Anyone can hike. Even if you think you have something that limits you, there is always a way to overcome it. Yeah, it might take more of a push or some assistance from a friend, but it’s absolutely possible to do just as much, if not more, than an “ordinary hiker.” If you’ve ever doubted yourself as an outdoorsy person, either because you’re disabled, you’re scared, you’re out of shape, or you’ve just never tried it before, here are some encouragements to steer you in the right direction.
You can do it!
1. For People Who Can Only Imagine Themselves Hiking
We’ve all been there at one point. You’ve imagined yourself when you’ve finally completed the PCT, covered in sweat and dirt while smiling from ear to ear. You can see it, you can dream it, but you just don’t believe it will ever happen to you.
Ask yourself, what’s holding you back? Is it because you don’t know how to hike? You don’t want to go by yourself? You think you won’t be able to handle it? Think of the thing that’s preventing you from achieving your goal, and stare it in the face. Find a way to defeat it or find a solution for it, and start making plans NOW!
Best Places to Hike: Start with beginner trails and work your way up. We recommend Yosemite National Park in California, where you can experience everything to do with nature in one go, without overexerting yourself.
2. For Physically Limited Hikers
Everyone has some kind of disability or physical limitation, but perhaps yours is a little harder to cope with. Maybe you have a bad back, you suffer from asthma, you’re pregnant, or maybe it’s something different. Whatever it is, we know hiking for you might not be as easy as it is for others, and maybe you’ve stayed away from it because of this.
Well, what if we told you that there are 80-year-old hikers out there who have gone up Mount Everest? Amputees who have taken on extended trails to experience their dreams? Pregnant women who have spent their entire pregnancy hiking, maybe with their two-year-old on their back the whole time. Blind people who did it with trekking poles or a guide dog by their side. If there’s a will, there’s a way. It may be cliche, but it’s true.
Best Places to Hike: Maybe try a wheelchair accessible hike if you require a wheelchair. If not, then consider visiting Rocky Mountain National Park which has a lot of simple, yet stunning routes for those who need the trail to be patient with them.
3. For Terrified Hikers
Are you scared of the outdoors? Perfectly understandable. The backcountry can be an unpredictable place. There can be many things to fear, but we won’t list them here just in case we thought of one you haven’t. But, for someone who is interested in hiking but is just too scared, there are ways to face this.
First of all, figure out what it is you’re afraid of. If it’s heights or bears, there are plenty of hikes where you’ll be safe from these two things. If you’ve had a bad experience that has caused you to be skeptical of going outdoors, then maybe you can take it on with a group, or even enter a wilderness therapy course.
Best Places to Hike: For you, we recommend a family-friendly hike, because you can be pretty sure it’s safe. Consider visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. It shouldn’t be too intimidating.
4. For Hikers Who Can Never Get a Day Off Work
First of all, quit your job. Second, pack your bags and never look back.
We’re kidding of course. We understand that you love your job, you need your job, and you’re not willing to lose out on a great thing you got going just to hike for a few weeks. We get it. You love the idea of hiking, but it’s not something you’re willing to change your life over.
So, what days do you get off? Do you get vacations? Are you able to work remotely, or take extended time off as long as you make up the hours? You might just need to have that awkward conversation with your boss. Right now, maybe it will just be one day or a few days, but you’d be surprised what amazing things you can see in that time.
Best Places to Hike: If you want to make the most of the little time you have off, then hike the Art Loeb Trail in North Carolina. It’ll be tough, but it’ll be worth it.
5. For Hikers Who Can’t Escape Attachments
Are you the kind of person that enjoys having your phone on you? Someone who can’t bear the thought of not having a proper shower before going to sleep? Maybe even the kind of person who could cry because their so uncomfortable in the heat or extreme cold. There are many like you and we understand.
These are actually the more common reasons people choose not to hike, and we can’t blame you. Sometimes, the thought of not having things we take for granted can really be a turn-off.
So, why not try a little thing we like to call “Glamping?” Glamping, which of course stands for “Glamorous-Camping,” is a way to ease yourself into the outdoors while still having these attachments.
Still think you can’t do it? Give it a try and get back to us.