Hiking is a great way to explore the outdoors and be one with nature after being in the grueling parts of the city for too long. Basking in the sunlight, breathing in the fresh air—what more can you ask for? If you’re new to hiking, however, it is best that you know what to do when it comes to preparing for it. A well-prepared day hiker has all the essentials to make a hike a lot more comfortable and safe. Know what to bring on a hike by taking note of these five types of hiking gear that help ensure your safety and comfort while on the go.
Map, Compass, and GPS
These three essential items are the most important items at keeping a hiker safe. These not only tell you where you are and how far your destination will be but also help map out ideal places to stay for camp, water, and exit routes for emergency purposes. It is best to have both digital and analog sources of information for you to keep track of your location. A GPS device may be accurate, but because of how reliant it is to battery life, having a map and compass handy will be a safer decision than not carrying any backup navigation tools.
Tumblers and Water Purifiers
Water is essential in keeping your body up to the task when hiking. It will help maintain your body’s performance level while on the hike, and it’s never a bad idea to have extra. Water is more important than food so it is highly imperative that one should keep hydrated at all times. Keep a 1.5-liter tumbler or bigger when hiking to ensure that you have water when necessary. Carry a small water purifier to be able to pump water from natural sources like streams, ponds, or lakes. For every four to five miles you hike, the body needs to consume about a liter of water a day.
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Since hiking is all about walking, ensuring that your footwear is the best one there is for a hike will make you a happy hiker. The correct shoes-and-socks combo is essential for a hiker. If a short hike is intended, then trail shoes are a great choice. For longer hikes, trail boots are more recommended. Trail shoes have flexible midsoles that make them perfect for day hiking and are usually lighter as they are intended for shorter trips with light loads.
Backpacking, or trail, boots are designed to carry heavier loads on longer trips and have excellent well-rounded support for the whole foot up to the ankles. Ensure that your shoe matches the kind of hiking trip to lessen the burdens that your feet will get into.
A good rock-solid backpack that can last for years of hiking is a must. This must be comfortable to carry yet big enough to fit all the necessary items that you will be lugging around for all the duration of the hike. Some packs will have design features catered specifically to the needs of a hiker, so take advantage of these. Make sure that a rain cover for the bag is provided, and use it when the time comes.
Layered Clothing and Rain Gear
The correct layers of clothing for a hiker will make or break the whole trip for you, so make sure that the items you will be donning are comfortable enough to walk around in and thick enough to help shield you from unnecessary wounds. Other essential items that you should wear include convertible mittens for women that can be changed according to the weather. Rain gear is also essential since the weather can change drastically while on a trip. Just remember to avoid cotton as it keeps moisture close to your skin and will wear you down, and always carry a hat.
There are other hiking essentials like a first aid kit, safety items (fire starters, light, and a whistle) that one should also add to the list which will make your hike a safe trip. Make sure these items and gear are checked twice before setting off for the actual hike to ensure that everything is ticked off from the list. And lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the hike!
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