13 Crucial Hiking Tips to Consider for Seniors

13 Crucial Hiking Tips to Consider for Seniors

Hiking is fantastic for physical and mental wellbeing, and it’s an activity any age group can enjoy. Seniors can get just as much satisfaction from hiking as younger people – it just takes a little more pre-planning. I’m here to help you along your hiking journey.

Seniors should check with their doctor before starting hiking and consider going out with a friend or in groups. Carefully researching the route beforehand is also essential, and bringing trekking poles will make it easier to navigate challenging terrain. 

Top 13 Hiking Tips for Seniors and Older Adults

1) Check-in With Your Doctor First

Let your doctor know before you start hitting the trails. You may think it’s unnecessary and that you’re in tip-top condition, but it doesn’t hurt to get a clean bill of health. Your doctor will most likely support you in taking up a new physical activity. They may even have some helpful information to share.

If you have a pre-existing condition, your doctor will want to know before you start a demanding new physical activity. They may have advice on just how much your body can handle and help you understand your limits.

Perhaps you take medication that doesn’t usually pose any problems but may cause side effects if you’re under strain or sunlight. You don’t want to start feeling nauseous or dizzy when out on a hike. Hiking at altitude could exacerbate these issues.

2) Research Beforehand

An unplanned hike is all very well until it turns out to be much longer or tougher than anticipated. Thankfully, there are some great resources nowadays to help you map out your hikes.

My personal favorite is the AllTrails app. With the free version, you can discover all the awesome trails in your area and find out just how suitable and difficult they all are. It provides the length of the trail and reviews of the hike so you better understand the recent conditions. 

AllTrails can also be used to map out customized routes and to keep a record of any hikes you’ve completed.

3) Bring a Light Sweater or Jacket

 

Hiking may get the body moving and the blood flowing, but you might still get a little chilly!

When out and about in any other season than summer, pack a light-weighted sweater or jacket so you don’t get caught cold mid-hike. Even in the summer months, packing a jacket is a sensible precaution for seniors when hiking at high altitudes.

Light clothing is important for multiple reasons. Firstly, bulky clothing will just weigh you down and make you overheat. Secondly, you have limited space in your bag and should aim to keep things as condensed as possible.

Lugging a big old sweater around will weigh you down, and take up vital space that could be filled by other items.

4) Pack an Emergency Kit

Hopefully, you won’t need it, but packing an emergency kit is like taking out personal insurance. Seniors need to be extra cautious with their bodies. If you do take a fall in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be grateful you brought some first aid.

Let’s go over what a good emergency kit should contain:

  •       Adhesive tapes
  •       Antiseptic wipes
  •       Bandages
  •       Elastic bandages
  •       Emergency blanket
  •       Emergency contact information/medical information
  •       First aid manual
  •       Gauze roll and pads
  •       Gloves
  •       Instant cold pack
  •       Safety pins
  •       Scissors
  •       Thermometer
  •       Triangular bandage
  •       Tweezers

That’s a lot of stuff! But it all fits into a neat and compact box, and most emergency kits weigh around 1lb or less. 

5) Use Trekking Poles for Stability and Support

Trekking poles are a senior hiker’s best friend. What would once have been awkward terrain becomes much more navigable with the assistance of these stabilizing and supportive poles.

Trekking poles are excellent when going downhill and even uphill, helping you balance your weight evenly and taking pressure off your knees. If you suffer from joint pain, trekking poles are a must-have.

You can also use trekking poles to brush away shrubbery and plants blocking your path, to check how deep puddles are, and to probe for quicksand. They also offer protection against any unfriendly wildlife you may encounter on your hikes.

I recommend TrailBuddy trekking poles, which you can buy check out here. These poles are lightweight and made from aluminum, which is stronger than carbon fiber. 

6) Wear Comfortable and Grippy Hiking Shoes

Comfortable shoes are vital whether you suffer from foot pain or not. Hiking for long distances takes its toll on your feet and will leave them battered, bruised, and blistered if you don’t wear comfortable and supportive shoes.

Good hiking shoes will provide ample support to your ankles and feet, eliminating the risk of a twisted ankle while traveling through tricky terrain.

Grippy shoes are vital and give you permission to hike with confidence over all surfaces. Good hiking shoes have deep traction on the soles, and hiking-specific grooves and patterns. These specialized tread designs play a vital role when hiking on wet ground or snow.

If you can’t afford to invest in a new pair of shoes right now, you could modify some existing shoes to make them more hiking-friendly. Scoring the bottoms and scuffing the soles will help reduce slippiness. These adjustments will bail you out of a jam, but don’t treat them as a long-term fix. 

7) Wear Loose-Fitting and Breathable Hiking Pants

Prevent chafing and make your hikes more comfortable by wearing loose-fitting and breathable pants. Loose-fitting pants shouldn’t feel overly baggy, but they should allow you to move freely. The importance of wearing suitable hiking pants is often underestimated, but without them, you’ll quickly start overheating and sweating.

Seniors should weigh up the benefits of standard and convertible hiking pants. Standard pants are much like regular pants and will keep you warm when hiking in colder climates. Convertible pants can be turned into shorts for extra breathability.

