Zen Action Steps for a more Enjoyable Hike

The beginning of any new year is always filled with well intended resolutions. Kicking off the new year with a nice hike through the woods is certainly good food for the soul.

Before you set out on your hike, here are some Zen action steps you can use to really help make your hike more enjoyable.

Do not consume alcohol the night before— There is nothing worse than attempting to go hike with a hangover, no matter how minor it is. If you drink, you might actually talk yourself out of going the next day. Cloudiness and being hungover keep you from being in the moment.

Watch what and how much you eat— Eating too much or the wrong kinds of food before your hike can really weigh you down. It can upset your stomach and cause indigestion.

Go solo—Okay this one can be iffy for some of you, but I’ll explain. From a safety standpoint it’s better to go with a buddy; however, going with a buddy leads to conversation, which leads to distraction, which causes you to miss the beauty of your surroundings. Take a buddy along if you can both agree to be silent and just enjoy the walk. If you don’t have anyone you can hike with then perhaps it is safer for you to walk in a park.

Keep it simple—Sure you may want to try out all that new fancy gear, but taking and having to carry all that gear can really tax your energy, especially if you’re not used to hiking with the added weight. Remember, you’re trying to re-energize the soul. Take only what you absolutely need and nothing more. Leave all the new gear behind and play with it at home. The lighter you can be on your feet, the more enjoyable your hike will be.

Be in the moment— This one can not be overstated enough. All too often folks are quick to stop and take pictures or videos of there travels. The problem is looking at the landscape through the lens of a camera narrows your field of view and it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. This is a great example of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Immerse yourself in your surroundings. Stay off of your phone; No phone calls, texts, social media, or surfing the internet. No playing music either. Don’t think about work, don’t worry about emails, or wonder about home. Be in the moment.


If you need some inspiration, watching “A River Runs Through It,” starring Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt. Is a wonderful outdoors movie which highlights some of the Zen principles I’ve discussed. The narration along with the cinematography really highlights what it is to be in the moment, in the zone if you will.

There you have it, 5 action steps taken from Zen philosophy which can help make your hiking more enjoyable

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