Many of us spend our workdays indoors, often commuting to the same location every day, and we tend to get caught up in the daily grind. But when you get some leisure time, there are few better ways to escape the routine than getting close to nature and hiking through beautiful scenery. By taking a camera, you can also document some stunning memories. 

Health Benefits of Hiking

An obvious health benefit of hiking is the physical exercise that can improve your heart function, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels. Hiking also has effects on your mental health. Studies have shown that walking through natural scenery can reduce stress, improve your short-term memory, and enhance your ability to focus. Walking is also a meditative activity that's good for the heart, mind, and soul.

Be Prepared

When planning a hike, check the weather forecast for the area where you're going. Bear in mind that sometimes the weather can change quickly, and in hilly or mountainous areas, the temperature can vary greatly at higher levels. Whether you'll be walking on forest paths or mountain trails, you need to have the right gear with you. 

A few lightweight layers of clothing that you can easily take off and put back on is the best solution. Avoid wearing cotton next to your skin, as it holds moisture such as rain or sweat and can chill you if the temperature drops. Wear wicking materials that take moisture away from the skin, such as wool, nylon, or polyester. That goes for underwear as well.

The most important things to look after when hiking are your feet. You should have a pair of sturdy high-quality boots that will give you a good grip on rough terrain. They will also keep your feet warm and dry if you have to cross any wet areas. Don't forget waterproof apparel with synthetic insulation for those unexpected showers. 

Camera Gear

If you want to capture some gorgeous landscape photos, take along a decent camera. Shots with moving elements, such as rivers and waterfalls, are best taken with a slow shutter speed to give the impression of motion. For that, you'll need a good-quality tripod and, ideally, a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake. A variable neutral-density filter will also help balance the light. For capturing wildlife, a zoom lens will get you close to the action.

Safety First

When hiking in the wilderness, it's all too easy for something to go wrong. A simple fall or bad weather can leave you stranded. Always let someone know your planned route and the time you estimate returning. Take a map and compass with you. A personal locator beacon will help people find you if you get into trouble. A first-aid kit is always advisable for treating minor injuries.

Hopefully, the safety gear is just a precaution and won't be needed. After your hike, you should return home feeling refreshed and with some fabulous images to remind you of a sensational day.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.