It took some new gear in the new year to find some motivation. Last year was difficult mentally and physically, and some of us fell off our healthy routines.
Personally, I had been slacking and even though there was nothing else to do besides hike in 2020, my boots stayed tucked away. By investing in a new backpack a few weeks ago, I found the spark I needed to get going again. The comfort of a new pack motivated me to get moving and set goals.(story continues below chart)
So getting back into shape starts with smaller hikes and then working up to more strenuous hikes. By making goals small and attainable, they don’t get overwhelming. Having the valley close to the Sierra Nevada gives the region a good mix of easy to difficult trails. And living with the mix of desert and mountains allows us to enjoy hiking through every season.
Part of the reason we hike is to exercise, but it also stimulates our mind as much as it does our body. You don’t have to be in great shape to go hiking. But you do need to have the mentality to not give up and keep going. Once you get into a routine though, everything starts to get easier and more comfortable.
So for starters, it’s great to have a routine to go walking every day. My goal is to take at least a 30-minute walk daily. Between that and regular odds and ends, I usually end up walking at least 2 miles. That’s been helpful in a number of ways by keeping my legs prepared for the next hike and getting myself out of the house.
When it comes time to hike, I try to get out in nature and away from civilization. While walking around the neighborhood is fine, it’s much more enjoyable to be away from houses, cars and concrete. Nature offers peace and quiet, beautiful and (hopefully) serene scenery.
So some good first hikes are those without much elevation gain. There are plenty of smaller trails that aren’t very strenuous and offer beautiful scenery. They won’t keep you busy all day, but they’ll get you out of the house with something else to look at
When it comes to more moderate trails and hard ones, there’s many in the area to keep someone busy for a while. Set goals and plan ahead and try to visit as many as you can.
Alltrails.com has been one of the greatest resources for finding info on hiking trails in the region. The graphic with this column is a list of most of the trails nearest to Carson City. The list is divided by difficulty: Easy, moderate and hard. The difficulty relates mostly toward elevation gain. If there are long, steep sections of the trail, it gets classified as hard. Most of the easy hikes don’t have much elevation gain, and if they do it is gradual. The estimated time is the length an average hiker might need to complete the hike. It might take longer if you stop frequently or take more time to enjoy the scenery.
If you go to alltrails.com and search for the hikes, it will show you a map and some users leave reviews after their hike and maybe photos. Through this, you can possibly find out about recent conditions such as if there is snow on the trail or anything else.
Always remember when hiking to respect nature and other hikers. Leave no trace, pack in what you brought in — even compostable food.
Kyler Klix is a designer for Nevada News Group. He also writes about the outdoors and entertainment. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org