We all have our own reasons for hiking, mine started out with friends and has grown into passion which I will have for the rest of my life. Recently I conducted a poll in the Grampians Peaks Trail Facebook group where I asked people what were their reasons for starting hiking and these were the responses I got back!
1. Nature and the outdoors
Not surprisingly, the most common answer people gave was nature and the outdoors because at its essence, hiking is all about nature. The experience of spending time exploring the outdoors, looking out upon a landscape and seeing beautiful scenery is an attractor for most of us and if it isn’t the reason you started hiking then I'm pretty sure it is the reason you stayed.
2. Time alone to take a break
Another very common answer which surprised me when it was above fitness and exercise was taking time along to have a break. The peace and quiet of the outdoors is rarely matched by anything else and I, like many hikers have found it to be a great place to think about things going on in your head while also allowing you to unwind and relax.
This for me is isn’t something that attracted me to hiking straight away but as I hiked more I found it to be a really important reason for why I still hike today and I know many hikers share the same feeling.
3. Fitness and exercise
It's no surprise to anyone that fitness and exercise is among the top five reasons people started hiking because after all hiking is all about being active and walking but there was a noticeable gap between the top two on the list.
As we all know hiking is a great way to stay active, the benefits that hiking can provide are for many a major reason why they started and still continue to hike. These benefits include such as better balance, improved heart health and fewer risks of respiratory problems which I think I can speak for everyone when I say is pretty good.
4. Friends and connecting with others
Now it honestly was surprising to me to see this one so low down the list of reasons why people started hiking but it is still a major way people get into hiking.
Whether it is being asked by a mate to come along for a hike or being pushed into it by some friends, there is no doubt that for most of us, hiking is best done when it is shared with the company of others.
5. Mental health and self-resilience
The fifth most popular answer was mental health and self-resilience which is something that I think is all too often overlooked when people think about why other hike. The time and space for contemplation and relaxation that hiking provides can have a hugely beneficial impact on your mental health and improve your outlook on life greatly.
Countless studies have reinforced how beneficial being in nature can be and there is no doubt that it is a worth reason why some of us started our hiking journeys.
So there you have it, those are the five biggest reasons people started hiking, voted by you! Now where do you fit on the list, vote below for the reason you started hiking and see how others compare.
Written by Josh Welch