In today’s economy it is tough to find the money for recreational activities. However, there is one activity that is cheap, enjoyable, and healthy for both your wallet and body. This activity is hiking. Hiking can be done pretty much anywhere in the United States. One popular place to hike is the Catskill Mountains, located about 100 miles from New York City, which has hikes for skills ranging from beginner to expert.
To prepare for a hiking trip one needs three basic essentials: water, food, and a pack to put them in. To cut down on the costs of water one can buy a reusable water bottle (about $10) and refill it using free tap water. This is much more cost effective than bottled water over the long term use of hiking. For food it is important to make sure it can be consumed easily. Great hiking foods include granola bars and beef jerky. A sandwich makes a great, easy to make and eat meal for lunch. In all, this should cost you another ten dollars. The most expensive item up front is the backpack. A good daypack could be found for around $40. However, this more than pays for itself as the backpack can last for years and many hikes.
Along with the low cost another great benefit of hiking is its benefits for your health. Hiking gets you moving and burns a tremendous amount of calories. At this site you can find out just how many calories you burn: http://www.nutristrategy.com/caloriesburnedwalking.htm. The cardio workout for a hike is great as is the workout for your legs. Fresh air is plentiful on hikes as are the sounds of nature.
A great place to start looking for hikes in the Catskill Mountains is catskillmountaineer.com. The website has a list of the best hikes in the Catskills. It is a great resource. From my own personal experience I would recommend the Ashokan High Point trail. This trail is moderate but can be done by beginners. The views from the top are amazing as is the hike through the wild forests. Hiking is one of the greatest recreational activities available and is healthy for both your body and wallet. To find great hiking trails in your area check out http://alltrails.com/.