If you’ve spotted any hiking trails that you’re excited to get your boots on, you should make sure that you take a moment to pause and prepare before you start off on your adventure. Making sure that you’re packed and equipped effectively is crucial. You don’t want to forget something that might be vital to your comfort and safety. At the same time, you want to ensure that you’re not overpacking, since you’re going to be carrying everything on your back.
For that reason, we’re going to cover the essentials of what you need to bring with you when you go hiking. Don’t set off for any long excursions without the following items.
What should you wear?
The question of what to wear on your hike is largely going to depend on the kind of climate you can expect yourself to be exposed to. However, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you’re choosing waterproof, breathable clothes when you can. Waterproof trousers and a waterproof coat are essential. You want to prepare for sunshine, rain, and cold, so make sure that you have enough layers to be able to bundle up when you need to, as well as sunglasses and a hat to protect your face and eyes from the sun.
Real hiking kit
There are two pieces of kit that are more important than even the rest of the clothing that you bring on your hiking trip. The first is the shoes that you wear. You want to make sure that you have good, thick soles, while also having enough grip to help you deal with all kinds of terrain and, of course, you want them to be waterproof so that your feet don’t end up to easily soaked. Check out the hiking boots that are available to get a pair that ticks all three boxes. A good hiking backpack is crucial as well. You want the space to carry everything you need while managing and distributing the weight effectively so it’s easier to carry over long periods of time.
The self-care kit
It’s not all about what you wear, either. You want to make sure that you’re taking care of your needs while you’re out there. This means bringing sunscreen for one. Even if you just need to cover your face and even if it doesn’t seem too sunny, you should make sure that you’re prepared should the clouds break. SPF lip balm is a good idea as well, as you don’t want to end up with sore, chapped, burnt lips. Bug spray or repellent balms can help if you’re heading anywhere where you can expect insects to bother you.
Hiking can take a lot out of you. You need to make sure that you’re replenishing as best as you can during the trip. Of course, this means bringing as much water as you’re going to need during your trip. Dehydration is a serious problem worth avoiding.
A good, energizing snack like high protein bars is a good idea as well. You might not want to stop and sit for a full lunch, but you should make sure that you have something to give you a burst of energy when you’re heading towards the end of the trail.
We particularly like the bars from Stars + Honey, which come in a range of enticing flavours and boast 10g of grass-fed collagen peptides.
Your first-aid supplies
No one expects or wants any kind of accident or injury but, all the same, they can happen. As such, you should make sure that you have a first-aid kit on hand. Even a pre-packaged kind is going to be fine for the vast majority of needs. You should also take the time to learn some first aid skills if you’re going to be hiking on a regular basis.
Some survival tools
You never know when you might need to show some self-reliance out and about. If you’re caught in nasty weather, you might need to take shelter and even build your own fire, which can be done with firestarter cubes and stormproof matches. Practical tools like a multitool or swiss army knife can help you make sure that you’re ready in case you need to repair a tentpole or your gear. A little adhesive tape, such as simply duct tape, is very helpful, too. If one of the straps of your backpack goes, you want to be able to repair it.
Aside from simply reading the tips above, be sure to do your own research. Is there anything that you need to bring for a specific route or anything that might be more particular to your own needs? Take the time to think about it.