Next RV Trip, Take a Hike!

One obvious commonality RVers everywhere seem to share is our urge to explore. We all have that “itch” to get out and be adventurous and see the world…which is why we bought our homes on wheels in the first place. But there’s only so much exploring we can do from our captain’s chairs as we cruise down North America’s highways. So it isn’t surprising that hiking is a popular pastime for RVers.

The Fit RV Hiking Mountains

Our perfect hiking basecamp!

James and I are no exception to this, and we try to do a little hiking on every RV trip we take. Hiking’s a terrific excuse to get ourselves out of the RV, connect with nature, and push our limits. Unlike our other favorite pastime, bicycling, hiking is a cheaper, low-maintenance hobby, and doesn’t require lots of equipment to lug around. You can almost just open up the RV doors and go. ALMOST.

Hiking, like any outdoor activity, comes with its share of dangers: wild animals, weather, poisonous plants, etc. So being safe on your hikes is a big deal, and not to be taken for granted. But that’s not all. You also want to be comfortable and make any hiking adventure as pleasant as possible. Here are a few tips to make your next hike not only safer, but much more enjoyable.



The most important hiking supply you’ll ever need is water. How much you’ll need gets tricky depending on your distance, the trail’s intensity, the weather, etc. For an 8-12 mile day hike, you’ll want to carry at least 2 liters of water per person…maybe even more if it’s blazing hot out and the trail’s a tough one.

The Fit RV Hiking Drink Water


While drinking water on hikes is important, maintaining a mineral balance in your body is the real key to hydration. In an attempt to replace the minerals we lose through sweating and exertion, many people add Gatorade powder to their water.  It’s a good thought, but consider this: a 32 ounce Gatorade contains a staggering 14 teaspoons of sugar!  A better idea is to use a supplement that contains the essential minerals and electrolytes necessary to replenish our bodies during physical activity, without all the sugar and chemicals.  There are several products out there – the one we’ve been using lately is Bioplasma Sport, made by Hyland’s.  It comes in individual packets, which make it convenient for hiking.  But electrolyte replacement should be priority for any and all endurance sports…jogging, biking, whatever. Without keeping proper mineral balance during physical activity, our cells can’t function properly, and signs of dehydration will set in (and that’s no fun at all).



If your feet aren’t happy, you aren’t going to be happy.  Never underestimate the importance of good socks and hiking shoes.  Hiking footwear comes in a range of styles, from day hiking shoes all the way to bullet-proof mountaineering boots; but we suspect that most (but not all!) RVers would be better suited with something toward the hiking shoe end of the spectrum.  James and I are both currently rocking Vasque hiking shoes, because we like to travel with a hiking shoe as opposed to a boot.  (They take up a lot less room in a small RV!)  Vasque seems to build a lot of the features into their shoes that you’d normally have to move up to a boot or backpacking gear to find.  One example here is Vibram soles: I especially love a grippy sole on my hiking shoes, and my Vasques make me feel like my feet will stick to anything. They give me a little extra confidence when the terrain gets challenging. I’ve got a little problem with heights, so any extra advantage I can get out there helps.

Hey, 8 miles in, all uphill, I'm not opposed to taking a hand every now and then.

Hey, 8 miles in, all uphill, I’m not opposed to taking a hand every now and then.

But while Vasques work great for us, you’ve got to do your own matchmaking. Hit a store like REI, try a bunch on, talk to the helpful sales associates, and find a shoe that matches your hiking ambitions.  There’s no underestimating the importance of a good fit, so once you’ve settled on a style of shoe or boot, start trying them on.  Allow yourself plenty of time here – don’t rush the process.  You’re going to be spending a lot more time in the shoes than you ever will in the store, so make sure you get this right.

Grippy + Comfie = Happy Hikers

Grippy + Comfie + Durable = Happy Hikers

Socks are just as important. If you do that stick-hand-in-sock-drawer-and-pull-out-the-top-pair thing, you could be setting yourself up for a miserable hike. Cotton socks aren’t ideal for long hikes, since they retain moisture, aren’t as smooth as other materials, and could lead to blisters. Look for hiking-specific socks… a good pair of hiking socks will regulate temperature, wick moisture, absorb shock and help prevent blisters. There’s nothing worse than soaking wet feet miles away from the trailhead.


