By Angie Comer
Hiking is not escapism; it’s realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong.
— Jennifer Pharr Davis, The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength & Resilience
Unlike many outdoor sports—water-skiing or rock-climbing, as examples—hiking does not require heavy gear or extensive lessons. A simple activity, hiking can be enjoyed with only minor preparation—and proper footwear. Just throw on your best Ariat boots, pack a bag with plenty of water and healthy snacks, and you’re off. (Be sure to do your research—you don’t want to be halfway down the trail when you realize it’s 30 miles long!)
Hiking isn’t—and never was—meant to be thought of purely in terms of physical exercise. The origins of the activity go all the way back to the 18th century Romantic Movement, when appreciation for the beauty of nature fully evolved. It began simply as walking for pleasure, maturing over centuries to become the craze that it is today…