When you're ready to face the outdoors, you're going to want to make sure that you're prepared. With the right equipment and supplies, hiking can be a great way to spend time with friends or family, get some exercise in your day-to-day life, and bravely explore new territory.
In this article we'll discuss what we consider the essential pieces of equipment for any hiker.
Comfortable Hiking Boots
Hiking boots should be comfortable and well-fitting with supportive ankles and thick soles that provide good traction on slippery surfaces. Hiking boots should also be waterproof so your feet don’t get wet, and lightweight so you can walk long distances without feeling fatigued or weighed down by the extra weight of your shoes.
Hiking socks are a must-have. Good hiking socks are lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking to keep your feet dry in any weather conditions you encounter on your adventure. They'll protect your feet from blisters and keep your feet warm and dry.
A Good Backpack
A good backpack is key to carrying all your hiking essentials along for your adventure! It should be large enough to carry all the essentials for a day hike and comfortable enough so that it doesn't weigh you down. It also helps if your hiking backpack has some sort of waist belt for added support to make carrying your gear easier on the trails.
Sun protection is a must when you’re spending time outdoors. Keep in mind that whether you're hiking in the desert or climbing to the top of a mountain, sunburn can happen even on cloudy days. The best way to protect your skin is by applying sunscreen before you go outside and reapplying throughout the day (check your product label for specific time interval instructions).
Insect bites can cause serious irritation and itching if left untreated. To protect yourself from mosquitos, ticks, and other biting insects while hiking, apply a bug repellent 30 minutes before going outdoors, then reapply every two hours after swimming or sweating heavily. To help prevent bug bites, you can also cover up your exposed skin with long sleeves, pants, and/or scarves if seasonally appropriate.
Navigation tools are a must-have for any hiker. Whether you're navigating through the woods or trying to find your way back home, these items will help keep you on track and ensure that you never get lost.
A compass is one of the most basic navigation tools out there, and it's something every hiker should have in their backpack. A compass can help guide hikers through rough terrain by keeping them oriented in relation to the north. It also helps ensure that they stay on course when following trails or routes marked on maps or GPS devices.
Another essential tool for hikers who like getting lost is a map of their surroundings—preferably one that shows both general topography and specific landmarks such as townships, rivers, streams, lakes, etc.
First Aid Supplies
If you're going to be hiking in the wilderness, it's best to be prepared for any injury or illness that could occur.
In addition to bandages, you'll want to pack some antibiotic ointment and pain reliever (like ibuprofen). Antidiarrhea medication is also recommended if there's a risk of getting sick from drinking water sources along your route. Motion sickness pills are another good precautionary measure against nausea caused by hiking at high altitudes or on rocky terrain.
Food and Water
You're going to be out in the wild for a while, so it's important to bring enough food and water with you. If you're planning on hiking for more than a day or two, it's best to pack enough food and water so that you won't have to worry about running out during your trip.
A good quality knife is a must-have item for any outdoor enthusiast. There are many times when a knife can be used for first aid purposes, food preparation and other hiking tasks. A sharp blade is also helpful in an emergency if you need to cut through something like rope or clothing that has gotten tangled or caught.
A Headlamp or Flashlight
Don’t forget a source of light for when it gets dark outside! Headlamps are an easy, wearable light source, and a light flashlight in your bag, as well as extra batteries, can help guide you through the night.
Your Phone and ProGrip
To capture photos of your adventures and have your trusty lifeline, you’ll want to bring your smart phone with a ProGrip, no-slip phone grip attached to ensure your phone stays securely attached to your hand for your entire adventure.