It’s never not hiking season, but with the world turning green in our area, our minds are very much on hiking and camping. Some times, people will camp while hiking. Other times, people will hike while camping. Then there is the hybrid option between these two styles.
At this stage, our family hikes while camping (or simply takes day hikes), but before we get into the distinctions, let’s define hiking. In the context of outdoor recreation, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines hike as “to walk a long distance especially for pleasure or exercise.”
Looking at this definition, we would change the “or” to “and” as we don’t really think of it as a hike if it isn’t pleasurable. We would also add “outdoors” as walking around indoors is just walking in our opinion. We might drop the phrase “long distance” as it leaves so much room for ambiguity and we look for the opposite of that when we seek a definition. Thus, the Family Trivium definition of hike is “to walk outdoors for pleasure and exercise.”
As to why we hike, the definition (Merriam-Webster’s or ours) says it all: for pleasure and/or exercise. What is so pleasurable about hiking? When hiking, you get to take in natural beauty, whether it be in the sky, landscape or wildlife. With the use of field guides, you can learn new things about plants, animals, and natural phenomena (i.e. weather, land forms, the night sky, etc.). The thing we like best is spending time as a family away from the noise of modern life – be sure to put those cell phones in airplane mode, or just shut them off.
While the how of hiking seems pretty straight forward – take a walk outdoors – there are some guidelines which we’ll be looking at in more detail in future posts. In the mean time, we hope you’ll find a few moments to spend outdoors, even if just a brief break on your patio or deck.