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Nature Walking

Updated on September 4, 2013

One of Life's Little Pleasures.

The 19th century poet Henry David Thoreau stated it best when he wrote, "I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least-and it is commonly more than that-sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements."

Mr Thoreau was absolutely and unequivocally correct in his observation.stating the obvious.

Taking a nature walk is a great way to tone your body, lower your stress level, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Add those benefits to the time frame it will take you to complete a short hike and you have a winning recipe for better physical and mental health,

Make Nature Walks A Pleasant Experience

One of the best ways to enjoy nature is keeping yourself comfortable and sharing your trekking adventures with your family and friends.

Gearing Up For your Nature Walk

Using A Checklist

Getting started on your daytime adventures requires some preparation. Usually, good common sense will be your guide in determining how to prepare for your trip.

Making a checklist of the things you will need or want to take along with you will save you an "uh-oh!" moment halfway through your' stroll in the wilds’. You can make a list as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

A simple checklist would include:

1. Shoes-

A crucial requirement for any walking adventure is a good pair of well-fitted walking shoes. If your feet aren't comfortable, you are going to have a problem from the onset. For light trails, use light shoes. A pair of cross trainer athletic shoes is usually enough. Even so, every hiker has their comfort shoe, which they feel best in.

2. Clothing-

The right walking attire makes the going a lot easier. Dress for the season. Wear layered clothes in cooler months and lighter clothes in warmer seasons. Style doesn't make a big difference if the clothes don't keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

3. Water/Beverage-

Bring along whatever you like to drink. Water is the recommended thirst quencher and usually the best beverage to carry. If you don't care for water, carry enough fluids with you on your trek to keep your thirst at bay. The side effects of dehydration are not very pleasant.

4. Snacks/Refreshments-

A small snack is a good idea also. A favorite fruit, sandwich, trail mix or whatever it is you like can give you a little burst of energy when you need it.

5.Watch-

A watch comes in useful to keep track of the time you are spending on your hike. Depending on the daylight shadows to give you the approximate time is not nearly as accurate as a good timepiece on how much time you are spending on your walk.

6. Cell Phone-

Bring along a cell phone if you like. Most cell phones have a built in watch. Cell phones should only be used in case of emergencies. Be considerate and set your phone to vibrate. Frightening wildlife or annoying other hikers isn't a very good idea. Woodland creatures can become quite hostile when annoyed, and so can hikers.

7. Fanny Pack

A great help, but not a necessity, is a small pack commonly referred to as a fanny pack. This small pack is worn around the hiker's waist and will store most of the items mentioned in this paragraph. The purpose of the waist pack is to allow the wearer a greater freedom of movement so as to enjoy the time on the trail. Overloading the pack with non-essential items will interfere.

8. Health Kit-

First aid ointment, sunscreen, Insect repellant, and first aid dressing are health items that can be easily packed into your fanny pack. Sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer can also be part of the kit and don’t forget the toilet paper.

Each person should carry their own kit.

As an extra precaution, check your list one more time before embarking on your walk.

Using a checklist as described here will help you avoid unexpected emergencies.

As a reminder to yourself to keep the outdoors clean, and as a courtesy to others, pack out any items that you pack in.

Heed the phrase of true nature lovers everywhere "Leave no trace behind."

Who's Going To Pay For It All?
Who's Going To Pay For It All?

Everyone has their favorite place to go nature walking. I take my favorite nature walk nearby my house that runs alongside a creek. The creek was used as a runoff stream from a leather goods factory until the 1940's Much of the eco system was in danger of being destroyed. Over the past 30 years the area has been slowly restored to it's natural state and is now protected by law.

There are many places throughout the world in the same condition or worse as my favorite nature walking area. Should the government force companies to pay for the damage done to the environment, or should the government pay for not enforcing stricter sanctions on said companies.

Who should pay to restore the damage done by industrial waste products?

See results

Are Nature Trails In Your Community?

Experiencing nature first hand largely depends on the geographical area you call home. In some instances, a person doesn't have to travel very far to experience life in the great outdoors.

If you are one of those lucky people with federal, state, county, or city sponsored walking trails, take advantage of what your local community has to offer.

One major reason nature trails and community walking paths go unused can be credited to the public’s lack of awareness the trails exist.

Becoming a marketer for nature trails and spreading the word will get the community more involved with nature walking activities.

If you find an early morning walk, a mid- afternoon stroll, or an all-day venture is to your liking, perhaps in the future you will want to increase your time and journeys outdoors.

If that is the case, consider joining a local hiking club, and set your sights on a more elaborate nature hiking experience.

Trails spanning hundreds, or thousands of miles adorn the lands across the world. Some are quite rugged and test the limits of a person’s physical and mental endurance.

As for now, if you live close to a hiking trail somewhere in the region where you live, get out there and discover for yourself just how enjoyable nature hikes can be.

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