Friday, February 13, 2015

Six great tips to ensure a smooth romantic hike

A day hike is a perfect opportunity to bond with your valentine.
Photo courtesy of  Photoree.
This Valentine’s Day, tell your sweetie to go take a hike – with you, of course.

A day hike is a wonderful way for a couple to bond, which is the whole point of Valentine’s Day, after all. A hike offers the chance to be alone with one another, to do an activity with one another, and to work together to reach a joint destination. If your partner is new to hiking, it actually allows them to experience something that’s a little exotic yet not so extreme as to be considered weird.

When taking a romantic hike, follow these simple guidelines to ensure your date is a success:
g Select a trail with a great romantic element – Not just any old trail will do. Look for one that offers something memorable to see, like a waterfall, an impressive vista, or autumn leaves. Also, think about when you might do the hike; some trails offer awesome sunset scenes, while for some hikes the waterfall will be a disappointing trickle if done during autumn.
g Plan ahead – Know how to get to the trailhead and where to go once on it. Nothing kills the mood quicker then not being able to find the trail or getting lost when on it. So, review a trail map before taking the hike and bring a map with you.
g Pre-hike the trail alone – While not necessary, if you’re planning to surprise your date with a picnic, finding the perfect spot to stop on the trail in advance is a good idea. Pre-hiking the trail also means you’re less likely to get lost once you do hike it.
g Keep it short – The trail need not be long to be romantic. One to two miles usually makes for a pleasant walk. You don’t want your valentine to end the hike exhausted and sore for days.
g Pack the right materials – Make sure you bring enough water for both of you, a snack to enjoy, and bug repellent (opt for a natural repellent such as lemon eucalyptus). If hiking to see a sunset or to go stargazing, bring flashlights with spare batteries for the walk through the dark back to your vehicle. And don’t forget a camera so you can take pictures to remember the hike.
g Have a plan B – Watch the weather leading up to the hike. If rain is forecast, save the hike for another day rather than risk getting caught in a downpour or being hit by lightning. Instead, so something indoors that day. The trail still will be there after the storm passes.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.