Optimize your hike

I spent the past weekend hiking by myself in Leavenworth, WA. My mind and body feel at ease when I am surrounded by mountains, birds chirping, and rushing water. It was so nice to be with nature and focus on my breathe. Nature always reminds me what truly matters.

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Through reading books, personal exploration, and studying, I have learned these 7 hacks when it comes to hiking.

  1. Use AllTrails

I absolutely LOVE this app! It is great for finding hikes, looking at reviews of hikes, and for finding the trail head. The best feature of this app is that it has a map of the hike you are going on and you can record your trail. It has saved me a few times when I have wondered off trail! You can also get awesome stats about the hikes you complete!

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2. Nose breathe while you are hiking

After reading the book Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown, I realized the importance of nose breathing. When I hike alone, I really focus on nose breathing as much as possible. Focus on breathing less and slowing the breathe down. I really recommend the book Oxygen Advantage to learn more about how nose breathing improves oxygen uptake. Here is a list of the reasons nose breathing is so beneficial. I practice nose breathing as long as I can while hiking. When I am getting into higher elevations, mouth breathing becomes necessary but it is a good challenge to push myself with controlling my breathe.

3. Ground yourself with the earth

Grounding is such an important thing that many humans are missing in their life. See my detailed blog post on Earthing here. I am so passionate about utilizing Earth’s healing powers. Connecting with the earth will benefit you in so many ways!

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4. Hike with no headphones or music playing

Hiking with headphones in is incredibly dangerous! You cannot hear if anything is coming up behind you, or listen for animals in the trees beside you. Often times, I see large groups playing their speakers really loud along the trail. This can be disrespectful to other people hiking, and this also interferes with natures own sounds. Hike as quiet as possible and really listen to the sounds of nature. Our bodies are influenced by different sound vibrations and hearing the true, raw sounds of the universe will make your body feel amazing.

5. Bring the correct equipment

Depending on how long your hike is you will need to bring different equipment

Less than 1 hour- I would just suggest you have a bottle of water and I also suggest good hiking shoes.

Longer than 1 hour- 10 hours

Water: I suggest having a bag that has a reservoir in it. This means that your bag has a spot to put a water holder in it that can hold 2-3 Liter of water. These are often called hydration packs! It is important to have enough water for your hike. Brands I like are Osprey and Gregory. I suggest a 14 liter bag for shorter day hikes and a 28 liter bag for longer day hikes!

Shoes: Two brands of shoes I like are Oboz and Merrell.

Gear in your backpack: (this is all dependent on how long your hikes are, I carry all of this with me on any hike I do) I suggest always having a flashlight or a headlight. Food for your hike, napkins or kleenex, day pack first aid kit, mace, a small knife, portable phone charger, athletic tape for wrapping ankles, good sandals (in case something happens to your shoes, light to carry), extra layers if the weather is going to be cold and poles if the hike is steep.

6. Enjoy the water on the trail

If there is a lake at your destination, cold plunge into the lake! There are so many benefits of cold water therapy. Wim Hof is a great leader in this practice! If there are streams or creeks on the trail, dont be afraid to touch and play in the water. Do not drink the water unless you have a life straw (something I love). Running your fingers or stepping your feet in the water is so refreshing and has many hidden benefits for you to enjoy.

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7. Be with someone you trust

I love hiking alone (make sure to tell someone where you are going) but I also love hiking with friends. You always want to make sure that you are all on the same page with every hike you are doing. If it is a challenging hike, it is responsible to make sure everyone has proper gear for the journey. Something can even go wrong on a short 1 mile hike, so it is crucial to trust the people you explore nature with.
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Hiking makes me so happy! I am always trying to learn more and climb higher mountains! Reach out if you want any more advice or help with finding gear or a hike near you!

Love hard and stay wild

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XOXO

Em

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