Hiking is key to broadening your horizons, connecting with others and improving your overall health and mood.
by Colin and Justin
The hiking lifestyle has become an essential part of 21st-century living for many urbanites, a health seeking contingent who long to detach from the concrete jungle to hear the crunch of leaves underfoot. The same goes for ruralites for whom hiking serves as a combo of travel and exercise, during which they can explore the beauty of their own backyard. Rewarding and easy to control, hiking is an exercise with universal appeal, and one – as we see it, certainly – which allows you to decide just how much ground you cover and how difficult the trail ahead should be. Our best advice? Start small, and slowly increase your range, as and when you’re ready. Simple, huh?
The benefits of hiking read like a checklist for a full and happy life, offering, as they do, an opportunity to manage stress levels and enhance overall mental wellbeing. And then, of course, there are straight health benefits: positives that include reduced risk of heart disease, torpedoed blood pressure and lower body fat. Ahem, what’s not to like?
For us, personal satisfaction is critical: whilst embarking upon walks, we get to test our endurance by taking on – and exploring – longer, harder trails. To be honest, we find it all rather exhilarating, and the head space we enjoy, when out and about, helps with goal setting across all aspects of life. Yes indeed: the hills are waiting to be conquered, so follow our path and get out there.
Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger
This small, super sleek powerful battery charger offers 26800mAh of power to zap most phones at least six times, tablets at least twice and USB devices multiple times over. With a dual input port, double-speed recharging and three USB ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Android and other smart devices, this gizmo provides all the power you need to stay connected.
$89.99 | Amazon.ca
Be PreparedTeton Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack
This high-quality backpack is loaded with features such as a sleeping bag compartment, compression straps and multiple pockets for strategic packing. Comfort features include a padded back panel – channelled for optimal airflow – and padded lumbar, waist and shoulder straps to help lessen the load. Every little helps, huh?
$122.52 | Amazon.ca
Plan Your Trip
Discover worldwide hiking, biking, backpacking and running trails using your smartphone. Log your hike, run or mountain bike ride with the GPS activity tracker, download offline maps and share reviews and tips as you explore 200,000+ hiking trails and mountain bike routes from across the planet.
Available from the Apple or Google Play App Store | AllTrails.com
Stay on Track
Suunto M-3 D Leader Hiking Compass
For traditional explorers and would-be boy scouts, this simple yet effective compass contains everything you need to find your way. Built for hiking, it’s popular with backpackers and hunters (due to its reliability and toughness) and offers metric and imperial scales, with two-degree increments, balanced for use in the Northern Hemisphere. The declination orientation is smooth for easy adjustment, but firm enough to keep its orientation whilst you move.
$79.99 | Suuonto.com
Beat the Bugs
Thermacell MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller
By creating a 15-foot protection zone that can be taken (virtually anywhere) outdoors, this dainty gadget offers welcome relief from one of hiker’s deadliest foes: mosquitoes. And hey: no spray, no mess, scent-free and deet-free. There are no open flames or smoky candles with which to contend – just sweet relief when you reach a spot where you want to kick back and enjoy the view.
$35.99 | CanadianTire.ca
These Boots Were Made for Walking
Boots Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Wide Width Boots
Follow in the footsteps of some 20 million hikers, thus far, who’ve stepped out in Moab shoes thanks to their durable leather construction, supportive foot bed, air cushions at the heels (to absorb shock and provide stability) and a closed-cell foam tongue that keeps moisture and debris at bay. And come on: they look cool, and are super light at just one kilogram.
$180 | BigleyShoes.com
Now you’re recharged and rebooted, with your compass at the ready, it’s time to get off the beaten track and set foot, ever deeper, into the beautiful wilds of Ontario’s Cottage Country. For further guidance on all aspects of hiking, visit OntarioHiking.com.
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