You Can Have The High Ground
News By: Ravivarma Muniandy
Editor: Deena Yasmeen Abdul Ghaffar
Have you ever wondered how it feels like to be standing on top of the world, breathing in the fresh unpolluted air and enjoying the heavenly view of the scenery below? Well you do not have to be superman to get that privilege; just invest your time and energy into hiking activities.
Yes, you read that right; hiking. I have heard people saying, “Oh no, hiking? It’s so tiring and it’s not even that fun. Once you reach the top all you feel is tired and exhausted”. That is only if you do it in the wrong way. If you follow some rules and precautions, hiking can be your new favorite activity. According to studies, hiking can benefit an individual not only physically but also mentally. Here are some tips on how to hike in order to make your activity a pleasant one.
The first and most important thing to consider before you go for a hike is to identify your fitness level and choosing your location accordingly. People make this mistake often due to the excitement and hearing others people’s experience—which sounds easy to do but it is not that simple. Hiking when you are of a lower fitness level and the wrong location can be risky. So, know your physical capabilities and choose the right track. If you are an amateur who is trying this for the first time; do not do this alone. This is because hiking requires high mental strength and you should familiarize yourself with the trail before your hike as making a wrong turn can change your day into a nightmare. If possible, bring a map of the trail along with you.
Secondly, there are top ten essential things you need to pack for a hike. These things are necessary and compulsory if you are a beginner who is trying to explore this outdoor activity. Those things are navigation tools, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first-aid supplies, match box/fire starter, repair kit, nutrition, extra water and emergency shelter. These items will help you prepare to face any unpredicted situation.
The third tip is wearing the right gear. For example, wearing the wrong shoes can be dangerous. Hiking trails are not smooth trails for us to wear slippers and regular footwear you usually wear to the shopping center. Plus, wearing the wrong socks can also cause problems to your feet such as blisters. At the same time, you must wear the right attire. Do not take this lightly because wearing the wrong attire will make your hike into an unforgettable and unwanted memory.
Next, you need to pick the right time to hike. The middle of the day is definitely not an ideal time to hike. The most appropriate time to hike is early morning or early evening. Early morning hikes can be very lovely and scenic with the sunrise view and morning dew covering the leaves. Hiking at evening is quite challenging because if you lose your track of time, it will get dark and would make your hike down even more challenging. So always keep track of your hiking time.
The last but not least is mentally preparing yourself. Remember this is not an exam or test for you to stress if you could not reach the peak on time. Turning back is the right thing to do if you realize you physically could not tolerate it. However, if you decide to turn back due to your laziness—do not. Push yourself and finish what you started. Hiking is just like life. The harder it gets, the stronger you will be. At the end when you reach the peak, all those challenges you faced would be worth it in the end. So, never give up.
Due to the current pandemic situation, the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) has been extended until the 14th of April. Why not take this time to plan your next hiking trip when this RMO is over? Take this opportunity to do more research about hiking and plan this next activity with your friends and family. You can have the high ground too.