, it’s about a 30-minute drive via Route 142. The park contains a large parking lot, so renting a car is an excellent option.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Cerro Chirripo

View of San Gerardo de Rivas and Cerro Chirripó National Park in the background

View of San Gerardo de Rivas and Cerro Chirripó National Park in the background

Up for a more significant challenge? How about climbing to the top of the tallest mountain when hiking in Costa Rica?

This one isn’t for the faint-hearted, as it’s over 12 miles one way. That doesn’t sound bad until you add over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. Yeah, this one is going to challenge you.

But, you don’t have to do it all in one day. Most people choose to do a two or three-day option. Three miles away from the summit, most hikers will stay at the Crestones Base Camp lodge.

Once you reach the top, though, you’re greeted with views out over Costa Rica — from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean on each side. It is easy to see what makes this one of the best hikes in Costa Rica – especially for experienced backpackers who are looking to get off the beaten path.

Hike Details

Length: 24 miles (round trip)

Difficulty: Difficult

Getting to the trail: To get to the beginning of the trail, you will start in the nearby town of San Gerardo de Rivas. Booking a stay in this small town is an excellent option so you can have easy access at the beginning and end of your hike. From there, it’s a short drive to the park entrance.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Best Hikes in Costa Rica – Final Thoughts

Costa Rica doesn’t see almost two million tourists a year because it lacks options. In fact, around 80% of its visitors come to experience the staggering amount of ecology on offer.

And there’s no better way to experience that ecological beauty than hitting the trails and leaving civilization behind.

You’re equipped to do exactly that on your next visit with this guide to the best hikes in Costa Rica. Now go get a taste of that Pura Vida!

What do you think of when you think of Thailand? Is it the incredible beaches, the lush green jungles, and fascinating culture? This is what comes to mind for most visitors. Yet, hidden beneath all that is a landscape eager for company. So, consider skipping the tourist hotspots and  hitting the trails to do one of the best hikes when you’re in Thailand next. But, finding trails while traveling can be difficult. Luckily, I’ve done all the dirty work for you already. Enjoy.

Tiger Cave Temple Trail

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

Incredible views and one of the most sacred temples in Thailand? Can I count you in?

Less of a hike and more of a climb, this is one of Thailand’s top spots to visit. To make it easier for yourself, find accommodation in Krabi Town.

At the bottom of the mountain, you can explore the Tiger Cave temple, which has an intriguing story. After that, begin climbing the 1,260 steps to the top.

But all this hard work is worth it when you arrive at the top.

The tropical forest extends in all directions. The tree-covered mountains jut up and down like they’re playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole. 

In the distance, you see the azure waters of the Andaman Sea meet the mainland, and tiny islands dot its waters.

If you’re looking for the best time to go, aim for the late afternoon. Foreigners and locals alike rave about the sunsets from the summit of Tiger Cave Temple Mountain.

There are many mesmerizing sunsets in Thailand, but this one ranks up there with its best.

Hike Details

Length: .5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

From Krabi Town, you can take a bus or rent a motorbike. It’s around a 15-minute drive from the center of town to Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Ton Kloi Waterfall Hike

For this hike, you’ll head to Khao Sok National Park. An interesting fact about this park is the oldest evergreen forest in the world covers it.

And wildlife and plant life thrive in this environment.

This hike is an out-and-back hike that takes you along the Sok River. Along the trail, monkeys hide in trees, birds fly from branch to branch, and greenery erupts from the ground.

At the end, you can dive into the chilly waters at the base of the Ton Kloi waterfall to reward yourself for a job well done.

The trail has a few hills that are easy to handle initially. But, about halfway through the hike, the path becomes more difficult. There are guides you can book to navigate you through this section.

If you’re unsure of your navigational skills, I recommend a guide for this section.

Hike Details

Length: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Accommodation is plentiful near Khao Sok National Park, and it’s easiest to book a stay at a place nearby to fully explore the park. From there, you can enter Khao Sok National Park at the main entrance ($9 entrance fee). 