Standard pants work great if you mostly hike in cool temperatures. But if you like to get out in all weathers, you may prefer the versatility of convertible hiking pants.

8) Wear Hiking Socks for Support, Comfort, and Moisture Control

Seniors should always wear hiking socks. Regular socks simply do not offer the level of support and comfort you need for long hikes, nor can they cope with moisture. Wearing the wrong socks makes hiking more difficult and leaves you liable to blisters.

In contrast, thick, high-quality hiking socks provide ample cushioning for your feet – and they are very durable! Remember that hiking isn’t like regular walking. When navigating hilly, rocky terrain, you’ll appreciate the extra comfort hiking socks offer. In the winter months, you’ll be grateful for the extra warmth, too!

Hiking socks also keep your feet dry, reducing the risk of blisters. As your feet perspire, the socks will suck up all the moisture, keeping your feet bone dry. Standard, thin socks can’t keep up with the perspiration, and the inevitable rubbing at the back of your feet will cause blisters.

9) Bring Headlamps for Evening Hikes

Evening hikes require more awareness than daytime walks. Bringing headlamps will help you spot any obstacles blocking your path, and alert you to any potential danger.

Headlamps are preferable to flashlights for seniors. If you’re using trekking poles, you need to keep both hands free for stability and support. A firmly fixed headlamp will light up the night, and allow you to stay fully focussed on the route ahead.

Good headlamps should weigh no more than 2oz, have a minimum 30-lumen brightness, and have a battery life of 40 hours or more. Your chosen headlamp should also be waterproof and have at least a 10-meter beam.

10) Tell a Family Member, Friend, or Neighbor Where You Plan to Hike

Seniors should always let somebody know where they are going before setting off on a hike. Hopefully, all of your hikes will be drama-free. But if you get into trouble, a family member, friend, or neighbor knowing where you are will act as a safety net.

Informing somebody where you’re hiking is even more important if hiking alone. Let them know what trail you’re going on, what time you are setting off, and what time you plan on getting back. If you’ve driven to the starting point, tell them where you’ve parked your car.

In a nutshell, find somebody you can trust and brief them with the key details about your hike.

11) Bring an Emergency Rescue Whistle 

An emergency rescue whistle is a great item to have on you – it could even save your life. These are much louder than regular whistles or the sound of your voice. If you get into difficulty, your best chance of alerting someone is with an emergency rescue whistle.

Amazon stocks several emergency rescue whistles suitable for hiking – good whistles reach over 120 decibels and can be heard from a mile away. Make sure you buy a durable and water-proof whistle.

12) Hike with a Partner or in a Group

For seniors, hiking with a partner or in a group might be a better option than going solo – even more so if you’re new to hiking. Going with others is often more fun, it’s safer, you get to meet like-minded people, and you can pick up new tips.

Joining a hiking group will put you in contact with more experienced hikers, who will keep you safe. You’re less likely to get into danger or have an accident when hiking with a partner or in groups.

Hiking with a partner or in a group may also be cheaper. If there are no hiking spots in your area, you’ll have travel costs to pay, and you might have to shell out for a hotel. Hiking with others keeps these costs as low as possible.  

13) Stay Active Daily (For Stamina and Preparation)

Keeping active on a daily basis will pay dividends for seniors when hiking. You don’t need to hit the gym, but regular walking and cardio exercises will help build up your stamina and stay in an active frame of mind.

Going on a big hike after weeks or months of lounging around could be a daunting prospect and will be tougher on your body. Staying active builds heart strength and keeps your joints in good condition. You’ll also feel fresher and more motivated.

If you suffer from joint pain, low-impact exercises are best for easing discomfort and keeping healthy. Try upping your daily step count (10,000 is a great target) or taking up cycling or swimming in your spare time.

7 Tips for Staying Cozy and Dry While Hiking in the Rain

7 Tips for Staying Cozy and Dry While Hiking in the Rain

No matter how well you’ve planned a hike, the weather is one variable out of your control. But even so, you can still avoid getting drenched when the rain starts coming down while out on the trail. I’ve got lots of tips and tricks to share with you today on staying cozy and dry while hiking in the rain!

Pack waterproof clothing, like a rain poncho, rain pants, and shoe covers to stay dry while hiking in the rain. Bring a thermal mug with a hot beverage or soup to keep warm. Leukotape helps prevent blisters, which are more prone to occur in wet conditions.

Let’s get straight into the top 7 tips!

 

1) Bring a Waterproof Rain Poncho

A waterproof rain poncho will help keep you dry when the rain arrives. Ponchos are lightweight, super compact, and a brilliant option for hikers on a budget. When lugging around a backpack for miles and miles, you need a poncho that won’t weigh you down and doesn’t take up much space.

 

High-quality rain ponchos are typically made out of silicone polyester or nylon and are, of course, 100% waterproof. Cuben fiber, polyethylene, and PVC are also common poncho materials.

 

Your rain poncho should be durable, breathable, comfortable, go down to the knees, and be fully taped at the seams to keep you dry in the harshest conditions. Bonus points for ponchos that have pockets.

