The holiday season provides the opportunity to change the work routine in favor of more leisure and pleasure. With more calories to burn, hiking provides a strategic vent. The requirements are minimal and flexible.
I have climbed dozens of unremarkable mountains. Growing up on the slopes of Mount Kenya in the era of bicycles meant climbing hills everywhere – when fetching drinking water, going to the corner shop, to school, and so on.
The amount of physical energy expended walking daily, my ballpark estimate, was enough to climb the main mount Kenya twice daily.
The first time I did formal hiking was at a team-building event at a place of work. The HR set a date and off we went to Ngong Hills.
Hiking, unlike Mountain Climbing, can be done on any terrain whether in urban or rural areas.
Shorter hikes, taking a couple of hours over shorter distances, can be done regularly and free of cost. Longer hikes may require anything ranging from a simple canvas shoe to equipment such as headlamps and trekking poles on top of rucksacks and specialized boots.
A holiday hike needs not to be a record-breaking event. It could be compared to a round of golf if you like. The objective is to burn excess calories while having fun.
The hiking route is probably the most important tool that you need to have well-considered. The choice of the hiking route will be influenced by factors such as time available and your physical condition.
During the holiday season, with time staggered throughout the day, it is also advisable to consider the weather.
A morning pre-breakfast hike can help cleanse the body of the previous day’s toxins. A mid-day hike on a hot day could be delayed for the evening to take advantage of a sunset, and so on.
Hiking route security is important. Wild animals and social delinquents are the most common threats.
Route experience, which is dependent on factors such as the natural, social and infrastructural sceneries, is probably the most important consideration.
Solo hiking, done by a single person, is flexible and able to take advantage of surprises by trying out new routes easily. Group hiking is good for teambuilding.
Hiking experience can be psychological and physiological. Solo hiking, for example, provides an opportunity for meditation which could be good for self and environmental awareness.
Hiking with a friend can help build high-impact social and emotional bonds that are the basis of stronger social support.
During the holiday season, hiking can provide an alternative to the usual food and entertainment besides providing healthier and cost-effective leisure and pleasure solutions.