From there, follow the road down to the Khao Sok Park HQ. There’s a bridge where you cross the Sok River (it has a sign that says Ton Kloi Waterfall Nature Trail) until you arrive at the trailhead.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Suthep Monk’s Trail

Markers along the Monk's Trail

Orange flags mark the path along the Monk’s Trail

Doi Suthep is located right next to Chiang Mai. In fact, it towers over the city like a behemoth, keeping watch for any intruders. But, trails make this behemoth a trekker’s playground.

Tropical forests surround you like a wet blanket, blocking out any sunlight trying to find its way to the forest floor. 

Yet, throughout all this, you will find a well-maintained trail system.

The Monk’s Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Chiang Mai. The hike is well-marked with orange flags and takes you to Wat Pha Lat, a temple built in the 14th century.

After the temple, you’ll head to a viewpoint that provides you with a vista you won’t forget. After this, it’s back to the starting point to finish the hike.

Tip: The hike itself isn’t strenuous, but you’ll be traversing over rocks and roots. So, bring proper footwear and avoid sneakers. And get plenty of water; the Thai heat will add to the difficulty.

Hike Details

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

To find the trail, follow Suthep Road to the end, which is near Chiang Mai University. Keep going forward and turn right at the following intersection. It will head toward the rear entry of the Chiang Mai Zoo.

From here, keep your eye out for a large tower (painted red and white). Here’s the start of The Monk’s Trail.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

We arrive at the only hike that requires a guide — the Doi Luang Chiang Dao trail. Being the third-tallest peak in Thailand, this hike is for experienced hikers. Hence why a guide is necessary.

You can’t book a guide on the day of the hike, so you should book in advance (at least one day if it’s not high season). Also, there’s a daily visitor limit of 150 people, so it’s best to secure your spot as soon as possible.

And that spot will be worth it as you reach the summit. Mountains extend in all directions, rolling up and down like ocean waves. But they truly shine at sunset/sunrise. Colors fill the valleys, providing a borderline religious experience.

The best place to stay is in Chiang Dao itself or Chiang Mai, about an hour and a half from the mountain.

If you’re looking for one of the best hikes in Thailand, Doi Luang Chiang Dao is with the best of them.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

If you’re staying in Chiang Dao, you simply have to drive to the entrance of the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve. From here, meet your guide and enjoy the trek!

If you’re staying in Chiang Mai, you can rent a car/motorbike to drive to the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve entrance. Rental motorbikes run from $3-15 per day depending on the size. Car rentals range from $10-$30. 

Otherwise, you can get a taxi to drive you to the entrance (around $25-$35).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Phuket’s Manik Mining Trail

This is a hike you’re not going to find on other blogs — I can promise you that. I didn’t discover this trail, but I’ve run/hiked it so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. 

And the Manik Mining Trail is one of the best hikes in Phuket.

This hike starts near Manik Dam in Phuket — you can find the dam in the north-central part of the island. It’s an out-and-back that takes you up above the dam, where you get an incredible view over the island’s northern and southern parts.

You can even see Radar Hill and Big Buddha on a clear day!

Most people don’t think of hiking when they visit Phuket. Instead, visitors choose Phuket’s world-famous beaches and sky-blue waters. But, you miss out on the side of Thailand that most tourists don’t see.

Don’t be one of those tourists.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles (a little over 3.5 miles one-way)

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Finding this trail will be easy. Head to Manik Dam (one of three dams on the island). Once you arrive, you can park in the dam’s parking lot. Head east on Sawatdirak Road until the road starts to go uphill. Here you will see a dirt road that veers off on the left side. 

Follow that trail until it comes to a three-way split — one going left, one going straight, and one going right. Follow the trail that goes right (and slightly uphill). This is the start of the hike.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Best Hikes in Thailand – Final Thoughts

While Thailand is a well-known backpacking destination, it’s less known for hiking, but that’s the beauty of it. As you hike, you’ll have the trails to yourself. So, take it slow, and enjoy the sights and sounds surrounding you. But you should get there quick. You won’t have them to yourself for much longer.

If you are serious about the idea of getting out there and making a regular hobby out of hiking and backpacking, then you will need to be prepared. While creating a packing checklist and making sure to drink plenty of water are good first steps, so is figuring out how to get in shape for hiking.

