If there’s any place to travel to this spring for some fun in the sun, Los Angeles California is an ideal location. With warm weather and pretty much sunny skies all year long, there are plenty of exciting things to explore outdoors. One of the best ways to indulge in the outdoor experience is to take a hike.
More than just a walk, hiking is a journey through some of the area’s most beautiful elements of nature. It’s also a great form of exercise and fun activity to do by yourself, with the kids, or with family and friends. If this is your first time hiking, here is some advice on preparing for your trip:
Get Physically Fit
Whether you’ve chosen to hike Runyon Canyon, Paradise Falls, or other hiking trails in and around Los Angeles, you’ll need to prepare yourself physically. Nothing like a simple walk through the park, hiking is a strenuous activity that requires great strength, endurance, balance, and stamina.
If you’re not typically active in your daily life, you should start preparing your body for the journey. You may want to join a gym in downtown Los Angeles so that you have all the equipment and resources you need to properly train. You’ll need to complete some basic training that includes:
Walking or Running – Use the treadmill to build strength in your legs knees and ankles.
Stretching – To stretch and strengthen your muscles, use resistance bands on your arms and legs.
Crunches, Lunges, and Squats – You’ll need to keep your balance when hiking uneven trails. Crunches can help to give you the core strength you need while lunges and squats will help strengthen your leg muscles.
Cardio – Do some cardio like jumping jacks or aerobic classes to get your heart rate up. This helps to improve your lung capacity for long hikes.
Climbing Stairs – last but not least, prepare your body for the weight of your backpack by climbing stairs. Fill a backpack with items similar to those you’ll take with you on your hike and go up and down the stairs several times.
Choose Your Trail
After a few weeks of training your body, you’re ready to start planning the rest of your Los Angeles hiking trip. There are plenty of hiking trails to choose from, so you should keep a few factors in mind to choose the best one. Other than location, you also want to consider things like the difficulty of the hike (i.e. distance, hills, rocky trails, etc), and sights you’d like to see along the way.
What to Pack
Hiking can last for hours. So, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need during your excursion. In a backpack that’s convenient and comfortable for carrying long distances, you want to pack things like an umbrella or poncho, a hat, sunglasses, bug guard, sunscreen, snacks, food, plenty of water, a first aid kit, a map, compass, binoculars, and an extra jacket (just in case it gets cold). Also, don’t forget to pack your smartphone or digital camera so you can take pictures of the sights. If you’re doing an overnight hike, you will also need things like a tent, sleeping bag, pillow, and cooking utensils. Create a packing checklist for your hiking trip so you can ensure you don’t forget anything.
What to Wear
On the day of your hiking trip, dressing for your comfort and safety are of the utmost importance. Depending on the weather you should wear either shorts or pants and a long-sleeved or t-shirt. You should opt for clothes made from breathable materials like cotton to keep you cool and comfortable during your walk. Also wearing loose-fitting clothes provides more freedom and flexibility as you walk and climb. You’ll need a pair of socks and comfortable shoes designed for long-distance walking like sneakers or hiking boots.
With picturesque views like mountaintops and miles of beaches, Los Angeles is a beautiful destination for hiking. As fun and adventurous as hiking can be, it is not an outdoor activity that you should participate in without some planning and preparation. After making sure you’re in shape, use the above-mentioned tips to plan for a successful hiking trip in Los Angeles.