Hiking in the great outdoors is a staple of any camping trip and can be fun to do in different ways. If you find yourself on a trail system that has a lot of different directions you can go, such as Saugatuck Dunes State Park, we have a great game for you. Try this penny flip hiking game and see where it takes you!
Benefits of Hiking
Hiking is good for your body, mind, and soul! Did you know that regular hiking lowers your risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, and improves balance? It also has positive psychological side effects as well. Taking a hike can boost your mood, which can relieve things like depression and anxiety! Kids who regularly take hiking trips are less likely to be overweight, have better bone health, and sleep better at night! So go take a hike! Your body will thank you for it!
How it Works
Before setting off on your Penny Flip Hike, decide which side of the penny stands for which direction. For example, heads is right and tails is left! When you get to a fork in the trail, flip the penny. Whichever side it lands on is the direction you take! You can take the same trail system multiple times and end up in a different spot each time when playing this game!
If you’re hiking on an unfamiliar trail and don’t have a map, you may want to either leave yourself clues on how to get back to your starting point or bring some paper and a pen with you. As you walk the trails, you can make your own map and then use it to get back to your starting point.
This is a great opportunity for conversation and taking photos of things you don’t see in your day-to-day routine. You can even print out a scavenger hunt to do along the way or make up your own! Taking the time to collect leaves can make for an educational activity when you get back as you can try to identify the types of leaves you’ve found. If you want to get your campers looking around and paying attention, play a game of “I Spy” while you hike.
Things to Bring
For the most part, all you need for a hiking trip is a good pair of shoes! Tennis shoes will work for an occasional hike, but if you plan to make hiking a regular activity, then you’ll want to invest in a good pair of hiking boots. Hiking footwear has deeper treads that help grip the ground and prevent slipping. They also offer your feet and ankles a little more support than you would get with a normal shoe to help prevent sprains.
In a small hiking backpack, pack some snacks and bottles of water, especially if you’re going to be gone for more than just an hour or two. You don’t want to get dehydrated.
A compass or GPS system can come in handy with a hike like this since you really have no real plan on where you’re going. In the event that you get lost, these would prove to be invaluable tools in helping you get back to where you need to be.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you go and bring some extra so you can reapply later. Even in the woods you can get sunburned!
Here are a few more variations of a hike like this that will help you get lost!
Color Hike: Pick a color that you know you will see in the area you’re hiking. Each time you come to the fork or intersection, look for that color. The path with the most of that color is the one you go on!
Number Hike: This is the same concept as the color hike only you pick a number. When you get to the fork in the woods, whichever direction has a leaf with that many points, or a tree with that many branches, you go in that direction.
For another great way to experience the beauty of the woods, go on a geocaching adventure!
Have you ever used the Penny Flip Hiking game before? Let us know how you play the game in the comments below!