Now I'm not usually one to speak highly of my own accomplishments (I prefer to let results do the talking for me) but I am known worldwide as being something of an outdoorsman. There's no officially recognized ranking system for outdoors people, but if there were, I'd likely be a quintuple black belt/uber expert/master level man of the wilderness. But like I said, I don't enjoy bragging.
Hiking Level: Expert
Perhaps my favorite outdoor activity (besides trapping, of course) is a vigorous hike. There's just something about traversing a forest trail by foot with nothing more than a few supplies on your back. Hiking has a way of taking you back to the essence of the outdoors, immersed in nature's beautiful silence (that is unless you happen across a vicious cougar because there's nothing silent about them). As with any endeavor, a successful hiking trip depends on proper preparation. Seeing as how I'm an outdoors expert, these are the three must-have items to bring on your journey:
Proper Footwear: I once hiked the length of the Appalachian Trail wearing nothing more than a few strips of burlap tied to my feet. Without belaboring a point, I'd strongly advise against this. Before you set out on your hiking trip, buy a proper pair of shoes, selected with the help of a footwear expert. That way, it won't take you decades to recover from a bad trip.
Spatial Awareness: It's certainly not unusual for inexperienced hikers to suddenly find themselves lost on an unfamiliar trail. Lord knows I've rescued a few my own self. Quick question: which way is north? If you can't answer that question in fewer than two seconds, you probably shouldn't be hiking. At least not on your own. If you don't possess great spatial awareness, consider traveling with a GPS or at the very least, someone who knows the way home.
The Right Fuel: When you're exerting yourself physically, its important to keep your body properly fueled. And when you're traveling with all your supplies on your back, it's best if that fuel is as light as possible. Enter, Old Trapper Beef Jerky. It's low fat, high protein profile will keep you moving on even the longest trek and it fits perfectly in a backpack. Now I may be biased, but to me, it's the perfect outdoor food.
Now that you possess my three key ingredients to a successful hike, I encourage you to get out and get moving ASAP! Pick somewhere new and spend a day communing with nature and when you go, don't forget to pack the Old Trapper.