Some of the most rewarding days that I have ever experienced have been taking a walk in the woods. I've been hiking since I was a boy in Georgia both alone and with friends and to this day when I feel shut in behind the desk at work the thing I most often daydream about is putting on my boots, grabbing a daypack and setting out for a good hike. I really can't think of another activity that rewards individuals in so many ways.
There are of course, the physical benefits ? cardiovascular exercise, strength training and fresh air for the lungs but hiking also affords many spiritual benefits as well, especially in the area of relationships.I can hike with people of all ages and I'm generally not to out of breath to have a conversation with them. I get to know them in ways that I never would while standing around the water cooler or watching a game on tv. When you are climbing over rocks and breaking a good sweat the things that often alienate people from one another like income, past arguments and misunderstandings, job stress or you name it often seem to slip away.
People's barriers seem to be lowered when your out in the wilderness and they feel more freedom to just be themselves. Another good thing about taking a hike together is that regardless of the other person's physical abilities or age you can find the right trail that works for both of you. I've had great moments hiking with people that are my senior by 30 years and with my eight year old nieces as well. The former allowed me to learn and the latter allowed me to teach.
Offer to go with someone on a short hike through a city park and test the waters of a new friendship. You can find out a lot more about them than you can at work or at a party. Taking a short local hike does not require the full commitment of going camping together and you can stop for a cup of coffee afterwards.
People who may not be used to the outdoors would often love to get out for some fresh air and sun but the fear of going alone might prevent them from ever going. You can make a contribution to their lives that will be appreciated.All across the USA cities and states have invested millions of dollars to make trails available for you and a friend. A good place to search for locally available parks and activities is at http://www.
packyourgear.com/ where you can find a nation wide database of parks offering trails, water activities and camping facilities. Invest in yourself and in someone else be getting out this weekend..Rodney Whittle enjoys the outdoors and maintains a web site that maintains a database of campgrounds and national parks and features articles about family camping and other outdoor experiences.
By: Rodney Whittle