(StatePoint) Just because the weather is cooler, doesn’t mean it’s time to hibernate. With the proper equipment, preparation and motivation, any time of year is the perfect time to get outdoors for an adventure. And you don’t have to look far for a great hike. Across the country, there are 59 gorgeous National Parks and thousands of state parks to choose from, comprising tens of thousands of miles of trails.
Hitting the trail this season? Make sure you’re well-equipped to handle whatever comes your way.
• Footwear: Your regular running shoes may serve you well on a gentle slope in the warmer months, but in cool weather at high altitudes, different precipitation and terrain may require something sturdier, more insulated and definitely waterproof. Check the weather report and conditions of the trail before you go and outfit your feet accordingly.
• Hydration: Don’t be fooled into thinking that staying hydrated is not important in cooler weather. As always, carry more water than you think you may need in case of emergency.
If you’re hiking in more extreme weather conditions, you may need an insulated water bottle to handle the temperature. Look for options that are easy to carry and open so you don’t need to remove your gloves to quench your thirst.
• Fuel: Whether you’re hitting the trail for a leisurely afternoon jaunt or you’re powering through a challenging climb, hiking burns calories, especially in colder weather, when your body expends energy trying to restore its natural body temperature. Staying fueled is important.
Pack snacks that are high in energy, easy to eat and won’t weigh you down, such as trail mix or granola bars.
• Useful tools: Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a weekend warrior, the tools you choose should be well-designed to handle your pursuits and enhance your experience.
Check out Casio’s PRO TREK line of rugged, stylish Triple Sensor watches which are engineered for the outdoors. Features include Tough Solar Power, altimeter/barometer, digital compass and thermometer (Triple Sensor Technology), water resistance, low temperature resistance, daily alarms, a stopwatch and more, making them well-suited for climbs, hikes, kayaking and camping. The latest PRO TREK timepiece, the PRW6000, keeps track of sudden swings in atmospheric pressure, which can help alert users to the possibility of changing weather conditions. More information can be found at www.PROTREK.Casio.com.
• First Aid: Even quick hikes require a basic first aid kit. Be prepared with bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic, splinter removal tools and basic medication.
There’s nothing like exploring the beauty of nature year-round. Just be sure to do so safely and wisely. By getting prepped with innovative tools and basic equipment, you can relax and enjoy the hike.