Hiking is an easy, long, steady walk, usually in the countryside or trails outside town. In the United States, hiking is a recreational activity most often done in state and National Parks. Walking for fun developed in Europe during the late eighteenth century. Religious pilgrimages have been going on for longer than most people realize, but hiking long distances for a religious purpose has been going on for hundreds of years.
While hiking is popular for many people, many others find hiking to be an unhealthy activity. The main reason behind this is poor nutrition, dehydration, and inadequate hydration. In a nutshell, the body needs proper nutrition and water to stay healthy. To this end, anyone who plans on going hiking, whether on a trail or on a national park should carry a backpack containing plenty of drinking water, a bottle of sunscreen, hiking boots, a pair of trekking poles, and a compass.
Some people like to do day hiking and camp, which involves sleeping out in a tent in the woods. Day hiking can be extremely exhilarating, but it is important to remember to pack appropriately. A day hike can be extremely taxing on the cardiovascular system and, if hiking on rough terrain or with poor lighting conditions, the mind may also be exhausted from concentrating so hard on the hike. A lot of day hiking is done on trails run by the US Forest Service, so a hiking partner would be wise.