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by Diane Spicer
When you hear "best hiking tips for women", I'll bet you expect some common sense recommendations about boots and packs and hiking clothing.
Use those links to find more helpful tips than you can shake your trekking pole at, as well as this site map.
Here, if you're up for it, let's talk about hiking tips for women that focus on other, less often discussed facets of hiking.
Here's the question to consider:
Do you approach your trail time from
all four perspectives?
You might not have noticed that you have 4 facets to "you" as a hiker:
But indeed, you do!
These best hiking tips for women hikers will get you thinking about all 4 dimensions of yourself.
And the four different perspectives you can use to enjoy a hike.
Let's start off with the facet many hikers never discuss.
Feel free to skip to the next category, but I'm hoping you'll be enticed into reading a bit.
I am not about to tell you which religion is best, or which spiritual leader or book or movement is THE way.
That's a deeply personal decision.
But I do want to share with you how important it is to have passion and purpose in your life.
For me, hiking unlocks my spiritual dimension because it touches a dimensionless space inside of me.
It also puts me in touch with a deep commitment to the planet, and to my fellow travelers in time, which leads to thoughts of service and compassion.
Not a bad head space to be in, I hope you'll agree.
To explore what I mean, here's a question for you:
Have you ever allowed yourself some space and time to just sit beneath a tree and breathe slowly?
You might not think of this as a spiritual exercise, but you'd be surprised what you might learn about yourself!
It's simple, but not easy.
Empty your mind and focus on just one thing: breathing with the tree.
Lean against it, or lie beneath it and look up at its branches.
Acknowledge that both of you are fellow Earth travelers.
Try my tree-breathing tip for a few minutes and then get back on the trail, refreshed and energized.
If the spiritual aspect didn't surface, at least your red blood cells are oxygenated and your muscles are relaxed!
I also highly recommend that you try a little Nature Therapy to ground yourself.
You could also consider hiking as a spiritual pilgrimage.
Hiking tips to address the emotional aspects of being a strong, confident, committed hiker begin with identifying your emotions.
This sounds deceptively simple.
But I find it very hard to nail exactly what I'm feeling sometimes. The rush and tumble of the workaday world drowns out what I'm feeling.
So, based upon personal experience, I advise you to isolate each emotion as it arises within a thought or a memory.
Now here's the hard part: examine it dispassionately to decode what it's trying to say to you.
A long day's hike is the perfect place for this!
Decode the message(s) in your emotions by asking yourself:
I can't speak for you, but I'm committed to working on my emotions, unpacking the truth within them.
I find this work to be easier while I'm hiking, probably because I'm not distracted by emails, phone, to do lists, and other interruptions.
Long stretches of trail time give me mental space to go back over my latest emotional upset, and analyze it.
A solo hike devoted to emotional detoxing is one way to go.
In a group, it helps if your trail companions are not chatty through the entire hike.
Set an intention to work on your emotional perspective as a hiker.
Devote your thoughts to working out why you feel the way you feel when your uncomfortable feelings surface.
A trained mental health professional will assist you if you would like to go deeper into this work.
Why would I suggest you do this?
Because dark, heavy emotions rob you of energy.
Wouldn't you rather have that energy directed to your passions in life, like hiking?
Mental hiking tips for women begin with the energy theme, too.
To use another personal example:
If I have a long list of things waiting to be accomplished back home, I don't enjoy my hike to the fullest.
But if I allow it to, hiking pulls me out of my head and away from my troubles and looming chores.
The rhythm of the trail creates space to become peaceful and un-filled-up with my "to do" lists.
In a sense, I claim my power and utilize it for the hiking trail.
Those chores will be waiting for me when I get home, so why spend my precious outdoor time stewing about them?
The next time you catch yourself in the mental churn cycle, consciously disrupt it by focusing on how much you are loving being on the trail!
At last we get to the hiking tips for your physical hiker's body, which so many blogosphere writers can share with you.
And Hiking For Her has a lot to share, too.
I hope you've already had a chance to look around at the nutrition information and the healthy hiking tips on this website.
Here, I'd like to drop a small challenge into your lap after you answer these questions:
Now choose one facet of your physical hiking body to improve, strengthen or focus on for the next hiking season. These tips can give you some ideas to implement:
By building solid physical habits, your trail time will be enhanced a thousand-fold because you won't be as prone to the usual trail issues:
And that means you will be able to enjoy every moment of each and every hike!
After reading these hiking tips for women, do you have a few new ideas to toss around on your next hike, in the privacy of your mind?
Or were you re-invigorated to make the most of trail time with fresh eyes and an eagerness you've been missing?
Either way, best wishes for great hiking!
Every trail has its secrets to offer you, and you'll be able to unlock them now that you're tuned into your wonderful four facets as a hiker.
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