They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and that phrase is especially true when it comes to Instagram.
Everyone who uses Instagram knows that a person’s photographs can say a lot about them, whether consciously or subconsciously. With Instagram, users are able to present a side of themselves to the world that they approve of. Filters are a great metaphor for how people share bits and pieces of their lives through a filtered lens. While some people use this tool to upload flattering selfies or show off how popular they are among friends, others like to prove how adventurous they are (or at least how adventurous they would like people to think that they are). The thing is, there are a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into that hiking photo that Instagram could never show.
Hiking is a wonderful and healthy activity. Those who do it often develop an appreciation for nature that can only be gained through experience.
Then again, hiking can also provide a great profile picture for all of those looking to appear “granola." The problem with going hiking, or doing anything solely “for the ‘Gram," is that many people are unaware of what they are getting themselves into before it’s too late.
Instagram might provide the check-in location for a great hike, but the most important thing for anyone considering going hiking is that they research and prepare for their hike before they go. This can include researching the area and having all of the tools one might need if a problem occurs. There is nothing wrong with being a beginner when it comes to hiking; after all, everyone needs to start somewhere. However, it is required that beginners are smart with themselves and the environment.
Hiking takes work. Hiking does not have to be hard, but it does require the endurance to keep going while in a middle of a hike. The good news is that there are multiple levels of difficulty when it comes to hiking and there are many trails that match up with specific hiking capabilities. Because hiking is done in, you know, nature, there are a many things to look out for. 90 percent of those problems are the different types of bugs one might run into, so bug spray might be a smart investment. In fact, this entire list is full of helpful suggestions for hikers.
Instagram doesn’t show a lot when it comes to hiking. It doesn’t show the blisters that develop on that back of your heels after hiking for eight hours straight. It doesn’t show the itchy bug bites or the one-too-many ticks removed. It doesn’t show all of the slipping and falling done along the trail. It doesn’t show the sunburns, windburns, and every uncomfortable feeling in-between.
What Instagram does show, however, is the breathtaking view snapped from the top of a mountain that was once originally intended to prove you’re adventurous to your Instagram followers, but now means something entirely different. That Instagram photograph is now a reminder of all you were able to accomplish on that hike and is a personal reminder to cover even more ground next time.