DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Harry Greenbaum has been hiking for years and said the secret of "healthy hiking" is to know the appropriate gear. "If you're going to do anything with any sizeable terrain, you're going to need some good hiking boots. And without that you're going to risk twisting an ankle, getting blisters, that sort of thing."
David Wiley of Wiley's Outdoor Sports also recommends special socks to go with those shoes. "I always recommend, cause I used to have this problem with blisters, some type of socks...whether they're synthetics or natural fibers that will wick away moisture."
Proper clothes are also important to Greenbaum. "You want a good base layer that will wick away all the moisture you build up and a nice breathable outer layer that has some sun protection when the sun is out."
As your body is trying to get used to the sun, you might want to take some precautionary measures when it comes to your eyes and your head. Make sure that hat is a wide brim hat to try to keep the sun not only off your head but off your face and neck, and invest in some good UVA & UVB sunglasses.
"Water may be the most important thing. I've had that personal problem where I dehydrated out there and it can be a dangerous situation," said Wiley.
Walking sticks, sunscreen and more can also help you stay on the right path. And Greenbaum says start slow. "Go with your own pace to begin with. As you build up...build up strength, build up endurance, you'll be able to go for these longer hikes. It's important not to plan for a 10 mile hike if you've not been out."