Strap on your boots and hit the trails
Before you head 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 might sound cliché, but you have to make sure you’re mentally ready for a hike. The most important thing to remember is that hiking is an aerobic activity, meaning you have to be prepared for long stretches of walking. Practicing some basic exercises will help condition your body for what it’s about to experience. Take a walk or two around your neighborhood, up and downhills.
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 to (it’s legal in Vermont). You don’t have to bring water or a cell phone. And it doesn’t matter how slow you walk—and let’s face it, some people hike slower than we do when we just run for exercise. But for those of us who like order, here are some tips for how to get outfitted for a hike with some precision. Don’t take too much; take enough: Start with an active-weather jacket that will keep off wind and light rain (not what you wear in winter), lightweight pants or shorts (for bugs), sneakers/hiking shoes with good traction/ankle support, quick-drying socks, basic first aid supplies, water bottle/fanny pack, snack foods/bars and trail mix for energy boosts. Don’t forget sunglasses!
What you need to know about protecting yourself from ticks
Ticks can carry some scary diseases like Lyme disease, so it’s important to take precautionary measures if you plan to head out into wooded areas. When hiking, check yourself regularly for ticks; wear light-colored clothing that makes ticks easier to spot; use a bug spray containing organic essential oils (the CDC suggests using repellents with lemongrass, cedarwood, and eucalyptus lemon); walk in the center of trails, and tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from climbing onto your body.
What you need to know about bringing pets along
Although it’s generally not a good idea to bring pets along with you when you go hiking, if they are well-behaved, some hiking areas welcome them. You will need to check before you go. In general, consider that hiking with a pet is more likely to make it harder for you than easier. If in doubt, leave Fluffy or Fido at home.
The best time of year to go hiking
From March to October, hiking can be an excellent way to stay in shape, test new gear, or escape from an otherwise hectic life. Just make sure you’re prepared for whatever weather Mother Nature has planned. Always check a trail’s condition with local experts beforehand—and bring proper equipment if you plan to hike off-season.
Which trail should you visit?
There are some great hiking spots in and around Hudson Valley. Start by asking friends, co-workers, and locals which spot is best for you. If this is your very first time, you’ll be safe with Mt. Beacon trail that offers moderate challenge and amazing views, plus if you have energy left after climbing the first peak, consider going all the way to the second peak and enjoy spectacular views from the MT. Beacon Fire Tower.
Day hikes or overnight backpacking?
Before you even think about strapping on a pack and hitting that trail, you need to decide what kind of trip you’re going to have. Day hiking means exactly what it sounds like: You hike from point A to point B and then turn around and come back home, often within a day or two. Backpacking is more involved—you carry a larger pack with all of your gear and food for at least one night out in nature (the exact amount will depend on how much you can carry). Backpacking trips tend to last for multiple days; some overnighters last only one night, while others can span several weeks.
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Hiking Safety Tips:
If hiking or camping in an area known as a tick & mosquito habitat, try to protect yourself, and children in particular, by wearing bright colored, long-sleeved tops and pants, tucking the bottoms of the pant legs into long socks. Apply a generous amount of DA Aromatherapy Collection Natural Insect Repellent Spray, as a deterrent, onto clothing and skin. For best results apply frequently. Inspect the entire body after hiking.