Here is a little secret about me- I am lazy and I don’t always feel like hiking. Well, I am the most high functioning couch potato in town, but I am a couch-potato nonetheless. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was even able to add the “high functioning” onto my title, and it definitely took some work and thought shifting. Somedays I know I need time to hang out at home and turn off my phone. Without some time to myself to rejuvenate I get anxious, temperamental and emotionally drained. That sounds like an exaggeration, but you’re probably reading this because you love to sit at home too! What is the reason for that? What happens if you don’t get that time?
When I am in the couch potato zone going outside and exploring new places sounds daunting, and hard… Ugh, then I probably have to drive, and pack my bag, and walk. Its a whole to-do. When you are feeling that way, and don’t actually want to just sit at home, but don’t know how to get off the couch- refer to this list!
Get Inspired To Adventure:
One of my favorite things to do when I want to go adventure, but it sounds too daunting for my current mood is look at old pictures. Seriously, pick up your phone and look through your camera roll. Find a picture from when you were on a fun adventure, close your eyes and remember everything you can about the setting. What was the temperature? Who were you with? How did you feel after your adventure? How did you feel before? If you’re anything like me you probably felt lazy before and amazing after.
All Trails- The Best Hiking App:
Anyone who knows me knows that AllTrails is my favorite app in the world. I am in no way paid for saying this (although you would think I was considering how much I talk about it.) So one thing I like to do is open my AllTrails app and find trails in my area that look awesome. I love this app in particular because you can see the elevation gain of the hike, difficulty rating, pictures other users have posted and their reviews of the hike. With this app there is never any question as to what you are getting yourself into. So find a hike that gets you excited to go outside!
Call a friend:
I work a job where I have random days off in the middle of the week, so it can be really hard to find people to hike with on a tuesday afternoon. So I like to utilize social media. I’ll post on Facebook or on snapchat and so far, this has worked out really well for me! I am serious, people have responded to my snapchats especially and its always nice to hike with someone new. Once you find a friend, you’re locked into the deal, and its a lot easier to get off the couch when someone else is counting on you to follow through.
I definitely do not mean cookies and cakes. What I mean is make yourself a decadent body fueling meal. Be sure to include a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. If you’re going out hiking, you definitely should not be fueled by last nights leftover pizza. Heck, that would probably be why you can’t get off the couch in the first place. It’s amazing to me how much more I am willing to get out of the house when I am taking care of myself and properly feeding my body. If I am feeding myself crap, I feel like crap. Just be sure to give yourself time to digest properly before heading out on the trail. Also, use this time to ensure you are starting your hike fully hydrated. Drink water. Not gatorade, or lemonade or any other sugary concoction, some people think is “close enough” to water. If you don’t like plain water, add some cucumber, berries, mint and ice. While we are on the subject, please for the love of God- BRING WATER. I am constantly baffled by how many people I hike with who do not bring water. They either forget their water bottle, or bring Gatorade and think that is “good enough.” Then have to drink all my water. I love my friends, but I wont hike with someone if they don’t bring water. <end rant>
Make sure your bag is properly packed with everything you need to have a safe and comfortable hike. You can refer to my post Whats in my Hiking Daypack? for my list of must-have things that are always in my pack. It always feels good to be properly prepared.
Once you have made it through this list, hopefully you are feeling inspired to get out and explore. The more times you do it the easier it will be. If you set yourself up for success, getting out is a lot easier. My last words of advice are to think of all of the other things hiking and exploring can do for you. For me, it is a lot more than reaching the top. I love taking pictures and documenting adventures. I also have this wild goal to do every single hike in the Wasatch Mountains. I don’t even know if thats possible, but it sure feels good to cross them off my list. There is also evidence to suggest that walking/hiking helps brain activity too. The New Yorker posted a really wonderful article called Why Walking Helps Us Think. The article is a really interesting read, and can help you think about things in a new light. So if hiking is something you know you like to do, think about why you like to do it.