If you’re like most people, then you don’t prepare to go for a walk. You just put your shoes on and walk out the door. Unfortunately, many people treat a hiking trip as little more than a long walk, and that can be a bad idea.
Think of it this way: When you go for a walk, you stay in your neighborhood. That means that you’re never far from help in the unlikely event that you get too tired to walk home.
When you go hiking, you’re in a completely different environment.
Carrying the proper hiking gear will not only keep you safe but also allow you to have fun. What are the essentials that hikers need to carry?
1. Food and Water
One of the aspects of hiking that is often underestimated is the potential for dehydration. When you hit the trail without carrying enough water, you can quickly find yourself in trouble.
Whether it’s hot out or, when you’re hiking in one of the cooler months of the year in your region–an insulated water bottle for water can stabilize your liquid intake for hot, cold or temperate no matter the outside climate.
Depending on the temperature outside and the distance you plan to cover, you’ll need at least a couple of bottles per person.
Since hiking can wear you out if you’re not careful, remember to eat before setting out. You’ll also want to pack a nutritious lunch.
Hiking on a hot day can not only put you at risk of becoming dehydrated but also increases your chances of getting heatstroke.
Wearing a white hat is a good way to keep from overheating and will allow you to stay on the trail longer.
If you don’t own a hat, then pack a white towel instead.
When you are hiking in winter weather, of course, a snowcap or beanie will serve to keep you warm.
Bottom line: wear the hat that will protect from the exposure no matter the season of the year.
3. GPS, Cell Phone, Map and Compass
No one plans to get lost when they go hiking, but it continues to happen nevertheless.
Taking a GPS device or cell phone can be a big help. In case they stop working, be sure to take a map and compass as well.
4. First Aid Kit and Walking Stick
In addition to getting lost, hikers are frequently injured, so it makes sense to carry a first aid kit every time you hit the trail. Since sprained ankles are common, it’s also a good idea to carry a walking stick.
Walking sticks, also popularly known as trekking poles, or Nordic walking sticks come in foldable, i.e. packable, styles, you can see more about them at the Walking Stick Buyers Guider here >>>.
5. Insect Repellent
The whole point of hiking is to have fun, but insect bites can quickly make you miserable. Carrying insect repellent is a good way to ensure that you enjoy your outing.
Hiking can be an unpredictable activity. Being prepared for a variety of different situations will allow you to get the most from your trip. You wouldn’t go on vacation without packing the essentials, and hiking is no different.