Smart fitness is necessary so you can stay safe and also enjoy your travels as you traverse the beauty of nature. To help new and experienced hikers alike, we have created this guide for the best exercises and routines to try before your big adventure. 

The Physical Benefits of Hiking

If you have a budding interest in long-distance hiking or backpacking, but you can’t quite take the plunge, then you should know that hiking can be one of the keys to a healthy body and mind. The act of being around nature is great for our mental well-being because walking through the trees and surrounding ourselves with all of that greenery brings us back to a more natural place. It is a way for us to be at peace without worrying about work or deadlines.

Of course, there should be no surprise that hiking provides many physical benefits as well. In fact, if strengthening your legs, back, glutes, and hamstrings is your goal, then hiking should become a permanent part of your fitness routine. The great thing is that you don’t always have to walk the most treacherous trails to lose weight and feel great. Even a long flat trail will help to build your endurance and keep your body in peak shape. 

The Proper Nutrition to Get in Shape for Hiking

The act of hiking regularly will also help you to practice healthy habits because failure to take care of your body will result in a poor or dangerous hike. When thinking about how to get in shape for hiking, you should think about the proper nutrition, and pay attention to what you are eating and drinking.

For instance, while drinking beer and spirits in moderation is typically okay, if you drink excessively, then the alcohol can affect your body in many dangerous ways, including stiffening your blood vessels, which leads to high blood pressure. Plus, drinking can upset the balance of calcium in your body which can lead to weaker bones. In addition to hurting you during regular activities, these ailments will severely impact your ability to hike. So, by being responsible for your backpacking hobby, you will also wake up feeling better every day.

Putting Your Legs to Work

If you are like many people, then you might not walk around as often as you know you should. However, if you plan to backpack regularly or you have a long hike coming up, then you will need to get active and get your legs back in motion. You can start easy by taking walks around the block and the neighborhood, so you get back into the rhythm.

When you are feeling good doing that, then it is time to escalate your activity by walking everywhere and aiming for at least 10,000 steps a day. By doing so, you will get used to the motions, you will build the muscles in your legs, and you’ll see what it is like to constantly be on your feet.

Even if you plan to start on moderate trails, you should still expect there to be some hills and valleys from time to time, so you will need to get your legs ready for the new challenge. If you live by a coastline, one of the best ways to get in shape for hiking is to go to the beach where you can walk through the sand. Don’t worry about not walking fast. This is all about building and strengthening all the muscles between your feet and back, including your calves and quadriceps. 

Did we mention that all of this physical activity will also help you to burn fat and excess calories? By constantly being on your feet and keeping your core engaged when you do, you can get rid of that extra weight holding you back during a hike. 

Practicing with a Pack

Once you are ready for the next step, consider buying your backpack and wearing it around during your walks to really focus on how to get in shape for hiking with the pack. When choosing the right backpack, look for one that is adjustable, has space for a water bladder pocket, and has a comfortable weight distribution.

You don’t have to fill your backpack to the brim during your practice, but by adding a bit of weight and walking up and downstairs, you will become familiar with the motions and you’ll further strengthen your back and lower body.

Exercises for Overall Conditioning

Now that you are becoming more comfortable with the motions associated with hiking and carrying weight on your back, you can start to do some more specific exercises that will target the muscles that you will use the most. Keep in mind that there are many different exercises you can try when figuring out how to get in shape for hiking. We will highlight a few here, but if you want to find more, you can do a quick internet search.

Many of the exercises to get in shape for hiking are basic and don’t require a lot of equipment. For instance, in order to strengthen your legs, hips, and lower back, you can do wall squats where you stand facing away from the wall and bend your knees as you sink into a squatting position.

To continue to work your core muscles, you can perform planks. This is where you have your knees and elbows on the floor shoulder length apart, and you slowly lift your body until it is straight. Keep this position for 15 seconds, then come down, rest for a beat, and try another. You can also strengthen your core by doing standard crunches and sit-ups. 

Finally, consider doing a few sets of arm curl reps every other day with light free weights, so you can further manage a heavy load during your trip.

As you can see, there are many exercises and tactics that you can start today in order to be ready for your next big backpacking trip. Continue to work out even after your hike concludes, and you’ll feel healthier every day.