Hiking is becoming one of the fast-rising hobbies in the Philippines as of now. You might know a friend or a friend’s friend who might have asked you if you want to join their climb. For someone who doesn’t have a hiking experience yet, he might reply with a “Why will I join? I’m just gonna get tired.” And for someone who already knows the drill, he might say “Game!”
But really, what’s the fuss about hiking? What do people get out of it? Why do they want to spend their day walking on muddy, rocky, steep, and slippery trails while they can relax at home? Or chill with friends and eat unlimited buffet? Really, why do hikers keep on climbing mountains?
5 Reasons Why People Hike
In this article, we will shed some light on the ultimate question hikers get a lot: “Why do you hike?”
1. Get away from stress
Admit it. There’s always a moment at your work that you feel stressed out; either your workmates aren’t cooperating, your boss is being nosy, or the traffic just sucks. Then, imagine this happening to you on a daily basis.
You would be burned out, right? And to escape from your busy and stressful work, you’ll need to do something different to let your mind forget even just for a short time.
Whatever the industry you’re in, I’m pretty sure that stress will always be on the guest list. But having hiking events now and then helps people bring back their focus, and it gives them something to look forward to, and something to be excited about.
2. Socialize and meet new friends
Most of the hikers (if not all) organize climb events with their friends. It makes friendships stronger, and at the same time, it opens your world to make friends with other event joiners you haven’t met before. Hiking teaches us to be courteous to other hikers; greeting other groups you meet a “good morning” or “take care” and letting them take the lead when they want to “advance.”
You also get a chance to meet the locals and tour guides you can share stories with about your hiking journey. For sure, they will also entertain your questions about the mountain or even their own tour guiding experience.
3. Appreciate the beauty of nature
The world is a wonderful place to live in. But if prefer spending your weekends at home or the mall, munching on all the food you can eat because “food is life,” then you might be missing out a lot.
Hiking will show you how diverse and beautiful the environment is by its flora and fauna and Mount Pulag is a great example.
Many hikers live by the rule “Leave no trace” which means that no piece of trash must be left anywhere on the trail. It must be kept inside a trash bag (where everyone is encouraged to bring one for themselves) and must be disposed of properly at the end of the hike. Our Earth is full of wonders, and we must always do our very best to keep it clean.
4. Stay physically active
Some people who want to shed some weight or just to exercise prefer hiking because it gives them the total workout. Most of your body parts will be put to work here; legs, thighs, back, arms, heart, lungs, and many more. It also helps you improve your overall fitness while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
5. Feed the inner daredevil in you
To the people who always want to try something new, I must say that they have at least tried hiking once in their lives. In the Philippines, certain hike difficulties are being considered when hiking which are from numbers 1 – 9 (9 as the hardest to hike).
Hiking beginners start with mountains rated with a difficulty of 1, 2, or 3, and those who are well-experienced dare to conquer the most difficult ones.
A good sample of a mountain that is rated 9/9 by Pinoy Mountaineer is Mt. Guiting-Guiting (2,058+ MASL) in Romblon. One part of its trail is called Knife’s Edge because it’s a steep and scary ridge and the hikers must cross to reach the summit.
What are the Benefits of Hiking?
We already discussed the reasons why people hike and now, we’re going to list down the benefits we can get out of hiking:
- Helps you combat stress
- Strengthens your inner core
- Manages your weight
- Gain new friends
- Have more fun and exciting stories to tell!
I’m a Newbie, How Can I Start Hiking?
If you have a friend who loves hiking, tell him that you’re interested in hiking. Once you’re all set, check your current gear. You might not have proper hiking shoes or pants, but that’s alright. If you have a pair of good rubber shoes that you think can keep up with the rocky trails, then that would be great.
Some trails might be watery, muddy, and slippery too so keep those in mind. Leggings and dri fit shirts would also do just fine. Just make sure that your outfit can protect your skin from the sun because it can be hot up there.
As a beginner, you also need to exercise first a few weeks before the hike. This is to put your body into the right condition. Hiking with no prior exercise is going to be painful, and it will make you quit the same day. Listen to your hiker friend’s advice because he was also a beginner before and he knows what’s the best for you.
So, Should I Start Hiking?
Hiking is such a fun and rewarding hobby that many people are now hooked to it. If you’re a beginner and you’re here to convince yourself to hike, YES! Go ahead and explore the beautiful mountains around you! Don’t stop yourself from doing something new and adventurous because this might be the best experience you’ll ever have in your whole life. For more hiking stories, visit chamtravels.com.
Happy hiking! 🙂