I never thought of myself as particularly outdoorsy, but social distancing has changed that. I have always enjoyed spending time outside whether that was hiking, spending time in a beachside cabana, or kayaking on a lake, but I seriously HATE bugs! I would attempt to do my homework outside, but as soon as an ant crawled on my leg, it was time to pack up and go inside.
Intellectually, I knew going outside and getting those exercise endorphins were critical to my mental health. Still, I opted for TV, YouTube, and Instagram instead of a walk.
Since I’ve been stuck at home, I’ve taken more time to explore my soundings, walking down streets I’ve never been on and seeing neighbors I hadn’t seen in years.
Being outside gives yourself time to decompress. Think about all the content and information you take in every day. For me that’s YouTube videos, Instagram posts, episodes of 30Rock, music by my favorite bands, text messages, emails, news articles, homework, novels, textbook reading, and so much more. Spending some quiet time even if it’s only 10 mins can help reduce your mental clutter and leave you feeling less groggy.
Since I have been spending a lot more time outdoors and finally have the time to go hiking consistently. I decided to pick up some new gear. Here’s why I’m planning to buy and/or bought.
Number One: SPF jacket
This jacket both protects your skin from the sun and provides a lightweight layer for those cool moments in the shade. Also, it’s light even to tie around your waist or stuff into your backpack without weighing you down.
Number Two: Hiking socks
You cannot underestimate the importance of a good pair of socks. Enough said.
Number Three: Flat belt
Belts are great! I’m slim hipped, so I wear belts daily. This is a great belt in general, but is even better when hiking because it isn’t bulky and is light weight.
Number Four: Hiking boots
These came highly ranked on the Strategist, my go to website anytime I need to buy something online.
Number Five: Mosquito Repellent Balm
This is a wonder product! I was hiking in July in Camden, ME when I began to sweat off my bug spray. I had every imaginable insect buzzing around my ear. I felt like Zeus! (haha) This stuff is amazing. I lather it on to my neck and ears before hiking. Because it’s a balm it doesn’t just slide off with a little sweat. I highly recommend. Pro tip: Make sure you wash your face as soon as you get home from your hike because it will clog your pores.
Number Six: Hiking pants
Convertible pants are kinda dorky. I get it. But they are so so so functional! I was planting trees in Puerto Rico in the Summer of 2017 and being able to unzip my pants and wear shorts for when I got over heated was invaluable. Functionality over everything!
Number Seven: SPF shirt
Protect yo’ self! No, but seriously. Skincare is healthcare. The skin is the largest organ of your body. Take care of it.