Do Go Chasing Waterfalls, But First... Some Hiking Tips

I got to live out my Halloween dreams of dressing up as TLC by chasing waterfalls at Yosemite National Park. We were missing the silk pajamas, but this was still pretty fulfilling.

During our short trip, we were able to see Vernal, Nevada, and Yosemite Falls. I know TLC recommended against it, but I put together some tips for you to use before you go chasing waterfalls that I think they’d approve of.

Get in Chasing Shape

You don’t have to do months of training before going on a hike, but being somewhat conditioned will prepare your body for walking up hills for extended periods of time. My friend Ashley organized the trip, and her dad was my hiking buddy for Mist Trail. He had a tall, strong build, and despite not working out regularly- he said he began doing some light running and weight training about 2 weeks prior to the trip. Being proactive about making sure your body is conditioned will help you get to the waterfalls, or wherever your destination is, faster and feeling less out of breath. Some activities I’d recommend doing before you go on a hiking trip.

  • Incline walking (preferably outdoors, but treadmill or elliptical otherwise.)
  • Running (slow, steady-state will simulate the intensity of the hikes, but high intensity sprints will still increase your aerobic capacity)
  • Get your legs and core strong with:
    • Squats
    • Step ups
    • Lunges
    • Elevated Calve Raises (the eccentric motion of walking downhill will likely leave you sore no matter what, but training them and having them somewhat adjusted to the eccentric motion, will leave you less sore than your hiking buddies)
    • Core Cable Twist

Power the Trek with Food

Make sure to eat a breakfast that will give you long-lasting energy, as opposed to leaving you feeling sluggish. High-fiber foods like oatmeal will keep you fuller longer. I opted for overnight oats with fruit and peanut butter.

Thoroughly satisfied with oats in a plastic bag. Don't forget your spoon.

Thoroughly satisfied with oats in a plastic bag. Don't forget your spoon.

Depending on the length of your hike, you may need to pause for snacks. In any case, it’s nice to stop and enjoy the view with food once you get to the top. Some of the snacks I brought were a mix of healthy carbs and protein:

  • Fruit 
  • Zing Bars (I try to avoid processed foods but these are too delicious)
  • Dried Edamame
  • WATER. You should be hydrating well everyday, but make sure you do so before and during your hike. 

Pack Appropriately

The trip organizer put together an extremely comprehensive list of items to pack, so I’ll share it with you! 

 On the hike, make sure to bring along:

  • Water 
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Personal care items (A visit from Aunt Flo in the woods with no back-up is no bueno.)
  • Dry socks (Because wet socks are awful and make you wart-prone.)
  • Snacks

Use these tips, and you can feel at ease going against TLC’s word. Chase all the waterfalls you want.