Here’s a rain poncho from Amazon under $25: Multifunctional Rain Poncho Waterproof Outdoor Raincoat (Unisex)

2) Take Waterproof Shoe Covers or Gaiters

Waterproof shoe covers and gaiters are a low-cost and effective way of keeping your feet dry while hiking in the rain, especially when walking through puddles and muddy terrain. Covers also protect your shoes from damage and will leave you with less cleaning to do when you get home!

 

You can use disposables, but it’s well worth spending a few bucks on some genuine shoe covers or gaiters. Disposables do not offer the same level of grip and are made from thin materials that easily tear.

 

A proper waterproof shoe cover will protect your whole shoe and come with a zipper so you can get a tight fit. Ensure that you buy shoe covers with slip-resistant features. Silicone waterproof shoe covers are lightweight and foldable – so you can always keep them in your backpack as a precaution.

 

By giving your shoes some external protection in the rain, your shoes and socks have less work to do to keep your feet dry.

Definitely check these out if you plan on getting some: Hikenture Leg Gaiters with Waterproof Zipper, Anti-Tear Water-Resistant Hiking Gaiters

3) Wear Waterproof Clothing (Rain Pants, Jacket, and Shoes)

Dealing with a rainstorm while hiking is much easier if fully kitted out in waterproof clothing. I recommend wearing a rain jacket, rain pants, and waterproof shoes to keep your hiking enjoyable in wet weather.

 

Your waterproof jacket should be lightweight and foldable so you can keep it stuffed in your bag – hopefully, that’s where it will mostly stay!

 

The jacket should be fitted with ventilation zips under the armpit and zippered pockets, and the hood should fit tightly and snugly. Invest in a quality waterproof jacket, as they tend to lose effectiveness over time.

 

Rain pants for hiking should fit securely around the waist but be loose around the legs to allow fresh air to circulate. Without ventilation, the gap between your rain and hiking pants will become a haven for sweat and end up leaving you soaked.

 

Your rain pants should be big enough to fit over your regular clothing and hiking pants. And naturally, they should be lightweight and compact enough to store easily in your bag when you aren’t using enough.

 

Waterproof shoes also serve as a solid defense against the rain. Wet feet are more likely to blister, so you must wear shoes with high water resistance in wet conditions. However, your shoes still need breathability. Sure, you don’t want water leaking in, but you need to allow moisture to get out.

4) Bring a Thermal Mug with Warm Tea or Water

When it rains, the temperature usually drops, too. Within minutes, a beautiful, warm day out hiking can turn chilly and unpleasant. The cold hits even harder if you haven’t packed a sweater or jacket.

But a vacuum-insulated thermal mug will help keep you cozy while out on the trail in the rain. You could fill it with coffee, tea, hot water, or even soup!

A thermal mug will keep your beverage or soup piping hot for several hours or until you break the seal. Once opened, cool air will start getting in, chilling down the contents of the mug. It’s worth mentioning that thermal mugs will also keep drinks ice-cold – this is handy in the summer season.

Good thermal mugs are durable and able to handle wear and tear. Make sure your chosen mug has a solid lid that forms a tight seal – this is the part most likely to fail. On that note, the mug should be leak-proof, or the fluid will spill out and spoil the other contents in your bag.

 

Thermal mugs come in a variety of sizes – choose one based on the size of your bag. You don’t want a mug that’s too heavy and takes up too much space. But equally, you want a mug big enough to hold a decent amount of coffee or whatever you like to drink.

5) Use Trekking Poles with Mud Baskets

Trekking poles with mud baskets are essential for all age groups hiking in the rain. The extra stability and support offered will compensate for the slippery and wet conditions – the poles are really useful when navigating hills.

 

Many hikers use trekking poles in all weathers, but the mud baskets are a must-have add-on in the wet. If you’re planning on hiking over muddy ground, snow, or sand, mud baskets will make your life a lot easier and reduce the strain on your knees and calves.

 

Mud Baskets will stop your trekking poles from sinking too deep into soft ground, which would slow you down and cost energy. They will help reduce the amount of mud that flings up and gets your clothes dirty.

 

Good trekking poles are lightweight, sturdy, and durable. Nowadays, the best trekking poles are made from either aluminum alloy or carbon fiber – both are great and lightweight. Cork, foam, and rubber (or a combination) all work well as the grip material. Other crucial trekking pole qualities include adjustability, shock absorption, and foldability.

6) Pack Extra Socks

Hikers always need to take care of their feet, but it’s even more important to do so in the rain. It doesn’t matter how much waterproof clothing you wear, if you’re hiking in torrential rain, your feet will get wet – hence the need for extra socks.

 

Hiking in the rain means plodding through mud, puddles, and streams. Accepting that you won’t keep all moisture out is the first step. Managing the moisture build-up is the second.

 

If you have spare socks on hand, you can take breaks every so often to dry your feet and replace your soaked socks with a fresh pair. Not only will this make your feet more comfortable, it significantly reduces your risk of blisters.

 

You should always wear hiking socks. Everyday socks are too thin and unable to absorb the level of moisture produced by your feet when out hiking. In the rain, specialized hiking socks will also soak up any moisture that breached the defenses of your shoes and shoe covers.

 

When hiking, protecting your feet should be your number one priority – this applies even more in the rain. Bring extra bags to place your wet socks in when you switch them.

