Living in or around the Central Coast is perfect for those who love embracing nature and getting outdoors, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Earth’s most beautiful treasures are just a step outside, and all that you need to do is throw on a pair of shoes (or not, if you’re the go-barefoot kind of person) take in a deep breath of fresh air, and open your eyes to the accessibility of the world around you. Before exploring the Central Coast’s beauties, though, you should read these handy tips to keeping your adventures safe and enjoyable.
If you plan to go on the trails, remember:
Sunscreen: With any outdoor activity, sunscreen is essential. The central coast sun makes beautiful days, but can cause a lot of damage to your skin if you don’t protect with sunscreen. For more sensitive skin types, look into using sunblock instead. You should try to apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every one to two hours for the most protection.
Proper Shoes: Many people overlook this important element when going outdoors, and think that any shoe will work. Believe it or not, I have seen people attempting to hike up hills in flimsy sandals, only to give up halfway. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes with strong soles that will not make you slip on rocky paths. Plus, wearing proper shoes reduces the risk of injury on the trails and soreness after a long day of hiking.
Water and a small snack: On warm, sunny days, water is incredibly important. Aim to drink a half liter of water for every mile accomplished. Drinking lots of water will prevent problems such as heat exhaustion, muscle cramps, headaches, and fatigue. To keep my hands free I use a CamelBak hydration pack. They also have reusable water bottles you can purchase. A snack, such as a Clif Bar, dried fruit or bag of trail mix will keep your glucose levels up and give you the energy to hike as far as your heart desires.
Map: Just in case you have never hiked a certain trail, try to grab a map of the trail just in case you get lost. Even though most cell phones have GPS nowadays doesn’t mean they are going to have service out on the trails.
Proper clothing: Wear clothes that are breathable, comfortable, and give some protection from the sun and from pesky insects! Tall socks are helpful in keeping off ticks, and longer shorts also protect your legs from leaves brushing against you on the trail. You may want to consider a hat and sunglasses to add extra protection.
Lastly, don’t forget the camera to capture all of the interesting wildlife you see on your outdoor adventures!