Wilderness is always a godsend for mental and physical health. But that’s especially true during 2020, the year of social distance.
When it’s important to limit time spent in crowded public places, the wilderness is always waiting to give a safer environment for exercise and peace of mind. It’s a chance to get away from the stress and challenges of everyday life and enjoy a little peace.
“Hiking is so many things,” Jesse Johnson told us on Facebook. “It’s fitness, it’s mental health, and it’s unplugging. Despite everything around us that we experience on a daily basis you realize there is a huge world that is alive no matter how big our problems seem.”
It’s a chance to slow down and sort out the many things that clutter our minds. And it doesn’t hurt that hiking in the Inland Northwest includes some of the most beautiful scenery the world has to offer.
“At its best, hiking is moving through wild country more observant, aware and connected, awestruck by the wonder of it, feeling exhausted, and always knowing that you’re not the baddest predator around,” said Preston Andrews on Facebook.
It’s far easier to stay safe while hiking compared to most other activities. That’s because the isolation is a feature, not a bug. Experienced California hiker Scott Turner offered the following tips to news outlet KPBS to make sure safety comes first.
-Start early so that you encounter fewer people on the trail. If that’s not a possibility, pick a wider trail so that you can step aside to let others pass.
-Bring a mask and cover your face when you come within 20 feet of another person.
-Check the forecast where you plan to hike to see how hot it will be at the time you’re hiking.
-Bring more water than you think you’ll need.
-Bring sun protection – sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.
-Avoid wearing dark colors because they tend to absorb heat.
Remember that you can find maps of Scotchman Peaks hiking trails in several downtown Sandpoint, Libby and Troy locations. Check with local district rangers to hear their recommended hikes throughout the region as well.
So get out and enjoy a hiking trail this weekend. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.
Do you have thoughts about hiking in 2020? Share them with us on Facebook!