Hiking is a Sensory Experience

From the moment you step onto the trail your senses are engaged. Your foot feels the spring of the earth beneath you. You may hear water rushing off in the distance. And of course, you will enjoy hearing your little one’s giggles and squeals. A hike will capture your five senses.

Sight: Dappled shade is my favorite on a hot summer day. You can enjoy the leaf shadows as well as enjoy the temperature change on your skin. A monocular for children and binoculars for teens and parents will open up a new experience. It allows the treetops to be at your fingertips and enhance the vista you just climbed up to. 

Hearing: Birds are always around, no matter what the season. Listen for them and try learning the name of the bird that belongs to that song.

Merlin can recognize the sounds of 400+ species from the U.S. and Canada. You record the sound and it will identify the bird. Did you hear the squirrel rustling in the leaves?

Smell: In a woods of pine, the scent can be strong and reminiscent of Christmas. Depending on the season, a deep breath will bring that earthy smell and/or decaying leaves wafting up from the ground. The sense of smell is closely linked with memory and is the strongest human sense. 

Taste: There are many edible plants in the wild. But, unless you know the plant, it is best to avoid eating anything you haven’t brought to eat. There are many great edible plant guides for reference. You may notice the snack you bring from home tastes more exciting.

As the seasons rotate you will pick up on different sensory experiences. Be open, be aware and be focused each time to an ever changing natural environment, whether you hike the same trail or various trails. Tell us of your experience. If you are looking for us, you will find us outside. 

What have you noticed on one of your hikes?

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