Why Wait? 5 Ways to Sneak in a Midweek Hike
We’ve all been there. Crowded parking lots and jam-packed trails, ending in an epic, hours-or-days-long hike. They’re the kind of hiking trips of legends. Insta-worthy photos and lifelong memories. But let’s be real here. Those types of trips take a lot of time and energy. Sometimes it’s nice to mix it up and get ready for those big backpacking journeys with short day hikes closer to home.
For those fast, short hikes, we love our KEEN Tempo Flex collection. They’re lighter than our more heavy-duty hiking shoes and can just as easily be your everyday sneaker. Like a hiking boot/comfy kicks mash-up. They’re designed to bend easier thanks to our built-in flex technology. You know how your hiking boots always seem to crack or weaken at the same spot? We noticed it, too. Accordion-like bellows on the outsole flex and bend to move with you, so there’s less friction. Which makes them faster, so you can blaze through that quick hike without your shoes slowing you down.
Here are a few ideas to find more flex time and add some midweek hikes into your work week and fitness routine:
1. HAPPY HOUR HIKE, ANYONE?
Feeling that weekday lull? Don’t grab an energy drink or another coffee. Give yourself a little boost with a quick, afternoon trek. Create a recurring date for yourself (or invite a friend or three) to go on a hike.
Not sure where to start? Track down a day-trip hiking book or a city trail map. You might be shocked to find out how many options are within 20 miles of your home. If you’re in our hometown of Portland, one of our favorite hikes is the Ridge Trail hike in Forest Park, with 900 feet of elevation gain and a spectacular view of St. Johns Bridge.
Pro tip: Plan your trip to end at a bonafide happy hour or pack a celebratory drink to-go. You can toast to a hike well-done with a friend or raise a chai to TGIF vibes.
2. DOWN TO HIKE AT DAWN
Pick one day every week to wake up before sunrise and hit the trail. Not only will you most likely be all alone to enjoy nature, but you might even catch a sunrise (because why should sunsets get all the glory?).
Starting your day with an early morning hike will help you feel accomplished before you even begin your regular scene. While everyone else is still snoring, you’ll be hearing the birds and burning calories. Bonus: everything will seem just a bit easier when you remember that you’ve already hiked a few miles today.
Pro tip: Are you the type to not want to leave the cozy warmth of your bed before it’s even light outside? We get it. Our best advice is to find a hiking buddy, so you both can convince one another it really is a good idea to wake up and hike when the alarm goes off.
3. MAKE A BREAK AT LUNCH
Sure, you could totally eat at your desk while typing. Or catch up on all those cat videos you missed in the morning. Or, you could grab a protein bar, fill up your water bottle, and listen to your playlist or a new podcast (like this one!) while you get your shoes dirty and a little more broken in.
Plus, that midday screen break could be just the thing to crack that creative idea. (Yes, go ahead and block that hour on your calendar right now!)
4. EXPLORE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
No need to go 50 miles from home to find nature. Spoiler alert: it’s everywhere. You’re literally in nature right now. (Well, assuming you’re outside.) Ten blocks may be all you need to travel to discover the wilderness.
Create a short list of parks you’d like to visit in your city. That spot you’ve driven by a million times may be your new favorite. Every city has its hidden gems, so play tourist in your own backyard. Oh, hello long set of stairs with a view of the water. Well, nice to meet you, wildlife preserve on the edge of the ‘burbs. Hi there, wooded area in the middle of the city.
A “hike” is in the eye of the behiker. So, expand your definition and discover some undiscovered spots.
5. GYM SKIP DAY
Pick a day to hit the trail instead of the gym. Simply lace up your Tempo Flex hiking shoes, and you’re ready. Instead of staring out a window, you can actually be outside the window. That beautiful mountain landscape mural in your studio? Guess what? You’ll be seeing it IRL.
Switch up your cardio and get a bonus leg workout with a midweek hike. Plus, when you do decide to take that longer bucket-list hike this summer, all those hours on the trail will make it feel like NBD.
Bonus tip: Want to add an extra challenge to that midweek hike? Add rucking to your trip. That’s just a fancy word for packing a few extra pounds into your pack. It’s easy to get out there and make the most of your quick hike without leaving the city.
Bonus bonus tip: When you are ready to do some serious distance, our Ridge Flex hiking boots are designed for epic, all-day hikes with a construction that's a little more rugged than the KEEN Tempo Flex. They use the same KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX technology, so your boots will flex easier and last longer.
Whether it's lunchtime on a Wednesday or all day on a Sunday, it always feels good to find a trail and get a dose of nature therapy. Carve out that time, and see you out there!