Imagine: The sounds of birds wake you up in the morning as sunlight filters through the drapes in your bedroom. You have an urge to be inside your body in the physical world, but your phone is on the bed stand within arms reach, not to mention that your laptop is lurking on the desk nearby as well. How is it possible to enter into a new day, without first being sucked into reading promotional emails, watching inane cat videos, or doing work? This guide will take you through the steps needed to successfully navigate your morning and get you walking outside without the use of the Internet.
Step 1: Check the Weather
A successful morning hike depends on many factors, first of which is wearing the appropriate clothing for the weather. Avoid the urge to look at weather.com to check what the weather is like outside. Instead, find a door or window with access to the outside air, and place a hand out in the air. If the air feels warm and dry, you should be good with shorts and a t-shirt. If your hand feels wet and cold, consider taking a rain jacket and an extra layer. If you live in California, it's probably warm and dry, regardless the time of year.
Step 2: Locate a Place to Go Walking
You've decided a walk outside in the current weather is suitable for your current mood. Where to go? Again, you want to avoid hopping on the Internet, because before you know it you are reading reviews about other people's hikes instead of going on your own hike. Instead, use a paper map to orient yourself. If you do not have a paper map, knock on the neighbor's door and ask to borrow theirs or just ask them where to go.
Once you have your paper map, locate your current position on it. If you do not know where you are on the map, go outside and read the closest street sign, which will tell you your cross streets. Next, find a big green area on the map. This will likely be some kind of public land you can walk on. Make a note of how to get from your location to the green area. If you have a companion, you can ask him/her to help navigate.
Step 3: Prepare for the Walk
So you (or you and your partner) have decided on a place to go for a hike. (Coffee may be necessary for decision making this early in the morning). Most likely you did not wake up wearing appropriate footwear, so you're going to have to rectify that. Hiking boots might be needed if it's wet out, but otherwise sneakers should suffice.
Next, gather the basic items needed for the walk:
A paper map so you can find the green space
a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect you from the sun
Step 4: Hit the Road
Since wormholes have not been perfected yet, you'll have to get to the green space on the map through old-fashioned means. If you are lucky, you live near it and you can just walk there, incorporating it into your hike. Otherwise, consider riding a bicycle. These methods are preferable to using motor vehicles, which might have an internet connection built-in (gps), and besides you'll be sitting and looking through a windshield on the way there, not the kind of experience you're going for.
But wait - you're not out of the woods yet (or in the physical woods yet) - make sure you leave the phones and tablets at home so you are not tempted to text, snap, post, or tweet on the walk. Note: This may be the most difficult step to accomplish.
Step 5: Find a Trail and Start Hiking
You've made it to the green space on the map. Now what? You'll have to look around at your environment to figure out where to begin. Look for where the pavement of the road ends and a footpath in the earth begins. Place one foot in front of the other and repeat. And you're off! Make sure to stop along the way to appreciate the colors, sounds, and smells. Also take breaks to catch your breath, drink water, and eat a snack.
Congratulations! You're hiking, it's a beautiful day, and you haven't been online yet!