3 Step Hiking Guide to Prepare for Any Trail - Even Grief

Author: Rachel Hunsell

Article updated: June 3, 2021

TAPS Outdoors invites you to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 5, 2021, with your fellow survivors across the nation! 

We know, regardless of any holiday, there is power in pairing movement with time spent outdoors and the impacts are substantial not only to our physical health, but to our mental and emotional health too.

We’ve put together a set of tools to help you find the right and most accessible trail for you, a way to connect with trail buddies, and resources for your future hiking experiences!


TAPS Survivors hiking a mountain

TAPS Survivors in forest hiking


3 Questions and Answers to Guide Your Hiking Experience


1. What do I want to get out of this and what is most accessible for me to reach those goals?

The first step in any hiking adventure is assessing what it is you want to get out of your experience and finding the trail that suits our needs. Remember, your physical fitness level nor capabilities should prohibit you from connecting with nature. Just like looking for resources on our grief journey, not every trail is going to suit your needs.

  • Follow the link to find trails near you with the crowd-sourced Hiking Project. This is a great way to see how others have navigated specific trails and mark your own!

  • Can’t get out on the trail quite yet? Find online resources for your favorite public lands in this Department of Interior guide.


2. What do I need to do to prepare?

As survivors, we know that navigating our grief journey or any trail in life, no matter the size, we don’t want to go at it alone or without any support. So, here are a few resources for knowing what you’ll need to do before you leave your house, from what to wear and what to pack to assessing physical necessities for challenging terrains.

  • From trail etiquette to your basic needs, learn more from the American Hiking Society on all the essentials.

  • If you’re looking for specific adventures while on your hike, check out REI’s Expert Advice for more resources and gear advice.


3. Now what?

We’ve set our goals, prepared ourselves and our maps, and gathered our gear, so now what? The simple answer is, just hit the trail. But we have compiled a few additional resources and articles we think you’ll love to support your nature experience.


Grab water, snacks, layers and friends, then get outside and on the trail! We would love to hear from you, so share your experiences on #NationalTrailsDay and be sure to use the hashtag #TAPSOutdoors!


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For more information or questions, reach out to the TAPS Outdoors team at expeditions@taps.org.

Rachel Hunsell serves as the Program Manager for TAPS Outdoors.

Photos Credit: TAPS Staff