7) Leukotape for Blisters and Blister Prevention (helps if feet blister due to wet socks & shoes)

Let’s talk more about preventing blisters while hiking in the rain and about the benefits of Leukotape. Suppose the rain is hammering down and your shoes and socks cannot stop your feet from getting wet and causing blisters. Leukotape offers another line of defense.

 

Leukotape is a sticky and breathable tape that you can apply to blistering hotspots, such as the backs of your feet. Made with strong, durable zinc oxide adhesive, Leukotape will stay firmly in place even in the wettest weather.

 

However, Leukotape cannot be used to stop an existing blister from becoming further damaged. When removed, the sticky tape will rip off any loose or broken skin, creating an even bigger problem.

 

The big rolls Leukotape comes in are not ideal, given you have precious little space in your backpack. Instead, cut off a few strips of Leukotape and attach them to release paper (the shiny paper you peel stickers off).

 

Is it Safe to Hike in the Rain?

 

It’s safe to hike in the rain if you are prepared with the right clothing and gear, such as waterproof shoes with grippy soles. It can become unsafe if the trail becomes slippery and you’re not wearing the right shoes and gear.

My Final Tip to You

It may be tempting to press on with a hike, whatever the weather. But sometimes conditions will get the better of you, and it’ll simply become too dangerous to keep going. In these situations, don’t be afraid to turn back!

Hiking in torrential rain, thunderstorms, or high winds is asking for trouble. Numerous things could go wrong, and persisting in such weather could lead to injury or worse. Heavy rain makes the ground slippery, increasing the risk of falls. 

When the weather gets rough, assess the conditions and your physical capabilities, and then make a judgment call. Sometimes Mother Nature will have her say and stop your hike in its tracks – that’s a battle you can’t win.

More Hiker’s Ed

13 Crucial Hiking Tips to Consider for Seniors

13 Crucial Hiking Tips to Consider for Seniors

Hiking is fantastic for physical and mental wellbeing, and it’s an activity any age group can enjoy. Seniors can get just as much satisfaction from hiking as younger people – it just takes a little more pre-planning. I’m here to help you along your hiking journey....

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Old LA Zoo: Exploring the Abandoned Ruins at Griffith Park

Old LA Zoo: Exploring the Abandoned Ruins at Griffith Park

Distance 

~2.5 Miles

Time

~2 Hrs

Difficulty

Easy

Season

All Year

Elevation Gain

383 Ft

If you’re looking for something spooky and exciting to do, the Old LA Zoo is most certainly perfect for you! Check out the ruins of this once very popular attraction.

The Old LA is an easy 2.5-mile hike located within Griffith Park in Los Angeles. It features an abandoned zoo, an operating merry-go-round, and a park. The elevation gain is about 383 feet. Bathrooms are located near the parking lot. Dogs are allowed on leashes.

Map of Old LA Zoo

Where is the Old LA Zoo?

The Old LA Zoo is located at 4801 Griffith Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Parking is free and can be found in the Griffith Park area near the merry-go-round.

Restrooms are located near the merry-go-round.

Park Hours

The park is open Sundays through Saturdays from 5 AM-10 AM.

Exploring the Ruins

The trail begins on Fern Canyon Trail. You need to cross the road on the south side of the Merry Go Round to get to the trailhead.

If you’re a little confused, be sure to open the map shown above.

It’s a bit hard to see in the picture shown above, but there’s a split to the left underneath the tree. Make sure to stay on the right side of the split.

Shortly after I came across Fern Canyon Amphitheatre. 

The Old LA Zoo probably hosted events here because I couldn’t find any current info on it. Head up the stairs.

The next split leads either away from the city or towards the city. Be sure to head straight (as shown below).

Eventually, I reached this point with the metal rails that leads down toward a small street. Be sure to go down that way.

(This will be close to the Bee Rock Trail, but do not take Bee Rock).

After walking through the parking lot, I reached this gate near the park and continued through it.

Not long after, I arrived at the ruins!

My first stop was at the animal cages. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside these.

Not sure what animals were house here, but if I had to guess, it would probably be felines or large primates.

Unfortunately, the Old LA Zoo had a negative reputation of housing large animals in confined places.

The next small building seems to have housed parrots or other birds, but I’m not sure because it lacks windows.

When you go inside there’s a small room that’s empty and trashed.

The following buildings were used to house all the polar bears.

old la zoo

All the structures had pits in the front (which are now filled in)  and a roughly 4 foot fence that kept people from falling in. Those fences are now gone as you can see.

old la zoo

From the inside, I could look up these stairs.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to access the inside, but there is a way!

The next stop is my favorite! These temple-looking animal exhibits remind me of a deep jungle somewhere!

This specific one has benches to relax and enjoy.

Fun Fact: A scene from the movie Anchorman was filmed in one of these exhibits. There are also other movies that have been shot at this old zoo.

After the structure shown above head back the same way you came and “bust a u-turn” to start heading up the hill behind the polar bear ruins. 

As you make your way up, you’ll notice the top of the ruins are fenced off…

old la zoo

But you can still go in and walk down! 

As I continued up the dirt road, I came across another animal cage.

Any guesses as to what animals lived inside? It’s pretty small and has a tiny door. This was the last of the ruins.

