The Sheriff and I are currently nearing the halfway mark in our 52 Hike Challenge for 2019. I usually like to plan a big halfway hike and a a big finish hike for hike 52. In previous years, one halfway hike was over the Golden Gate Bridge. Last year our big finish hike was on the Road to Nowhere in North Carolina, which also took us straight to the bottom of a drained Fontana Lake. Part of the draw for me is planning these destinations and finding neat adventures, but sometimes in between the milestone hikes, we get busy, bogged down with schedules and life in general and we get behind. Sometimes we get bored and don’t know where to go next.
The rules of the 52 Hike Challenge are fairly simple and easy to follow. You basically have to log at least one mile per hike and be outside. So it is really easy and fun to get creative with this challenge.
Below is a list of a few ideas that we use to get us keep us on track.
1. Start a 52 hike challenge. You can’t finish if you don’t ever get started. So get those boots on the ground!
2. Register so you’ll feel official. Buy yourself a t-shirt, patches and stickers for pictures. They have some cute stuff!
3. Follow 52 hike challenge on Instagram for Insta inspiration. Be sure to include a hashtag like #52hikechallenge2019. Sometimes, they’ll give you a shout out and then you’ve really made it!
4. Start with short easy hikes. You’ll need to log at least a mile. But lets face facts here people, nobody is going to continue with something that makes you miserable. Start with something you can complete, something that fits with your schedule, your lifestyle and skill level. Set yourself up for success. You can always build on your mileage or altitude as you go.
5. Backpacking over-nighters-they can count as 2!
6. Plan to hike on a the day during the week you are less busy
7. Set an alert on your phone to tell you to hike.
8. Take city hikes if you’re stuck somewhere inside a city. On a recent trip to Savannah, we took at least a mile walk everyday we were there. It was a good chance to see the sights, enjoy the beautiful parks and get our hikes in all the same time.
9. Set yourself small goals-do two hikes this week or one hike every Monday.
10. Like to plan? Plan elaborate hikes at picturesque locations.
11. Going on vacation? Plan on hiking one mile everyday 5 day vacation=5 hikes
12. Reward yourself. I promised myself these cute as ever boots if we made it through the first third of the challenge.
13. Set goals for certain hikes. I always like my halfway hike and my final hike to be special.
14. Hike to test gear/shoes/clothes
15. Post to Instagram a lot! It inspires others and will help you keep up with what number you’re on if you’re forgetful like me
16. Download the guides from 52 challenge for hikes in your state or nearby.
17. Copy other hikers-go where they go.
18. Join a hiking group.
19. Check your state park websites for ranger led hikes.
20. Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.
21. Beach hikes! They count….
22. Plan a bucket list hike.
23. Hike around the park while your kids practice football, soccer, baseball etc.
24. Look for city parks with trails.
25. Be prepared to stop on the side of the road impromptu hikes.
26. Hike to breakfast, lunch or supper.
27. Get a partner to join the challenge with you. Here’s are two of my favorites.
28. Lead a group hike yourself.
29. Go on a walking historical tour.
30. Get an smart watch or fitness tracker to track your steps and mileage. It’s motivating to close the circles! The Sheriff loves his Samsung Gear and I love my Apple watch
31. Do a ghost tour. Read about ours here.
32. Put your kid in a stroller and go.
33. Take a wildflower or bird watching hike.
34. Volunteer for a cleanup hike.
35. Hike around your own house or neighborhood.
36. Take your mom and her new Fitbit on a hike.
37. See how many different cities you can hike in
38. See how many state parks you hit.
39. See how many national parks you get to.
40. Do some big trip hikes like Yellowstone, Zion, or Yosemite.
41. Get creative, find a trail few people know about. Other hikers will be copying you!
42. Take your doggy on a hike. Be sure to take water. These collapsible water bowls are great!
43. Repeat the same hike multiple times if needed. We have a local Rails to Trails hike that we use to catch ourselves up if we get behind.
44. Set yourself a mileage goal.
45. If you have dead time, get up and go. The Sheriff and I recently found ourselves waiting on a family member for an extended period of time in Birmingham, so we jumped up and took a city hike for a mile or so.
46. Find trails with health incentives.
47. Sign up for a fun run or 5k-you don’t actually have to run. Really, you don’t. There will be lot of other people walking.
48. Hike to journal; journal to hike
49. Start a group at work.
50. Set a goal to not repeat if you can. Variety is the spice of trail life. I just made that up, but it is fun to see how many you can do without repeating.
51. Take a walking lunch.
52. Plan a big finish-get a shirt and medal.
What are some of the creative ways you have used to stay focused on a challenge in life? Share with us in the comments, we, too, need motivation from time to time.
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