Essential Tips from an Experienced Slacker
The skeptical mindset you have about walking aimlessly through the hinterland is justified. There is a reason we built cities with fast infrastructure and houses with comfy chairs in them: Walking, running and hiking sucks. Those are things our cave hunting ape-ancestors were forced to do. You, an evolved and smart human being, should know better and enjoy the benefits of our developed society.
As a clever individual, who is naturally inclined to avoid stupid risks, it is very normal to feel a strong urge to avoid this kind of „experience“. But sometimes there is no way of getting out of it.
There are many reasons to get into the misfortune of having to go on a hike:
- When your girlfriend urges you „do something together once in a while“
- When your friends are getting „adventurous“ and want to climb something
- When you are on a vacation, minding your own business but somehow the group you shared a couple of beers with the night before, drags you with them to a tour „suitable for beginners and intermediates“.
You know that this is going to suck, so why even try to do it half-assed? Failing in style can be an art form! If you follow these simple (and fun!) steps, you will be surprised how low you can really sink
Don’t exercise for at least three months
Do you know that people running in the streets in broad daylight were considered insane not that long ago? Think about it, who in their right mind puts on neon tights and starts galloping out into rush-hour traffic?
If you don’t feel like exercising, just don’t! Listen to the voice in yourself telling you to watch just one more episode of the latest Netflix hype. Do you really want to be the one in your group who is always behind with his shows?
Get your training gear out of sight. Your new candy coloured running shoes are only cool the day you buy them. The same goes for your „smart“ sport-wearable, tracking every heartbeat of yours. You know that one day the government will use your data against you, right?
After a couple of weeks of not moving a muscle, you will be in the right shape to feel absolutely wrecked.
Less prearation – more surprises!
Reading is for nerds! „How long is the route going to be?“ „What will the weather conditions be like?“ „Do I need some sort of special shoes?“ Questions like those not only make you look like a noob, they also keep you from discovering stuff on your own.
Finding out that the nature around you is not the shady, lush and cool rainforest you expected, but a barren savannah with dried-up trees is more rewarding than you might think.
Also, don’t ask anyone what parts of the hike are going to be more difficult. Walking for hours through a desolate desert-like flatland with the sun burning your retinas (sunglasses are for wannabes, leave them on your bed.) can drain the last will to live out of your body. And that’s what you signed up for, isn’t it?
Pack a lot of stuff into your backpack (Really, a lot!)
Water is the most important thing to bring when going on a trip in hot weather. But this doesn’t mean that you should bring only dull water in plastic bottles. Who knows what your palate desires on top of a volcano crater? Bring a wide variety of sodas and other beverages with you. Also, get the cheapest energy drinks you can find and don’t drink them until they turned into hot syrup. And how about a small bottle of rum and some limes? Maybe you’ll be in a party mood on the peak!
The same goes for food. While some sport-geeks might bring only a handful of nuts and a fruit you can surprise your friends with crumbled chips, molten chocolate bars and two pulpy pastries, probably stuffed with chicken!
When it comes to clothing, bring enough for you and your friends. Maybe some cute girl will be freezing when it gets dark and then you have a jacket to put on her (while still having enough attire for yourself). Your back muscles, shoulders, arms and feet will thank you for the unexpected workout.
Get wasted the night before!
Probably the most important tip if you really want to flop like a flounder on your voyage is the right mindset before your trip: Live in the now! Got an invitation to go for a drink? Why just leave it at one? Alcohol gives you the self-confidence you need so desperately.
Enough shots will shower you with energy that gives you the courage to say: „Tomorrow I am going to do a really chill walk, and I will be so ready for it! Wait, is it already 3 a.m.? Well, no problem, all I need is ninety minutes of sleep and I am going to be fresh as a butterfly in spring!“
If you heed those advice, you will have a trip everyone will talk about for a long time. You will also find out who of your friends is the most caring when you lie on the ground with a sunstroke and who in the group has the strongest back when it comes to carrying your stuff.
Be the one everybody pities!
Also don’t feel like those are the only tips for failing on a hike. Be creative! What about unnecessary gadgets? A large flashlight on a day hike or a GPS module when everything is clearly signposted all the way can be great topics for discussion. Get a tattoo the day before. Annoy your friends constantly about the lack of wifi along the way. Just be yourself while literally hitting rock bottom! Break a leg. I believe in you!