American Institute for Cancer Research

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Take a Hike: Your Guide to Hitting the Trails

This summer why not ditch your regular exercise routine and take the path less traveled? Hiking is a fun, low-cost way to get active and enjoy the great outdoors all at once. And with opportunities for any age and ability level and over 170,000 miles of trail to choose from, it’s the perfect way to add some adventure to your life. Start now by using this guide to plan your next weekend hike!

The Basics

These hiking fundamentals are important for both the novice and the seasoned hiker. You can download our pdf file to take along as a handy one page Hiking Reference Guide.



Remember to bring a trash bag with you to collect your garbage—most hikers follow the leave no trace philosophy


The Essentials

Before you hit the trails make sure to consult this essential checklist. These important items will keep you safe and help make your hiking experience more enjoyable.

  1. Map and Compass
  2. First Aid Kit
  3. Sun Protection
  4. Pocketknife
  5. Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  6. Extra food
  7. Extra clothing
  8. Matches and fire starter
  9. Water—and lots of it!
  10. Cell phone or radio

First Aid Kit

  1. Band-aids
  2. Bug repellant
  3. Gauze pads
  4. Adhesive tape
  5. Antiseptic
  6. Burn cream
  7. Aspirin
  8. Allergy medicine
  9. Rescue blanket
  10. Eye wash

The Benefits

Mountain HikingHiking isn’t just a great way to explore nature; it also comes outfitted with tons of health benefits! And an activity this fun will help you meet AICR’s guideline for at least 30 minutes of daily, moderate physical activity in a new, creative way. So what can hiking do for you?

The Details

Ready to get started today? Here are a few go-to sources to give you the important details.

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