Taking your First Step into Hiking 

By: Aden Savko  

     Hiking can be an intimidating hobby to start, however, it can be a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Hiking is a great way to begin being more active, or, for athletes, hiking can be helpful for recovery after a workout. It’s a good way to stretch out and prevent strain injuries. It can also be helpful in maintaining mental health, as a good hike can help clear your mind and introduce you to new things and places.  

     A healthy mind is important for a healthy body, and hiking can be a good step towards both of those. However, it is important to do this safely and prepare to avoid injury. The Squire will be sharing tips and interviewing local scout leader, Mr. Leonhardt, to help you start your journey into hiking or finding new hikes if you already have some experience. 

     It is always good to start somewhere local and find new trails near you to start off your hiking journey into the wilderness. Places like Rimrock and Jakes Rocks are good places for beginner hikers in the local area to get out there for an easier hike and just enjoy the view. When asked, Mr. Leonhardt stated that the hiking trails are a big part on why he lives here in the first place. Places like Morrison Trail, Minister Creek, and Tom’s Run are places he notes as some of his personal favorites. Making your own trail is part of the fun, and Mr. Leonhardt noted that finding your own favorite sights and sounds when you hike are some of the most fun and interesting ways to go about hiking. 

     It is very important to be prepared when going hiking in case you find yourself in danger of getting lost or some other emergency. When asked by The Squire about hiking necessities, Mr. Leonhardt stated that he packs ten outdoor essentials, in order to never be unprepared: Water (and a way to filter water), extra food, a first aid kit, a map and compass, a knife of some kind, a whistle, extra clothing, a way to make a fire, and an emergency shelter, such as a tarp. Of course, having these important items is not the only thing you need to do to be prepared; it’s very important to learn how to use these hiking essentials, such as the map and compass, in case of a survival situation. You should also practice building a fire and shelter to keep you warm and protected in case you get lost and must spend the night in the woods.  

     This spring and summer, spend some time enjoying the beautiful scenery here in Warren County with a hike. Remember that being prepared is the most important way to hike safely.

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