Smart Safety Accessories:

Besides plenty of water, you’ll need a few other things in your daypack. Here’s what we carry, and what we recommend you should consider carrying, too.


Yes, I know, that’s a pretty extensive list. Luckily, all the items are pretty small and pack down nicely.

The Fit RV James Hiking Backpack

Here’s James with 3 liters of water on his back, and all the items from our checklist above. Not bad!

While 99% of the time hiking goes off without a hitch, it’s always smart to plan for that 1%. But don’t let the fear of the unknown deter you. Hiking is healthy, energizing, simple, cheap, exciting, challenging…it delivers such immense rewards. And besides, you fellow RVers, admit it. Hiking calls to your adventurous side, the part of you that lusts for exploring and wandering. That’s why you read this whole article and that’s why your wheels are already turning about your next hike. Yep, mine are, too.

Stefany Adinaro is an RVing fitness pro and is the self-proclaimed “better half” of the Fit RV website. While she loves her RV adventures, her favorite adventure is being “Mugga” to grandbabies Amelia and Eli. When she's not on the road, you can find her training clients in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    8 thoughts on “Next RV Trip, Take a Hike!

    1. Steven Kuschner

      Thanks for your positive and enlightened presentations. Have you tried the Salewa shoes yet? We are workcamping and in Utah for the summer, with the shoes I find the rolling sensation helps me walk with much less fatique. Not sure they are worth the $139 pricetag but you usually get what you pay for.

      On a side note, have you ever seen a good massage chair in an RV, I am talking about the real deep tissue ones. I am thinking about installing one in our home so my curious question has some real world application.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        I have no clue about RV massage chairs, but what an interesting idea! How wonderful would THAT be after a long day of hiking?!?!?

        1. Joe B

          What could be better than giving each other a massage at the end of the day after a nice hike and adventures in the outdoors? Forget the chair and feel the sense of touch.

      2. James

        How much power does one of those massage chairs take? I have no clue, but depending on how much it was, it could be problematic to power it in an RV.
        (I agree with Stef though, it would be awesome!)

    2. Kimberly

      As always – great post. I wanted to pass along some info that may help other hikers. I bought Oboz brand day hikers and I really like them. I have a narrow heal – they fit well and are supportive. In addition to the safety accessories you mention, add lip balm, a hat, and a head net. The last item you will be happy you have if you are descended upon by flies or mosquitoes. Keeping them out of your face and ears is important as you attempt to escape. As far as RV’ing prep – while some folks have a “go bag” I have a “go hiking bag”. It carries all my hiking gear and I carry it in my car or put it in our RV when we are underway. That way, I am always prepared to venture out.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Great tips, Kimberly, thanks for sharing! Keeping it all in a “go bag” makes it so much easier, for sure. Happy hiking!

    3. Andy & Kim

      Great post Stefany. We’re heading out for a month on a 5 western state trip.
      We are looking forward to a lot of hiking … you got us “amped up” now!

      Question – Being on the “older” side of life we have decided to add trekking poles to our hiking gear (we hear they are good on the knees and upper body muscles). They are new to us so I have been researching …. and getting confused. We want to keep them economical, but not cut ourselves short.
      do you have any thoughts / recommendations on what to look for?

      Happy trails,
      Andy & Kim

      1. Stefany - Post author

        So interesting you ask about trekking poles, because I’m actually planning an article about their benefits! Glad to hear you’re looking to invest in some. They’re great for stability and balance, for enhancing the workout (more upper body, more calories burned), and there’s less stress on your lower joints when you use poles. But if you’re new to poles, be patient with them, because they do take some getting used to. That said, I really think the best way to choose trekking poles is to hit a store like REI, find a knowledgeable sales associate, and test some out. There are so many different options and features on poles (you can even get some that convert to camera monopods!), it’s way too overwhelming to choose poles online. Once you’ve tested out all the different options, you’ll be able to pinpoint what features you want and what isn’t necessary. THEN you can get online and shop for the best deal. Best of luck, you two! Take a pic when you’re out hiking with your new poles, I want to see what you end up with!


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