2023-Hiking is a Thing: 2 Important Tips for Drinking Coffee on the Trails
Remember during the pandemic when suddenly everyone was out walking around, as much as possible, for whatever reason? Then suddenly everyone was going on hikes, every day, sometimes multiple times a day?
It was a good time to be a pet dog, for sure.
Turns out this trend started well before 2020. For the past 50 years, hiking popularity has exploded, with more people hitting the trails every year. It is now the 4th most popular outdoor activity in the U.S., after running, biking, and fishing.
Guess what? We have lots of hiking spaces here. There are 200,000 miles of trails nationwide, with 3,000 new trails added each year.
The Benefits of Hiking
Hiking has lots of obvious benefits. With an average hourly 500-calorie burn, vitamin D benefits from the sun, fresh air, immersion in nature’s bounty, and the positive impact of companionship during hiking, this is one wholesome, good-for-you, always interesting activity.
Stats from jerseyislandholidays.com show that almost 50 million people hiked at least once in 2018. We all know that it’s great exercise, but did you know that regular hiking can reduce the risk of mental health problems by 50%. Just 20 minutes of hiking can reduce cortisol levels by 13%.
Why I Drink Coffee While Hiking
I hike 2 to 4 days a week on local trails, always with at least one friend. Often, especially on cold days, I show up with a cup of coffee in a reusable cup. If I’m resistant, even a little, the caffeine helps me reset. Also, the warmth of the coffee helps me acclimate to the outdoors. And if I’m feeling blue, coffee energizes me enough to put on my boots and get out the door. It’s a very practical habit.
The 2 Tips You Must Know
First: I try to finish up my coffee within the first 10 minutes of the hike, knowing that the terrain will become more challenging. It’s hard to hold a cup of coffee, while grabbing a branch as I balance on slippery rocks to cross a running creek. Once you’re into the hike, you’ll be revved up and won’t need coffee until you get to the end.
Second: Whatever you do, don’t litter. Make sure to bring a small backpack, preferably a drawstring backpack (also known as a cinch bag). It’s lightweight, easy to use, and great for putting not only your coffee cup and phone, but also any cold weather apparel you’re wearing that you take off as you heat up during your hike.
Sadly, litter on trails decreases their use by hikers and bikers by 20%. It makes an experience that should be sublime less pleasant, and it also forces other people to clean up after trash-mongers. Back to coffee. Coffee has a lot of health benefits on its own, so when added to a hike, it’s one big health win. Try it for yourself!