The final stop was the merry-go-round near the parking lot.

You can ride this iconic gem on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM.

Fun Fact: It was built in 1926 and was actually Walt Disney’s inspiration for Disneyland!

I hope you have fun walking around this infamous abandoned zoo that was once a hub for tourists and locals alike.

Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @cahikingadventures.com when you make a visit!

History of the Old LA Zoo

The Old LA Zoo was first constructed in 1912 on a very low budget. This was a sign that the zoo would later have many issues and mishaps throughout its time.

It was said to have housed about 15 animals, ranging from bears and bobcats to ostriches and monkeys.

Some of the issues of the zoo were that animals would escape and there were also drainage issues that almost got the pace shut down. They had also fed the bobcats horse meat, which made a lot of them die.

Throughout the decades, there would be more funds to expand the zoo. In 1949,  there were over 1,000 animals. Cages were crowded and it was difficult to build on such a bad platform.

There were always rumors of animal mistreatment, which constantly put them in a bad spotlight.

In 1958, there was a lot of support to fund a new zoo. The Old LA Zoo didn’t end up being as great as it was supposed to be after all.

When Was it Abandoned?

The Old LA Zoo was abandoned in August of 1966. The new Los Angeles Zoo opened in December of 1966 with more than 2,000 animals and is currently a popular destination.

Why Was it Abandoned?

The Old LA Zoo was abandoned because of issues such as overcrowded cages, animal mistreatment, and other structural flaws. It was officially closed in 1966.

More LA Hikes

Claremont Loop: An Easy 5-Mile Hike with Views

Claremont Loop: An Easy 5-Mile Hike with Views

Distance 5 Miles Time ~3 HrsDifficulty EasyElevation Gain 839 Ft.Season All YearBathrooms Yes Claremont Loop is a very popular hike and I can definitely see why. It has a really nice overlook with plenty of benches. This is definitely one you can do with family and...

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My One-Year Experience With TrailBuddy Trekking Poles (Review)

My One-Year Experience With TrailBuddy Trekking Poles (Review)

Sometimes, you need a helping hand on some of the more strenuous and difficult terrains. To me and thousands of others, TrailBuddy Trekking Poles are just that and more. I’ve been in situations throughout my hiking journey that would have turned out pretty bad if I didn’t have these bad boys with me. 

 

TrailBuddy Trekking Poles are used for extra stability and support on hikes and walks. They are perfect for snowy, wet, and rocky terrains. They are made of tough and light aluminum, making them durable and long-lasting walking sticks. 

 

Here’s my experience and thoughts on the super popular trekking poles from Amazon.  

 

The Good

 

I’ve been using these trekking poles for well over a year now, and they haven’t disappointed thus far.

 

These have been my buddies on snowy and sketchy trails. Trust me, they have saved me from scary situations.

 

Here are some of the good things I can say about these affordable trekking poles.

 

Function 

 

The TrailBuddy trekking poles are highly functional. They come with accessories and parts for all types of terrains. They are made from tough, yet lightweight aluminum which helps with extra support and durability.

 

Another function I like is how easy it is to adjust the height of the poles. Lastly, its cork handles make them really grippy and comfortable to hold!

 

I really enjoy how simple, easy, and lightweight they are. 

 

All Terrains

 

 

You can pretty much use them for all terrains and situations. Snowy, muddy, and rocky terrains are where the TrailBuddy trekking poles shine at what they do. 

 

Price

 

The TrailBuddy Trekking Poles are super affordable at $39.99, considering the fact that they’re good-quality walking poles and come with tons of accessories.

 

This also makes them a perfect gift for those who are just getting into hiking or who need extra support when going on walks.

 

Weight of Trailbuddy Trekking Poles

 

I really love how light these trekking poles are in comparison to other brands.

 

The TrailBuddy website mentions that both poles together weigh 19.4 oz. If you only use one, that’s only 9.7 ounces. 

 

If you plan to use the baskets and rubber tips for snowy or hard terrains, each pole will weigh 10.2 oz.

 

Color Variation 

 

The color variation of these trekking poles is another thing that makes them stand out. 

 

You have the option of choosing 8 different fun colors, although some of the colors are sometimes out of stock on Amazon. 

 

I chose to go with the vibrant pink color and my partner was kindly gifted the green ones. 

The Bad

Of course, no product is perfect. There are a few issues to note that I’ve seen others complain about. Although I haven’t had these issues, it’s good to know about them.

Loose Locks

Some users have mentioned that their locks become loose at times. This can get really annoying to have to keep readjusting on trails.

Might Not Support Everyone

Another person mentioned that although they are lightweight, they snap a lot easier. This specific person mentioned they were on the heavier side and that too much pressure and weight made it break.

This could possibly be an issue, but I’ve seen backpackers lug around tons of weight for hours with these poles. 

However, if this concerns you, you might want to look around for stronger built trekking poles.  

What Parts Do the TrailBuddy Trekking Poles Come With?

 

I really do appreciate all the different accessories that come with these trekking poles. There are a total of 11 accessories and parts in this set. 

