COVID-19 is forcing all of us to be creative in the way that we spend our time.
We all like to get outdoors from time to time, but with the lockdown firmly in place for the foreseeable future, we hikers have to look for other ways to get our hiking fix!
For many hikers, and others who love getting out in nature, being outdoors is a real great escape and one that we have certainly taken for granted now that the lockdown has put a halt to our favourite pastime.
But we don’t have to be prisoners in our homes when we can take part in a virtual hiking experience.
It is nothing compared to the real deal, but it is a great way to at least see some nature until we can get our hiking boots back on and explore the many hiking trails of Mpumalanga.
What is Virtual Hiking?
Quite simply, virtual hiking is a hike that takes place online. You will follow a trail that has been recorded previously by someone who knows the trails well, which means you are basically watching a playback of their previous trip.
Generally, you won’t have to pay anything to enjoy this hike, as there are countless free trails online that you can have a look at.
Are there any benefits?
Although it might sound as though there is no possible way to benefit from a virtual experience, there are a number of reasons why a virtual hiking trail might be good for the soul.
By partaking in a virtual hike, you will be able to visit places you might never have heard of, let alone visited before. And if the trip is one you enjoy, you can always add it to your bucket list for your post COVID-19 holiday as the tour will give you a great idea about how long the trail is and what you can expect along the way.
Virtual hiking is also a great way to de-stress. If you are looking for a way to escape the world, while stuck at home, a virtual hike is a fabulous way to rest your mind and just immerse yourself in what is happening on the trail.
Such hikes are also free of crowds and will allow you to enjoy the walk at your own pace. So if you have to press pause half way, you can always pick things up again later on. And best of all, there is absolutely no pressure. Yes, we’re looking at you fast hiking buddies!
And a virtual hike doesn’t necessarily have to be a non-interactive one. You can walk on a treadmill while on the hike, or you can even have it on while walking around the living room. This can become a great way to stay active while you are otherwise unable to do your regular exercise.
Some popular trails at the moment include Redwood National Park, Mount Baker, Mannlichen, and the Trakai Trails, all of which can be found on YouTube by doing a search using the words “virtual hiking”.