Hiking is an experience to look forward to. Whether with family, friends, or just by yourself, it’s a perfect way to explore and reconnect with nature. Depending on your preference, there are many places you can book and go hiking, such as India.
Packing appropriate gear and equipment is just as important as looking forward to and preparing for the hike. To help you out in this step, you need to make the following considerations:
- What does the weather forecast predict?
- How far do you plan to hike?
- How long do you plan to hike?
- How remote is the location?
Generally, the further/longer you’ll hike and the colder the weather, the more gear and equipment you will need.
That being said, the following are the top 5 things to carry with you when hiking:
A good backpack is essential for a hiking trip. A wheeled travel bag or some small shopping bags won’t do you justice. You want a bag that’s comfortable and sufficiently big enough to fit all your things. It should also be designed to suit your travel style.
When hiking during the warm weather, you can opt for a 30-45 liter backpack. However, when it comes to the cold weather, a bigger 50-60 liter backpack will suit you better. First-time hikers tend to go for the bigger backpacks because they’re easier to pack.
Whichever size you go for, remember to choose one that’ll allow you to bring one of the best travel tripods to perfectly capture the moments of your journey.
As we’re living in a digital world, it would be quite apparent to use phones and GPS units to navigate. However, do consider that you’re going to remote areas where the connection isn’t always reliable.
For backup, you need to get traditional. Carry a paper map and compass with you. These will help you stay on course and keep track of your movement. Hence, consider learning how to read maps before you go for your hike.
For the compass, you can consider reliability, durability, and weight, as it should be as light as possible. Also, go for one that guarantees a long battery life.
Remember to carry a power bank for your phone and GPS devices. These gadgets will supplement your maps and compass.
3. Appropriate Footwear
One rule of thumb when hiking is to never compromise the quality of your footwear. Uncomfortable shoes will have you tripping and might put your feet at the risk of injuries and blisters. The right hiking shoes should fit properly. Also make sure that the sole is dense, high, and made of rubber. Thus, you ought to consider protection, traction, and support when choosing your hiking footwear.
You can either opt for hiking shoes or hiking boots:
- Hiking Shoes: This low-top hiking footwear is best suited for short hikes and trips. There are some brands in the market made specifically for men and others for women. You’ll also find many unisex ones.
- Hiking Boots: These are the go-to option when you’re planning a more extended and tougher hike. You should also opt for hiking boots if you’re carrying a heavier pack, probably for an overnight trip.
Hiking boots have a couple of advantages such as offering ankle support and protection from water, scrapes, and bites. Most of the quality ones are also breathable, ensuring proper air circulation for your feet.
Additionally, you can carry a pair of sandals or slippers. These will allow your feet to refresh after a long and tiring walk. They will also come in handy when taking forest showers.
Hiking clothes should cater for both safety and comfort. You should check the comfort and quality of the clothes you’re carrying for your hike. Additionally, the weather forecast is a huge factor when planning for hiking clothes. You should be prepared for any unforeseen conditions or a night out.
Remember, the higher you go, the cooler it becomes. Hence, the need to carry extra clothing. If you plan to climb to the top of the mountain, you should have extra clothing for warmth.
Take note of these four layers of hiking clothes:
- First Layer: This is the layer that controls moisture. It also helps keep sweat away from your skin.
- Second Layer (Soft Shell): This layer should breathe well. It should be resistant to wind and water. Also, make sure it’s comfortable and durable.
- Hard Shell: This shell should be wind and waterproof. It should also be breathable.
- Insulating Layer: This is the layer that fits over all other layers. The clothes need to be synthetic or down-fill.
Many hikers tend to ignore socks. Good socks are mandatory for a good hiking experience. Other than the fact that it provides warmth and keeps your feet dry, they also cushion your feet and prevent blisters.
Also, carry sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and face from the sun.
Illumination is necessary for every hiking trip you take. Even if you’re not planning to stay out till late, sometimes, a hike could take longer than anticipated. You don’t want to get lost in the dark in such a situation.
In case that ever happens, you’ll be glad to be caught prepared. The headlamp will come in handy to not only help you find your way home but also prevent panic. This is also another reason why you should never leave your phone since you might need the flashlight.
If you’d planned to camp, you would need extra headlamps to light up your tent. Test your headlamps before your hike and also carry more batteries.
Hiking should be an experience you live to remember. To make it memorable, you need to be well prepared. There are a few things you need to check off as you prepare for your hike.
You should select a comfortable backpack that’s just the right size to fit all your gear. A compass and paper map will help you in your navigation. Also, pay attention to your footwear and clothes. Additionally, headlamps are crucial in case dusk catches up with you.