A lot of people have this question in their mind about hiking, “is hiking a hobby? ” The short answer to this is yes, hiking is a hobby that one can adapt and enjoy the perks of it over the years like – health benefit, mental piece, creating a close bond with nature, and creating beautiful experiences.
Unlike most hobbies today, like playing video games, hiking is not only just a hobby but a healthy hobby as well. There are many mental and physical perks of hiking that one can gain over the years.
But why hiking is a hobby? We all say hiking is a hobby, while some regard it as a sport. There is no doubt that hiking is a sport but not a professional sport, for more read here. But if we talk particularly about hobbies, then there are several things that make hiking a hobby. Let’s discuss those parameters.
A hobby is basically using your free time in a way that excites you. Hobbies can be of different types such as painting, playing football, etc. However, one should never call watching movies or web series a hobby. Why? You will find out later in this article.
Why hiking is a hobby?
There are several things that make hiking a great hobby and one should also know why is that so.
You are your own master in hiking
A lot of you may already know about the benefits of hiking, but what actually makes hiking a great hobby is that you are in control. Unlike other hobbies like watching something on TV, which in actuality, is not a hobby but killing your time, where you just sit and watch others. It simply means you are playing a spectator role.
However, it is completely opposite when we talk about hiking. Hiking can be done according to your will, you choose the place, you choose your team, you choose the time, and lastly, you choose when to quit.
Though this may sound less fun because everything seems in your control, in reality you are tested to your limits physically and mentally.
Can be done solo
Hiking is a great hobby for introverts who want to get some taste of thrill mixed with the rewards of breathtaking views along the way. There are a lot of hobbies that include physical intensity and require other contributions. For instance, if one wants to play soccer, then he might not play it alone. While he can do hiking solo and still be able to enjoy it.
Playing soccer alone is considered practice. While hiking solo still means you are doing hiking.
Hiking is Gaining skill
In today’s world when we talk about skills, most of the time it is related to technical or communication skills. Outdoor skills are diminished to some extent. There is a small percentage of people who know how to survive outdoors. Making hiking a hobby opens the door for you, to learn something that can be valuable.
From choosing the place to pitch a tent, and to real pitching of the tent, from learning the skills to tackle the bad weather to reading the map are some of the skills that you will learn while hiking. These are practical skills, that one develops while hiking.
Hiking can become a livelihood
While a lot of people do hiking for fun or as a hobby to keep themselves in shape. But there is something more to hiking as one can turn hiking into a livelihood. I have seen a lot of people who started hiking as a hobby, which later then turned into a passion and now they hike to live.
There are a lot of hikers like me who hike and earn money from hiking by creating blogs in which they share personal experiences, and information and provide useful tips for hiking.
If you get the basic knowledge of hiking, which you will get after some hikes, then it becomes easy for one to earn some money from it. There are fewer hobbies like this, from which you can earn some money. Another way to earn money from hiking is working for organizations that provide services for long treks and hikes. You can become a guide, assistant guide, or content creator for these organizations. Moreover, if you don’t want to change your profession, then starting a website on the hiking niche is worth your time.
Hiking makes you an interesting person
Hiking overall, as a hobby, makes you an interesting person. A person who can tell real stories to people. People love to hear stories, especially when it comes from personal experience.
Every hike is different from the former. So, you will always see some amazing things and experience some new challenges that make you an interesting person and everyone wants to hear it.
Hiking can be passed to offspring
If you are an adult then hiking can be something that you pass on to your offspring. In the near future, you will have kids or you might already have, then hiking is the best way to connect with them. This way you not only enjoy your hobby but also connect with your kids and introduce them to nature.
Always remember gifts go in drawers or storerooms. While experiences remain in the mind of one. So, taking your kids with you on a hike creates an experience in their minds that they also develop hiking as a hobby. This will keep them physically fit, and reduce their screen time.
You will not get bored with hiking
Every hike is different! And you will never get bored of it. Hiking is fun. where sometimes we get bored of our hobbies, hiking is not one of them, unless you are fit and healthy.
Every hike is different. The later hike can be much more challenging and rewarding in contrast to the former one. It can be vice versa also, so you don’t know what comes next.
There is always a curiosity, and thrill in hiking. The hike that seems easy or said to be easy at first, can become difficult in case of bad weather.
Similarly, a challenging hike can give you immense rewards with breathtaking views of valleys and mountains.
Hiking creates a mind-muscle connection
Along with some physical benefits, hiking is helpful in creating muscle mind connection as one has to get used to the coordination of their hands and legs. Using hiking poles is one that plays a role in this.
Besides that, there are some other physical benefits of hiking as well. Hiking helps you to train your core, improves balance, improves blood sugar levels, etc.
Hiking soothes your mental health
Research done at Stanford University suggests that hiking or any outdoor activity reduces stress, anxiety, and prevents depression. Hiking as a hobby is best to disconnect yourself from the tech world and feel free.
Hiking introduces you to new people and cultures
Hiking is one activity that lets you explore and learn something new every time. During the hike you will meet new people all around the world, enhancing your social skills. On top of that, you will also be going to learn about different cultures and the history of the terrains.
This will make you aware of the old cultures and how people used to live there. Some terrains have old sculptures while some have museums where you can see the pieces of ancient history.
Hiking is a less expensive hobby
Hiking is a hobby that doesn’t require a lot of investment. Of course, one has to pay entry fees, however, that is mostly less for many national parks. Day hikes cost you the least, and at the same time are more fun as you don’t get too tired like you get on long treks Or multiday hikes.
If you are doing hiking as a hobby then you most probably will do day hikes. For which you require a small backpack to carry some essentials, hiking boots (running boots or gym boots can also work, depending on the difficulty level of the terrain), and that’s it.
You can also buy other equipment also if you feel the need, but that is the basic investment you have to do before hitting any trail.
Hiking is appealing to all age groups
Hiking as a hobby is appealing to all age groups. It doesn’t matter if one is young or old, everyone can do hiking by choosing the right trail or hike for them. There is no rule or time limit for hiking a certain trail. Hike at your own pace, you decide what is best for you, and how many miles you should hike.
Encouraging kids to go hiking can make them use their creative part of minf at an early age.