November 17 is National Take a Hike Day, which makes for a great day to take a break from our hectic school schedule and enjoy nature on a hike with friends and family. Of course, any day of the year is a great time to hike a trail. Hiking is a great way to unwind after a long and stressful week. It’s also a fun way to get some exercise and learn about nature hands-on. The best part of all is that it’s a low-cost activity and it’s something you can do with most family members, including your four-legged family members!
If you are interested in hiking, you should consider joining the Outdoor Adventures Club, which is open to all Reedley College students. I was the founder of the club along with Emanuel Delgado, geography instructor here on campus. Our purpose for starting the club was to promote outdoor activities, including hiking among Reedley College students. Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit, we had to make the decision of putting the club on hold as a safety measure for all members. However, Delgado has plans to continue the club as soon as it is safe to meet again.
If you are interested in joining the club, you can self-enroll in the club’s Canvas shell using this link:
Form more information on the club, you can email
Emanuel Delgado at email@example.com
A Word from Emanuel Delgado
Hiking by itself has huge benefits. Walking through an unknown path feels like freedom to me. You can connect with the elements and choose to cross a river or climb a peak, or even find a great swimming hole to dive into... with a fallen log that that works as a springboard. For me an ideal hike has all the above. When you take yourself out into “wild nature” you exercise your body’s muscles, you breathe fresh air. I’ve experienced a relaxing and recharged mindset, when switching off from the everyday life of driving to work or school, and taking care of home and family responsibilities.
Make sure to reward yourself and take a step out into the wilderness with your friends & family. We (Lupita and I) recently took our daughter Izcalli in her baby backpack across the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks in Wyoming, "the heart of the Rockies" disque. Totally beautiful landscapes with waterfalls and mini geysers that heat up the frigid river water and made side warm pools. My daughter took her first dive into cold lake water 2 lakes, a waterfall, and a hotspring! It’s hard to describe the energy you get from having a raw connection with the elements: mountains, rivers, deserts. I fell a lot of tingly, refreshing, reenergizing, absorbing and remembering the views. The fresh air we get from the plants generating Oxygen as they absorb the Carbon Dioxide we exhale.
What a refreshing difference to the air we breathe in the Central Valley, which is ranked in one of the most polluted cities in the US. I also find that we need to experience nature to remind us that we need to care for nature as it takes care of us. We need to plant more trees and plants everywhere. Cities currently experience an urban heat effect, where because of all the cement that roads and buildings absorb and release energy from the sun and make the city hotter. In this situation, we can plant enough to cover many open spaces, and make them more like the National Parks that we idolize. Above are a few thoughts about why I love to hike and the benefits it has on my life and the community around me. Join the Outdoor Adventures club!
All Trails App
For more information on hiking trails, I recommend visiting alltrails.com or downloading their app on your phone. In this app, you can read reviews from hikers on the different trails to give you an idea of what to expect when you arrive at the site. You can also keep track of your completed trails and add trails to your favorites. In addition, you can use the Navigate feature to keep track of your hike, which includes your time, distance, and it marks the path you hiked. Although there is a fee for the Pro account, the free account includes many fun features.
Hiking Safety Tips
Notify friends or family members where you will be hiking
Avoid hiking alone, but...
If hiking alone, find a populated trail
Take plenty of water with you
Stay on the marked trail
Wear appropriate shoes for hiking
Don't approach or feed wildlife
Watch your step to avoid stepping on snakes
Carry a flashlight with you
Check the weather before heading out to ensure the weather is safe for hiking
Dress appropriately for the weather