Tips for Hiking (with a Hint of Aromatherapy)

We spend so much time in our heads that it’s no wonder overwhelm is a constant companion. Add to that the habit of  multitasking, even though the research has proven it doesn’t serve us, yet we can’t seem to stop? But the solution to calm the chaos is quite simple–spend some time in nature!

Hiking is an incredible way to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and discover breathtaking landscapes. Until I moved to Tennessee, the only hiking I did was on vacations. Now? Buffalo Mountain is fifteen minutes from my house. Bay Mountain is about forty-five minutes away and so many other trails, waterfalls and State Parks are nearby. But even a park or a walk in your neighborhood can engage your five senses and lift your spirit. Just get outside and out of your head, and off your phone!

I made some mistakes on our hikes early on, so I thought I would give you a heads up on how to better prepare for a hike. And since essential oils are such a big part of my life, I’ll even sprinkle in some aromatic goodness with essential oils along the way.

Plan and research: Okay, I know planning can be a drag for some, but trust me, it’s worth it. Research your trail, check the weather, and get familiar with the difficulty level. I was a beginner and took on a few that I probably shouldn’t have. I survived, but I really paid for it afterwards. (This is where doTERRA’s Deep Blue Rub comes in handy, for those achy muscles!)

Choose appropriate footwear: my first hike I wore regular tennis shoes—not good at all. In fact, on some of the inclines, it was a little dangerous. I made sure I had actual hiking shoes the next time and it made a world of difference to have support and protection for my feet. No more blisters!

Dress in layers: Mother Nature can be unpredictable, especially during longer hikes. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust your clothing based on temperature changes. When you are steadily climbing up or the sun starts going down, you’ll be glad you dressed for both.

Stay hydrated: Remember, water is your best friend on the trail. Keep yourself hydrated by carrying an ample supply of water. I underestimated how much I’d need on one of our hikes and I will never do that again! So miserable.

Pack essential supplies: Bring along a backpack stocked with essentials like a map (don’t count on there being a signal for your cell phone,) first aid kit with two must-have essential oils, lavender and tea tree; sunscreen and insect repellent—I prefer doTERRA’s mineral sunscreen and TerraShield Bug Repellent—Boy Scout camping approved! And of course snacks, and a trusty multi-tool.

Practice Leave No Trace principles: Let’s show our love of nature by leaving no trace behind. Respect the environment, pick up your trash, stay on marked trails, and be mindful of the delicate ecosystems around you.

Pace yourself: Slow and steady wins the hiking race! Start with a comfortable pace and take regular breaks. Enjoy the scenery, catch your breath, and refuel with some tasty snacks. Remember, it’s not a race—it’s about the journey. Also, be aware of the time and when it starts getting dark. On one hike, we were so intent on finding a certain trail, that we lost track of time and realized we were running out of daylight. Sort of takes the joy out of the hike when you’re going downhill at a quick pace. That’s also a way to get injured.

Aromatherapy on the go: Since I struggle with pollen year-round, I always take Breathe Respiratory Blend with me on hikes—helps keep my airways clear. Peppermint essential oil is cooling and can give you some much needed energy during steep inclines or at the end of the hike. It really came in handy the time our planned three-hour hike ended up being six and a half hours because we weren’t keeping track of the time!

Safety first: Last but definitely not least, prioritize safety. Follow park regulations, stay on designated trails, and be aware of your surroundings. If an emergency arises, don’t hesitate to call for help.

Wherever you live, consider connecting with nature, challenging yourself, and finding moments of pure bliss along a hiking trail. Breathe in the aroma of adventure and embark on an unforgettable hiking experience.

Please share your favorite place to hike!

In my quest for better health as I age, I’ve discovered many natural solutions that support my body toward wellness. It’s a fact that the fewer medications you take, the fewer chemicals you put on and in your body, the more hope you have of a quality of life as you age. If you’re open to a more holistic approach, contact me, Rebecca Russell, for a FREE wellness consult and we can discuss which doTERRA Essential Oils and other modalities may help! 

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