The Hiking Companion by Michael W. Robbins
Michael likes to go hiking and wants the entire world to know that likes to hike and also how to hike. He has hiked for fun and he has hiked for research or photography. He enjoys mountain bikes the most. He’s gotten between a rock and a hard place while going off trail, which you’re technically not supposed to do.
Michael divides his advice into several chapters. He expounds upon the different places you can hike. He explains different kinds of forests. He gives advice on hiking gear. You need good shoes. Your supplies depend upon how long you’re hiking and what environment you’re hiking in.
Hiking doesn’t have to be for an end goal, it can be just for getting out and into nature.
What I liked
I enjoy hiking. I’m not all-inclusive like Michael seems to be though. I’ve had my share of traipsing through the woods and hills, not knowing where I was going. I’ve never been as prepared as Michael while hiking. I have bona-fide hiking shoes, that I had to climb a small boulder with, in the store before buying them. Maybe one day I’ll go on some longer hikes with those shoes, but for now I’ll stick with Pisgah and DuPont. I like being out in nature and I love the mountains, that’s probably why I live in the mountains, although I do currently live in town.
The point is–I like hiking, but not as much as Michael apparently. It’s relaxing, but I doubt I’ll ever go all out like Michael.
If you are new to hiking, you will certainly find some good advice in this book, and some cautionary hiking tales. Wearing bright colors is a very good piece of advice that comes from this book.
What I didn’t like
I’ve heard all of this before.
If you’re remotely into hiking, you’ll have heard all this before too. It’s not revelatory. You might even chide Michael, just a bit, for some of his misadventures.
You don’t have to have a ton of junk to go hiking, and Michael certainly acknowledges this, but as long as you’re only going on a short hike, you don’t need a whole lot. Carry what is necessary to you, and you’ll learn more about what you need the more you hike. You’ll learn that you should carry more water, or some Benadryl, or plastic bags.
That is– you’ll learn all this if you have common sense, and if you’re reading my site, you probably do, but there are people who don’t, and they need books like Michael’s to tell them to take something to start a fire if they’re going to be cooking outside, or to check the weather before they go.
Just don’t walk straight into the woods without a little preparation.
What do you take when you hike?
Would you go off trail?