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Get Active!

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How to Do It

Hiking

Hiker

What you'll need

First, you'll need a good pair of shoes and thick socks designed for this type of activity. You can start with some sturdy sneakers with thick bottoms. When you begin to take on more difficult trails, try a pair of hiking boots, and make sure they fit! Also, get a backpack to carry all of your hiking supplies. Dress in layers and bring along a waterproof jacket with a hood in case you get caught in the rain. And don't forget a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses because the higher you hike, the more dangerous the sun's rays become.

To keep hiking fun, you always need to be prepared to beat problems that could happen while you're out. Make sure you bring a map of the area you'll be hiking in and a sturdy compass. You'll also need to bring plenty of water and extra food, like sports bars or trail mix with almonds, which has calcium to help keep your bones strong. The adults on your hike should bring a box of waterproof matches and an Army-style knife. A flashlight and extra batteries will help you find your way if you end up out after dark. Finally, you'll need to bring a first aid kit, in case someone gets hurt during your hike.

How to play

Take a hike! No, really, take the time to go hiking. Hiking with your friends or family is a good bone-strengthening activity and a great chance to get outdoors, breathe some fresh air, and help build strong bones. It's easy to get started.

Play it safe

Prep. Get in shape before you head out on your hike. Try walking around your neighborhood with your backpack loaded with five pounds more gear than you'll actually carry on your hike. If that goes well, plan a short hike to test your abilities on the trail.

Buddies. Take a friend and an adult along on your hike. That way you can look out for each other and you'll have people to talk to! Also, be sure to let someone who's not going know where you'll be hiking and what time you'll be back.

Weather watcher. When it's hot, pick trails that are shaded and run near streams. If you need to hike uphill in the sun, first soak yourself down to stay cool. You can also try wearing a wet bandana around your head or neck. Also, try to stay out of cotton clothes. Keep yourself out of bad weather by checking forecasts before you hike and watching the skies once you're out on the trail. During lightening storms, head downhill and away from the direction of the storm, and then squat down and keep your head low.

For more information, visit: 
www.bam.gov/sub_physicalactivity/activitycards_hiking.html
.

To search national parks for hiking trails near you, visit: http://www.nps.gov.

For more information on how to hike click here.

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