I want to get outside! What should I try first?
Maybe you found my Instagram page, or you’ve been following the blog. Either way you can see that I like to be outdoors and try different activities. If your brand new to the outdoor industry and want to learn where to start this is the post for you.
There are so many things you can do outside to have fun. Hiking, biking, paddle, ski etc. The list can go on forever. But if you never have really taken the time to get outside it might be hard to know where to start. Hiking is by far the easiest way to get outside and enjoy nature. I’m not saying the actual hike will be easy, it’s just the easiest way to get there. The gear you need is minimal at best. For short day-lite hikes you typically just need good shoes and water. Hiking is especially great if you are plus size. You can take your time,it’s just walking, usually up a hill but non the less it’s walking. You walk every day but now your doing it with a pretty view. I’ve searched for images or websites dedicated to plus size people getting outside and I could barely find images. Thats one of the reasons for this blog, is to show you that you do belong outside. Out of all the activities I like to do outside I find more plus size people hiking then any other activity. And it makes sense, its low impact, it doesn’t cost much, and its not a speed focused activity.
Where to go?
Start off easy, maybe take a walk on a local green way. Depending on where you live a greenway is usually flat, and doesn’t have to be a long distance. If you are someone who is very new to physical activity this is an awesome place to start. If you want to take it up a step go to a local park. I’m lucky to live in Charlotte because we have the Whitewater Center and Anne Springs. They offer trails that are usually around 3 miles in a loop. If I want, I can make it longer, or take a harder trail, but I don’t have to go far to get outside. A step up from this would be state parks. These are usually where you are going to start finding more elevation gains. For me that usually means heading towards the mountains. Crowders mountain is a great example, its maybe 45 minutes away from Charlotte but when you are at the top on a clear day you can see uptown skyline. This is where you start to really put your legs to the test. Learning how to climb up a mountain and how to get back down.
How long should I expect it to take?
Honestly that depends on how fast you want to go, how many breaks you want/need to take and how much elevation you are climbing. I like to break hiking up into three categories. Day-lite, day and overnight. A day-lite hike is more the greenway or local park I was talking about earlier. Usually about a hour in time, fairly level and not too far way from home. These are perfect for week days to just get out of the house. Day hikes typically take up most of the day. Either there is driving involved to get there and/or the hike itself takes a while. These usually are in the 2-4 hour time frame for the actual hike. There is a little more gear included but not much. If you plan on being on the trail for more then 5 hours, typically that means your probably backpacking and will sleep outside on the trail as well. We will dive deeper into backpacking in a different post.
What do I need?
To start with all you really need are a good pair of shoes and some water. Especially if you are just doing a day-lite hike. Thats what makes hiking so simple to get started. No crazy specific gear is needed. Now once you graduate from the day-lite hike and are ready go into the day and overnight yes more gear is needed, but even then its not as crazy as you may think.
Where do you go hiking? Are you more of a day-lite, day or overnight hiker?
Encourage. Enjoy. Explore