 

Here’s what my Trailbuddy Trekking Poles set came with: 

 

  • 4 rubber tips
  • 2 mud baskets
  • 2 snow baskets
  • 2 connectors (to hold both poles together)
  • 1 carrying bag

 

(As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a small commission if you purchase from the links above. However, I do personally own and recommend these products.)

 

When to Use Each Part and Accessory

 

(Rubber Tips)

I use two rubber tips when I’m walking on hard terrain, like those that are rocky or on the pavement. 

 

(Mud Baskets)

When walking on muddy terrain or areas with deep grass that might have soft soil, I use circular-shaped mud baskets. 

 

(Snow Baskets)

Lastly, the snow baskets definitely come in handy on snowy and icy terrain. However, thicker layers of snow will require extra gear, such as snowshoes and possible shoe chains.

 

Length of TrailBuddy Trekking Poles

 

The TrailBuddy Trekking poles extend to 54 inches and collapse down to 24.5 inches. 

 

Now, that’s pretty good. However, I wish they could collapse to be even smaller. They won’t fit in most suitcases and don’t exactly fit in most backpacks either unless you’re carrying a pretty long backpack. 

 

This is why I only take my trekking poles on hikes that I know I will truly need them on.

 

How to Adjust Trekking Poles

 

Step 1: Unlock the top and bottom clamp levers.

 

Step 2: Put your hands through the pole’s straps. Adjust the pole straps so that they are tight enough to support and slightly roomy for movement. 

 

Step 3: Make sure your elbow is bent at a 90-degree angle. The tip of the poles should be next to your feet. 

 

Step 4: Adjust the top and bottom sections of the poles so that they are evenly proportioned. This keeps one section from having too much pressure and allows your trekking poles to last longer. 

 

Step 5: Lock the cam levers in place.

 

TIPS: If you’re going uphill, shorting the length of the pole by about 5-10cm. For downhill, adjust the poles to be 5-10cm longer. These are general tips. Adjust according to what works for you. 

 

Are Trekking Poles Worth it When Backpacking?

 

Although some hikers are hesitant about carrying extra weight, carrying trekking poles on your next backpacking adventure can be helpful for the following 3 reasons. 

 

  1. Helps with your knees. Carrying lots of weight for hours or days can really put a strain on your knees. The trekking poles would help transfer some of that weight off. 

 

  1. Useful for crossing creeks and other terrains. There’s no doubt that carrying a large backpack with lots of essentials can throw your balance off a bit once you become more tired. The trekking poles will make the journey easier. 

 

  1. Poles can help you examine the ground for proper footing. Let’s say you’re backpacking through thick snow, it can be pretty difficult to know how deep that snow really is. The trekking poles would help prevent you from sinking in. (This is just one of many possible scenarios.)

 

Of course, there are a lot more uses for trekking poles on backpacking trips. I’d personally take trekking poles for extra support if I knew the trail conditions would be a bit harsh and difficult.

 

Make sure you understand the terrain, possible weather conditions, as well as your personal endurance and stamina to better decide if it’s worth carrying or not. 

 

Who Needs Them?

 

I think the TrailBuddy trekking poles are perfect for newbies and even those who have been hiking for a long time.

 

They come in handy for all different terrains and situations. Unless you’re a hardcore hiker and have mastered hiking in tough terrains without any type of support, then you might not find the need to buy one now. 

 

But, for the rest of us, these are just one of those hiking accessories that almost every hiker I know owns or has owned at some point.

 

Hope this review has been helpful! 

My Favorite 15 Hiking Songs For Your Outdoor Playlist

My Favorite 15 Hiking Songs For Your Outdoor Playlist

Hiking is a rhythmic activity. It’s about putting one foot forward and then the next and repeating the step again and again. To keep up this rhythmic pattern, hiking songs can be an excellent way. After all, music plays a pivotal role in all of my adventures. In long-distance hiking, music has always massively combatted boredom for me. 

 

In addition, by choosing the best hiking songs, you can boost your mood during the journey and keep yourself entertained. It also takes your mind off the mountain steep that is deemed to be difficult. There are services like Apple Music or Spotify that provide a unique list of playlists created by other people who are involved in similar activities. 

 

Still, I prefer creating my own hiking playlist to avoid any distractions. Since music can elevate your mood, I select the music carefully especially for hiking, trekking, or backpacking. Keep on reading to discover my favorite hiking songs so far. 

Should You Listen to Music While Hiking? 

 

It’s backed by studies that music helps you to become more focused and determined on a given task. Since it releases dopamine, a chemical that assists in keeping up your mood, goal-oriented behavior, and motivation, listening to music can significantly help you to regulate your mood throughout the journey. 

 

Nevertheless, the music should be wisely picked. If you pick any songs that stimulate your negative memories of the past, it could be a massive distraction while you’re hiking. Therefore, I listen to songs that keep me focused and motivated while I’m hiking in the mountains. There are a few reasons to listen to music while you’re hiking. 

 

The reasons that I figured for listening to music while hiking is:

 

Motivation 

 

The thought of getting up early in the morning or at midnight and going hiking can be daunting. However, if you start a good playlist after pulling yourself out of the bed, you won’t hesitate to become determined with your activity. Besides, walking upon the difficult trails and sweating involves a lot of physical effort. 

