It is always a good idea to keep our heart rates up and our bodies moving.
One such activity that gives us the much-needed exercise our body requires while indulging our senses is trekking or hiking—and not just your ordinary hike either, but a full-blown climb to the mountains. Trekking or hiking mountain trails allows us to revitalize ourselves while simultaneously rejuvenating our senses with the picturesque scenery and refreshing ambiance we rarely get to see in progressive metropolitan cities. As hiking is largely a physical experience, we rarely think of it as a leisurely activity where we can allow ourselves to bide the time, drink in nature and simply enjoy the surroundings.
However, to fully enjoy the experience, it is recommended that one should treat the jaunt as an exploring adventure rather than a heart-racing activity designed to burn calories. In this regard, even the most-seasoned hikers would benefit from trekking on beginner hiking spots as well. All the same, those who are new to hiking should tread their feet on easier spots before venturing on more challenging and difficult ones that test your endurance and fortitude. Trekking for hours while carrying your weight as well as your stuff in the journey might be worth it because of the scenic surroundings that await you, but every now and then, that aspect is often overlooked in favor of seeing hiking as solely a somatic activity rather than an experience to be slowly and steadily enjoyed.
While largely a physical activity, climbing mountain stimulates your mind as well as it keeps your senses alert at all times. In this regard, you can expect that your strategic planning as well as your critical thinking is enhanced during the activity. After arriving at the summit and reaching the end of your trek, you will find the experience to be spiritually liberating. Traversing the trail on foot and being surrounded by a copse of trees is an incredibly humbling experience that gives you a better perspective on how nature plays a pivotal role in our lives.
HIKING SAFETY GUIDELINES
1.) Bring a map
Before even planning to go on a hiking expedition, one should always remember to bring a map. It does not matter how easy the trek will be, bringing a map is one of the essential things you should keep in mind before packing up and leaving for your jaunt. Relying solely on GPS technology can get you into a snag—particularly in areas with limited cellular service. Bring a map and if you are unsure as how to read one, research and learn beforehand.
2.) Hike during the day
It is inadvisable to hike after dark as you are more susceptible to getting lost. In this regard, plan to hike during the day. To ensure that you can avoid being stuck out in the dark, set a turnaround time. It does not matter how far you hike, stick to the predetermined time you have set to ensure that you finish before the sun sets.
3.) Know the area first before planning a hike
While exploring new hike trails is an exciting prospect, it is always best to determine what kind of territory you will be subjecting yourself in. Research for vital information beforehand such as if there are any local wild animals in the area and what you should do if you come across one, what kind of plants are in the area and if any of them are poisonous and lastly, check for any and all hiking alerts.
4.) Check the forecast
Before heading out, know what the weather be like for the day. This is imperative as it helps you determine what gear you need to bring (rain jacket, warmer clothing, sunscreen, etc.). However, be on the lookout for rain forecasts as inclement weather might make a relatively easy trail more challenging. In any case, be sure that the trail you will be taking is still passable despite the rain.
5.) Always let someone know before you go
It is essential that you let someone know where you are going and when you plan on going home. As shown by the movie 127 hours, having someone know where you will be and what time you intend to come back is important as they will be able to take the necessary action should they fail to hear from you by a certain time.
BEGINNER HIKING TRAILS IN RIZAL
Located between Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Mount Daraitan is one of the many mountains of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range frequented by hikers. More importantly, Mount Daraitan is one of the most popular hiking sites among Rizal’s mountains. As a result of the attention the place has been getting, a village nearby the mountain has become an ecotourism site. Apart from the actual hike, outdoor attractions such as springs, limestone formations, Tinipakcaves and at times, even side trips to the pool during the climb are offered as a side attraction. Mount Daraitan is relatively easy to reach by private vehicle, Once you reach Barangay Daraitan, all you would need to do is follow the road until you arrive at the Daraitan River and pay the bridge toll. Before you can proceed with your trek, you are required to head to the barangay hall for registration and briefing.
Mount Batolusong was relatively unknown until it garnered attention in the local hiking scene in 2012. As one of the nearer hiking trails to Metro Manila, the hiking trail spurred a spate of interest that resulted in the mountain becoming a hiking trail favorite. It is located between Barangay Cuyambay and Barangay San Andres in Tanay, Rizal. Often compared to the nearby Mt. Sembrano as the two mountains share many similarities, Batolusong is often considered as an easier and closer version of the former. Back then, the recommended jumpoff was in Sition Kay-ibon in Barangay Cuyambay and just along the Marcos highway. However, local authorities has since prohibited the public to use this place. Before planning a hike, it is recommended that hikers register at the PSD Outpost in Sitio Kay-ibon. Be sure to check with the local barangay (Tanay) as you might be required to secure a permit as well.
MT. MAYNOBA and MT. CAYABU
Known to be the mountain with a scenic view of a sea of clouds in Rizal, Mt. Maynoba is pretty much like earth’s gateway to heaven. It instantly became a renowned place for viewing the clouds and was an instant hit from its opening day as a hiking destination until today. More importantly, Mt. Maynoba is easy enough to do in just a few hours as it is easily accessible from Metro Manila by private transport or through public commute. While the trail to the summit can be a bit steep at times, it is straightforward. However, if you wish to hike down the waterfalls, keep in mind that short sections of trekking on rocks might make the overall hike a bit of a challenge. Incidentally, the Maynuba Circuit includes two mountains (Mt. Cayabu and Mt. Maynuba) which are then followed by eight waterfalls on your way down. Mt. Cayabu’s peak is a subsidiary peak of Maynuba as they are next to each other which means that visiting one of the other can potentially mean visiting 2 mountains at once. However, you may opt to climb just one part or visit only the eight waterfalls—both of which entail a different climbing and hiking route.
With all that said above, you can now proceed with your hiking adventures! But before jumpstarting on your first jaunt, be sure to plan it well and take your safety into consideration during the trip. Now, you can start your hiking trip.
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