The No. 1 Camping Activity (And How You Can Do More of It)

Fishing, biking, photography—they're all fun camping activities, but none of them are the most popular. According to the 2013 American Camper Report, 70 percent of campers surveyed said they enjoy hiking, making it the clear-cut favorite. Outdoor cooking came in at a distance second with 32 percent.

Luckily, you don't have to go camping to enjoy this outdoor activity. You can hike anytime and nearly anywhere, all year round. Use hiking as a chance to relax, work out or spend time with friends and family.

Here are three ways you can hike more:

More: The No. 1 Reason You Feel Refreshed After Camping

1. Find a Nature Trail

Most cities are surrounded by nature trails; both in parks and neighboring wooded areas. Nearby hiking trails present a great opportunity to hike on the weekend or after work because of their close proximity to your home. Not to mention, nature trails often provide easy terrain with minimal elevation gain, making them ideal for hiking with young kids.

More: 9 Nature Trails for Your Next Family Hike

2. Mark Your Calendar

Just like any other appointment, mark a hike on the calendar so that you're more likely to commit to it. Make Sunday hikes a weekly ritual, or a once-a-month family tradition.

Mark your calendar with a camping trip instead of just a hike and spend long days on the trail. If you have minimal vacation time, find a camping spot within 2 hours of your city for a quick, rejuvenating trip.

3. Explore in the Offseason

Hiking season doesn't end when summer does. Hitting the trail in the fall, winter and spring is even better than in the summer. Thanks to cooler temperatures and a change of scenery—fall leaves, snowy trails, budding flowers—it's often more enjoyable too.

For fall hiking, find a national scenic trail in your region. And, when hiking with snow on the ground, keep the important winter safety tips in mind.

More: 10 Southern California Hikes With Waterfalls

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About the Author

Jessica Sanders

Jessica Sanders is the Associate Online Editor for ReserveAmerica.com. After many years of camping and hiking in the Northeast, she's exploring what the West has to offer and sharing all of her knowledge with you. She's a s'mores master, campsite connoisseur, writer, runner and lover of all things outdoors. Follow her on Google+

Jessica Sanders is the Associate Online Editor for ReserveAmerica.com. After many years of camping and hiking in the Northeast, she's exploring what the West has to offer and sharing all of her knowledge with you. She's a s'mores master, campsite connoisseur, writer, runner and lover of all things outdoors. Follow her on Google+

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