Put on your boots and hit the trails
Before heading out on your next big hike, be sure to check out these Hudson Valley hiking tips. We’ve got everything from expert advice to personal stories of local trails, so you’ll be prepared with the knowledge you need to have an amazing time on your hike! If you’re ready to start planning your Hudson Valley hiking adventure, read on!
How to prepare your body
It may sound cliché, but you need to make sure you’re mentally prepared for a hike. The most important thing to remember is that hiking is an aerobic activity, which means you need to be prepared for long periods of walking. Practicing a few basic exercises will help condition your body for what it is about to experience. Take a walk or two around your neighborhood, uphill and downhill.
How to dress for a hike
The great thing about hiking is that there are no rules. Well, almost. You can go topless if you want (it’s legal in Vermont). You don’t need to bring water or a cell phone. And no matter how slow you walk – and let’s face it, some people walk slower than us when we’re running just for exercise. But for those of us who like order, here are some tips on how to gear up for a hike with some precision. Don’t take too much; take enough: start with an active weather jacket that will protect you from wind and light rain (not what you wear in winter), light pants or shorts (for bugs), trainers/shoes hike with good traction/ankle support, quick-drying socks, basic first aid supplies, water bottle/bum bag, snacks/bars, and trail mix for a boost energy. Don’t forget the sunglasses!
What you need to know to protect yourself from ticks
Ticks can carry scary diseases like Lyme disease, so it’s important to take precautionary measures if you plan to travel to wooded areas. During a hike, check regularly for the presence of ticks; wear light-colored clothing that makes it easier to spot ticks; use insect repellent containing organic essential oils (the CDC suggests using citronella, cedarwood, and lemon eucalyptus repellents); walk in the center of the trails and tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from climbing onto your body.
What you need to know about bringing pets
Although it’s generally not a good idea to bring pets with you when hiking, if they’re well behaved, some hiking areas welcome them. You will need to check before you go. In general, consider hiking with a pet to be more likely to make it harder than easier. When in doubt, leave Fluffy or Fido at home.
The best time of year to hike
From March to October, hiking can be a great way to stay in shape, try out new gear, or get away from an otherwise hectic life. Just make sure you’re prepared for whatever weather Mother Nature intended. Always check the condition of a trail with local experts in advance and bring the proper gear if you plan to hike out of season.
Which trail should you visit?
There are great hiking spots in and around the Hudson Valley. Start by asking your friends, coworkers, and locals which location is best for you. If it’s your very first time, you’ll be safe with the Mt. Beacon trail which offers a moderate challenge and stunning views, and if you have any energy left after climbing the first peak, consider going up to the second peak and enjoy spectacular views of MT. Beacon fire tower.
Day hikes or overnight backpacking?
Before you even think about strapping on a backpack and hiking this trail, you need to decide what type of trip you are going to do. Day hiking means exactly what it sounds like: you hike from point A to point B, then turn around and return home, often in a day or two. Backpacking is more complicated – you carry a larger bag with all your gear and food for at least one night in the wilderness (the exact amount will depend on how much you can carry). Backpacking trips tend to last several days; some overnight stays only last one night, while others can span several weeks.
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Hiking Safety Tips:
If you are hiking or camping in an area known as a tick and mosquito habitat, try to protect yourself, and children in particular, by wearing brightly colored long-sleeved tops and pants, tucking in the bottom of trouser legs in long socks. Apply a generous amount of DA Aromatherapy Collection Natural Insect Repellent Spray, as a deterrent, on clothing and skin. For best results, apply frequently. Inspect the whole body after a hike.