The Benefits of Being Aware While Hiking

There are many different reasons why people might not pay attention to their surroundings while hiking. Maybe you’re on the tail end of a grueling 14-hour hike, and so you’re plodding along on autopilot. You could be absorbed in good conversation with your hiking buddy. Or maybe you’re just not very observant in the first place, and you’re blasting tunes on your portable speaker instead of paying attention to what’s going on around you. It’s worth making an effort to take in your surroundings, however. Here are the benefits of being aware while hiking.

Avoid wrong turns

Getting lost in your thoughts is a good way to get lost on the trail. If you’ve ever been truly lost and disoriented in the woods, you know just how unsettling losing your way can be.

Being aware while hiking – looking for landmarks, noting distinguishing features, and remembering the forks and turns you take – can keep you from getting lost.

Avoid missteps

Tripping isn’t just a mistake made by beginner hikers. Keep your eyes on the trail and observe the terrain. This can keep you from stumbling on rocks, roots, and gravel.

Being aware while hiking also helps keep you from accidentally trudging through poison ivy.

Avoid surprises

Observing¬† wildlife from a safe distance is an awesome experience. Accidentally stepping on a Rattlesnake, rounding the corner and coming face to face with a mama bear and her cubs, or startling a skunk aren’t quite as awesome.

Taking note of what’s going on around you can help save you from unexpected, and unwanted, encounters with wildlife.

Appreciate nature

One of the reasons you’re out on the trail in the first place is to enjoy the great outdoors. Take the time to appreciate the experience. Soak in the sights and sounds of the flora and fauna, and truly savor the moment.

Paying attention to your surroundings gives you a better appreciation for the great outdoors.

You don’t have to be on high alert, watching the trail like a hawk, but you should always be aware of your surroundings while out on the trail!

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