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Great tips on how to start hiking and exploring the outdoors

For those that find the gym routine to be a little drab, there’s a great alternative to hitting the treadmill. Hiking outdoors is not only a powerful cardio workout but includes a nice view, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature.

If you’re just getting into this adventurous outdoor activity, here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your hike:

Start slow and build up your hike:
A short hike, close to home is best for beginners. Gradually work your way up to trails that are a bit longer or ones that include more difficult terrain.

Look to step it up:
Uneven terrain works muscles all while improving balance and stability. Even small hills will intensify your workout and help burn those extra calories.

Pack a bag:
Get a day pack for shorter trips or a larger one for multi-day hikes. If you’re just going for a short local hike, a hydration backpack might be the best option. It’s important to have everything you may need in case of emergency, including plenty of water, first aid pack, food, and a cell phone. This extra weight will also help strengthen your back muscles while you hike.

Make it a routine:
Even on the days you can’t make it out to your favorite trails, power-walk around the nearest hilly terrain while carrying your pack. This will keep your muscles ready for your bigger hikes

Know the safety rules for hiking:
At first, don’t hike alone, especially on unfamiliar or remote routes. A friend or group can help you navigate and assist you if you get injured or need help. As your skills improve, you’ll feel more comfortable going alone. When hiking solo, always remember to familiarize yourself with the trail map ahead of time and check the weather so you can pack the proper equipment. However, no matter how prepared you are, it is vital to always let someone know where and when you will be hiking. Never head out alone without first notifying a friend or family member as to where you will be and for how long.

Local hiking trails:

Homer Lake Preserve
Meadowbrook Park
Allerton Park
Kickapoo State Recreation Area
Turkey Run
Lake Mingo Trail
River Ridge Backpack Trail, Forest Glenn Preserve
Moraine View State Park

With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, we want to encourage everyone to get outside and be adventurous! Whether that means taking a family camping trip, going on a weekend backpacking excursion, hiking the local trails or simply relaxing in a hammock in your own backyard, Champaign Surplus has the gear and advice you need to get it done!

The massive CampTastic Sale starts today and runs through Memorial Day! From tents and sleeping bags to backpacks and hiking boots, you’ll find everything you need to have a happy, campy summer at amazing prices.

Shop the CampTastic Sale now at 303 S. Neil St, Downtown Champaign or

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