 

Sometimes, your mind will trick you to give up easily and take a rest. Nonetheless, if you listen to good music, it will prevent your mind from thinking lethargically. Instead, it will boost you to keep going and motivate you to keep up the pace. This is the primary reason why I prefer listening to music while on the go. 

 

Pace Regulation 

 

It’s important to decrease or increase the intensity at different points of the mountain while hiking. Hence, I create my hiking playlist by combining both slow and fast music to help me regulate my pace. Playing fast songs while hiking briskly helps to stay motivated and finish off the task quickly. 

 

Alternatively, when you’re resting in the woods with picturesque scenery surrounding you, then listening to slow and reverb music can help you rejuvenate yourself. You can also switch between both slow and fast songs to keep your pace up during the entire journey. 

 

Performance Tracking 

 

Performance tracking is crucial while hiking. You should know the number of hours or minutes you have walked, the distance covered, and many more. The majority of these tasks are done with hiking apps. Still listening to the music and tracking your performance through this is a fun way. 

 

You can create a playlist of 30 minutes or one hour and keep a track of your hiking while listening to the music. This way you can focus on the trails instead of focusing on the numbers and live data of the apps. 

 

These are the few reasons behind listening to music while hiking. Personally, music helps me in all of my wild adventures including hiking. 

 

15 Favorite Hiking Songs 

 

I’ll be sharing my favorite hiking songs that you can include in your playlist and listen to on the go to keep yourself motivated, and entertained throughout the journey. 

 

The list of my favorite hiking songs include:

 

  1. These Boots are Made for Walkin’

 

These boots are made for walkin’ is the hit song recorded by Nancy Sinatra. It was released in the year 1966, January, and placed No. 1 in the US billboard hot 100 and even in the UK singles chart. The song was written by Lee Hazlewood who intended to record it by himself but later Nancy Sinatra recorded it. 

 

It was a single song from Nancy’s debut album “Boots” Another popular song on this album was “These Boots” sung by Megadeth. This song is perfect for any hikers across the globe. This is an old-school song and it has kept its popularity in recent times as well. 

 

  1. Mountains 

 

The Mountains is a single song released in 2008. It was originally a non-album single released by the Scottish band Biffy Clyro. However, it was later included on the fifth studio album of the band “Only revolutions”. The song was first played live at an Electric Festival in Spain. So far, it is one of the highest-charting singles of this band. 

 

It’s a perfect song for hiking as it has a heavy emphasis on the melody. If you want to increase the pace during the hike, turn on the “Mountains” to keep yourself going throughout the journey. 

 

  1. Born to Be Wild 

 

Born to be Wild is the song written by Mars Bonfire and performed by the Steppenwolf band. It is invoked in the counterculture and popular culture to denote a biker’s appearance and attitude. It garnered huge popularity when it was featured in the film Easy Rider in 1969. It’s described as a heavy metal song by this band. 

 

It’s also an old-school song that has kept up its popularity throughout all these years, especially among hikers. It helps you to stay motivated while you’re walking, hiking, trekking, or backpacking. If you feel less energetic anytime, turn on this music to combat the boredom. 

 

  1. Ain’t no Mountain High Enough 

 

Ain’t no mountain high enough is a soul or pop song written by Valerie Simpson and Nickolas Ashford. It was released in 1966. However, the composition was successful when the hit single was recorded in 1967 by Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye. Later, it became a hit in 1970 again when it was recorded by Diana Ross. 

 

It’s one of my favorite hiking songs. When you’re hiking solo and taking a break in between the walks, turn on this music to rejuvenate yourself. It’s a type of slow music that takes off all your worries and helps you soothe during the journey. 

 

  1. Mountain at My Gates

 

This song was released by the band Foal, an English rock band. It was the second single from their album “what went down”. This album was released in 2015. It peaked at the number one position on the US billboard alternative songs chart. In fact, it bagged in the top 100 positions in a couple of other song charts as well. 

 

Nevertheless, the popularity reached its peak when the song was featured in the FIFA 16 video game’s soundtrack. Since it’s a fast song, it helps you to keep yourself entertained throughout the hiking journey. 

 

  1. Lose Yourself

 

Lose Yourself is a popular song released in 2002. It’s from the rap-rock, hip hop music, or hip-hop and rap music genres. It was written and produced by Eminem, an American rapper with the collaborator Jeff Bass. The song was released as the lead single from their soundtrack. The lyrics sum up Eminem’s character in the movie 8 Mile. 

 

Personally, this is one of my favorite songs that I like to play while hiking on difficult mountain trails. It bagged the first position in the Billboard hot 100 charts and remained there for twelve weeks consecutively. I love its inspiring and aggressive theme whenever I find myself in difficult times during the journey. 

 

  1. Saturday

 

If you are leaving for early morning backpacking or hiking, turn on some quality music like “Saturday” to get your day started. It’s created by the artist Chromatics and released in 2017. The “Saturday” is from the album “Twin Peaks”, a limited event series original soundtrack. 

 

You can play this song right after waking up in your tent while you’re shaking the dew off the tent, stretching your muscles, or cooking your breakfast. It has a relaxed and calm tone that helps you to refocus and prepare for the day. Therefore, don’t forget to include this in your hiking song playlist. 

