Why Do People Hike? Here Are 12 Top Reasons

Hiking to Thorung La pass in Nepal

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Why do people hike? Why do people like hiking? Why I love hiking?

Because it’s fun. And if you have always wanted to go on hike but never went because you lack motivation and, let’s say, you are just lazy, then you may have found yourself in the right place. For that motivation part at least, though.

But the final part – the actual doing – it’s up to you.

To make that first step. Trust me, it’s well worth it. All that struggle at first it’s well worth the effort. Because hiking is not only a healthy form of exercise. It’s not just good for your body but also for your soul. That’s why you should finally pull yourself together and do this thing you’ve always wanted to.

Read this article for that inspiration part.

And…. well, put on these hiking boots or shoes (I hate boots) and go for a walk!

Hiking in Malaysia wearing Prabos shoes

Hiking in Malaysia

Why Do People Hike? Why Go Hiking?

1. Hiking is a Great Way to See the World

When you travel by car, you speed past places really fast, and you don’t get to enjoy the scenery as much as you would when walking or cycling.

Hiking is the complete opposite.

You go slow, and you see more.

You get to explore and get to unique places where no roads lead.

There’s a complete silence, and no noise pollution.

Also, hiking is a way to get to know your own country better and explore the places you haven’t seen before.

2. You’ll Make New Friends Along the Way

There is a saying “When you travel alone, you are never alone”.

You always meet people, and some of the people turn in to your travel buddies.

It’s completely the same with hiking, unless you are hiking in a completely remote place.

If you are hiking on a popular route, like the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, chances are that you will meet with and talk to at least one person, and even will end up hiking together for at least some time. It’s just one of the reasons why is hiking good for you.

But hiking is also a great activity for the whole family.

3. Almost Everyone Can Hike

It’s not much more than just walking after all.

Many types of sports and adventure activities are not for everyone.

For instance, mountaineering, rock climbing mountain biking and dirt biking are not for everyone. But hiking is a completely different matter. Almost everyone can hike. Be it a kid, or a senior.

Another great thing about hiking is that you don’t have to be fit to start hiking. Start small — with an hour or two long hikes. Find an easy route close to home. Any route — whether it’s in the woods, hills or by the sea — will do. As long as it’s easy and short.

When you feel more confident, then you can start planning and doing more serious hikes.

If you happen to be in Hong Kong, know that there are plenty of hiking trails in Hong Kong, also for beginners.

Standing next to Amah Rock in Hong Kong

Standing next to Amah Rock in Hong Kong

4. Hiking is Good for Your Health, and It’ll Make You Fit

Why is hiking such a complete lower body workout?

First of all, because it employs a lot of different muscles. But it’s not the only reason. It’s also so varied, no step is the same when you are out in the nature exploring. And as a result it makes you stronger without you probably even noticing it.

Is hiking good exercise for weight loss? It is.

Hiking is a great cardio workout. Walking and hiking can reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart attack and stroke.

Hiking improves sleep quality and controls blood pressure, as well as decreases cholesterol.

Hiking is good not only for our physical but also for emotional health.

5. Hiking Improves Your Mental Health

According to several studies, hiking reduces stress and anxiety.

And that leads to a lower risk of depression.

Being in nature will boost your mood and lift your spirits. Hiking improves your outlook on life and will help you have control over how you respond to your struggles.

6. Hiking Reduces Stress

If you are stressed out and need a break, go on a hike!

Trust me, after a walk you’ll feel better.

When you go for a hike you decrease exposure to traffic and commutes.

This reduces stress and decreases the risk of heart diseases and other conditions.

A man standing on a rock during a hike

Photo: Pexels

7. Hiking Helps to Clear Your Head and Set Things Straight

Got a problem to solve? Need to take time to reflect?

Or, just need time for yourself? Go for a hike!

Hiking will help clear your head and help you think.

How? When you are hiking, your are disconnected from social media and are away from all the technologies of the modern world. You are not affected by other people’s thoughts and opinions. Being alone with yourself helps you get your priorities straight, create a plan and realise how you want to live your life.

As I’ve already mentioned, hiking improves your outlook on life and will help you have control over how you respond to your struggles.

8. Hiking is Challenging

Why do people hike? Because it can also be a great challenge.

While you don’t have to be very fit to start hiking, it can be challenging, if you choose it to be. It depends on your goals and the trail’s level of difficulty.

Are you hiking just for fun? Or is it a relaxing activity?

Or — it’s more of an exercise?

If the latter is true, then hiking sets new limits and increases stamina.

9. Hiking Helps You Be In Touch With Nature

Spending your time in urban environment can be tiring and stressful.

But being in nature will boost your mood and lift your spirits.

When you are hiking, you’ll connect with yourself in a way that brings peace and sense of well-being. Connecting with nature will inspire you to create. Be it the art, book, article or crafts you are creating. Nature is the greatest inspiration for all the artists and creators.

Woman sitting on the edge of a rock

Photo: Pexels

10. Hiking and Camping is the Perfect Combination

Enjoy hiking?

Why don’t you take it to another level and do camping as well?

Thus you’ll extend your hiking adventure without needing to pay for a hotel (you must own a tent and a sleeping bag, though). If you want to go extra light, see our ultralight backpacking gear recommendations.

11. It’s a Great Family Activity

Reading all other reasons you may think that hiking is a solo activity.

But that’s not true.

Of course, it depends on the situation.

There are times when you need to be alone, and hiking is the perfect “excuse”.

But hiking is also a great activity for the whole family. Yes, even with children. Just pick a trail that is fun and not too challenging.

Hiking with a toddler is also possible. Yes, they won’t be able to walk the whole time, and you are going to carry your toddler at least some of the time. But it is possible and also rewarding. In these situations a quality baby carrier is essential.

12. It Is Cheap

Do you want to travel but can’t really afford to do it now?

Hiking is a great option for cheap travel.

All you need to do is to get a bus or train to your hiking destination. If it’s abroad, flying is another option. Just chose a destination where you can get cheaply. See, if camping is possible there. Get yourself a camping stove and cook your own meals. If you plan carefully, it’s possible you’ll end up spending very little.

Hiking is a great option for cheap travel.

Also, hiking is great if you can’t afford to go to the gym.

Instead of exercising in the gym, get fit while trekking.

Go for a hike in the hills.

Walk fast or run in order to burn more calories.

Do some exercise on the way in the wilderness.

Kaspars doing Gunung Mat Cincang Hike in Langkawi

Near the top – Gunung Mat Cincang Hike in Langkawi

See all our other articles about hiking.

Do you like hiking? Why is hiking fun for you? Or quite the opposite (if that’s how it is)?

1. Book Your Flight. Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation. Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance. World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.

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