Ok well, this is really only the second time we’ve hiked…but my husband, Ryan, and I decided that this is going to be our new hobby. We love being outside, and hiking is definitely more entertaining than running side by side on treadmills.
So we took a drive up to Palisades Interstate Park, which is right on the Hudson River, about 2 hours from Philadelphia and about 25 minutes from Manhattan. The views from this trail were so breathtaking, I felt like I was somewhere much more exotic! I strongly recommend checking it out!
12 Things to consider before hitting the trail:
1. BUG SPRAY IS A MUST. My whole life, I have attracted bugs like Sookie Stackhouse attracts vampires. And, when I get bit, the bites turn into gigantic itchy welts that make me want to scream (I can’t even show you a picture…it’d be too graphic). Repel Insect Repellent Sportsmen Dry with 25% Deet works really well for me. I always bring the bottle with me to reapply or spray into the air when a cloud of gnats tries to attack!
2. However…if you have acrylic nails like I do, beware that the bug spray (as well as spray on sun screen) turns the nails from shinny and glamorous to this sticky and gross. Plan your hike to time out right before your next mani/pedi. Spray tans get really weird too.
3. Dress comfortably and in clothing that you will not be upset about getting dirty. My Athleta outfit probably wasn’t the best option, considering I was more concerned about tearing my top than I was about tearing my skin.
4. On the same note, know that you will sweat, your perfectly constructed messy bun will not last, and your natural looking, barely there, makeup will likely melt off. Plan a nice, post hike dinner when you can shower, get fancy, and feel like your pretty self again.
5. If you are married or engaged, do not hike with your rings! I am often told that the safest place for your ring is on your finger…and while I generally agree with this, I can tell you from experience that the ring is safer at home. When Ryan and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii, I fell during our rainforest hike and slightly scratched my 3-day-old wedding band. : (
6. Hats are a better idea than sunglasses. As we were laterally scaling the rocks, I was happy that I forgot my Raybans (I envisioned them falling off of my face and out of my reach forever).
7. Bring more water than you think you will need. Snacks are also a good idea.
8. If you smoke, please do not do so in fellow hikers personal spaces. No offense, but it’s hot out, I am having trouble breathing as it is, and it just really puts a damper on the whole fresh air thing.
9. If you don’t have an element proof digital camera, get out that Otter Box to protect your phone. Or, wear an armband that you can put your phone in. We had Map My Run tracking our time (3 hours), distance (over 8 miles), elevation (1000 feet) and calories burned (over 2000!). Plus we had Jack Johnson Pandora playing to add a soundtrack to the experience.
10. Tell at least one person who cares about you where you are going. Heaven forbid something goes wrong…they will be able to better assist the search party.
11. Challenge yourself! It feels so much better to accomplish something that pushes your limits. If you had told me pre-hike that I would be on all fours scaling a “rock scramble,” and making it out unscathed, I would not have believed you.
12. Do your research! Some trails are dog friendly, some are not. The trail we hiked was dog friendly, but there is no way my little Myla would have survived that journey. Her chicken legs wouldn’t have made it over the rocks, and some of the bugs we unfortunately came into contact with may have weighed more than she does.
I cannot say I enjoy physical activity, nor do I crave the great outdoors. The closest thing to hiking you will see me doing is taking the steps at the mall when the escalator is broken…