 

  1. San Luis

 

San Luis is music released by Gregory Alan Isakov in 2018. Gregory Alan Isakov is a songwriter and singer based in Colorado but he is a south African-American artist. His music combines folk, indie and features musical instruments like banjo, guitar, etc. The San Luis is a type of song that helps hikers to soak in the splendor of mother nature. 

 

If you’re taking a break in between your hiking journey, turn on the music and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Even when I play this song after returning from the hiking journey, it vividly flashes of all the mind-blowing moments I have enjoyed on the trails. 

 

  1. Don’t Stop Me Now

 

Don’t stop me now is an old-school song released by the band Queen. It’s a British rock band that featured this song on their album “Jazz” which was released in 1978. The song is written by the lead singer Freddie Mercury. It provides an example of the trademark style of their band. 

 

This is a fast song that I usually turn on when I have miles of terrain to cover within a little time. If you want a blast and keep your legs churning throughout your hiking journey, play this song. It works like an unstoppable hiking machine that transforms your energy. 

 

  1. Free Bird

 

If you love classic folk and rock songs that perfectly sync up with a wide-open sprawling space, then this song would be perfect for you. It was released in 1973 by the American rock band named Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was first featured on their debut album. Thereafter, they have included this song in all their subsequent albums due to its popularity. 

 

I feel this song was perfectly built for the outdoors as it syncs up with travel, freedom, movement, and life changes which is the only constant. After all, hiking or backpacking is all about travel, changes, freedom, and constant movement. Hence, the song is perfect for all the hikers like me. 

 

  1. Never Let Down 

 

Never let down is one of the popular songs of the album “The Wolf” by American musician Andrew W.K. The album was released in 2003 by this hard rock musician. “The Wolf” was an ornate effort of Andrew with more melodic sound and insightful lyrics as compared to his debut album. In fact, he played all the instruments for the album. 

 

Never let down is one of my favorite hiking songs as it helps me to keep going even in a downright nasty condition, harsh temperature, or steep elevation changes. Sometimes, when the trails are too complicated and you feel less confident, turn this music on to help yourself fight through these hard times during your journey. 

 

  1. Nobody

 

I feel that backpacking or hiking brings a lot of emotions. Sometimes, you feel homesick, alone, angry, overwhelmed, or heartbroken especially when you’re hiking solo. There are difficult times when you have to push yourself as there’s nobody to pat your back. Besides, when you discover the ultimate meaning of life, it’s overwhelming. 

 

Listening to songs like “Nobody” which was created by Mac DeMarco always helped me to keep my mind focused instead of indulging in all these emotional thoughts. The song was released in 2019 in the album “Here Comes The Cowboy” by this Canadian singer and songwriter. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and a producer. 

 

  1. Harlem River Blues

 

There should be songs in your playlist when you’ll feel on top of the world during your hiking journey. This will take your experience to the next level. Personally, I play the “Harlem River Blues” whenever I feel blissful or ecstatic while walking down on the trails and there’s nobody in sight. 

 

The song is listed in the third studio album by Justin Townes Earle, released in 2010. All of the tracks in this album are written by Justin except for Rogers Park. When you’re well-hydrated, full of energy, content, and walking on the trails, turn to this song to elevate your mood a bit and enrich your hiking experience.

 

  1. Out Like a Light 2

 

There are times when you pitch the tent, crawl into the warm sleeping bag, and prepare yourself for a goodnight’s sleep after a tiring long day of hiking. Nonetheless, you can’t fall asleep even if your body is exhausted but your mind keeps racing. Sometimes, this happens when you miss your home and cozy bed at night. 

 

When you’re having a feeling like this, there are songs that may help you calm down and relax your nerves. I prefer listening to “Out Like a Light 2” by the Honeysticks. It was released in 2019 and since then it has been my constant companion in those lonely times. Put your headphones on and let yourself fade away into your dreamland. 

 

  1. Home

 

Home is one of the most popular songs released in 2009 by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It’s an alternative and indie mixed song that was featured in the movie Jesus Henry Christ. The song was nominated for the world music award for the world’s best video and the world music award for the world’s best song as well. 

 

It features the use of whistling, opening melody along with other instruments such as trumpet, piano, guitar, etc. If you are feeling homesick during your hiking journey, turn to this song to make yourself feel better and sync with the present moments. I prefer turning to this song whenever I feel lonely during a long-distance hiking journey. 

 

Certainly, music works as a therapy every time, especially when you’re outdoors and away from your loved ones. There will be a ton of emotions to deal with during the journey and nothing better can help you feel relaxed and motivated at the same time than this list of songs I have mentioned. 

 

What Do People Like to Listen to When They Hike? 

 

The choice of music always depends on individuals. However, there are similarities in the type of music everyone listens to who are involved in similar activities. Therefore, the hiking songs have to be of a specific type to help you rejuvenate and motivate yourself. It’s always better to listen to both slow and fast music while hiking on the trails. 

 

If you keep listening to slow music, it may end up sounding too depressed for you especially when you’re hiking solo. Alternatively, if you always listen to fast music, it won’t help you to soothe and rejuvenate yourself which is the primary purpose of hiking. Furthermore, I hope you enjoy listening to the list of my favorite hiking songs so far.