Essential hiking gear you need before you hit the trail
Hiking is a great way to stay fit, get some fresh air and enjoy nature. But before you set out on your next hike, it’s important that you have the correct gear as well as knowledge of how to use that equipment. Let this guide to essential hiking gear help. We’ll discuss the basics of different types of equipment and give you all the information that you need to select the essential hiking gear as a beginner.
Before you get started
Whether you are looking for an easy stroll or something more challenging, there are hiking trails for beginners of every level. If you’re new to hiking, bear a few important things in mind so that you can have fun while staying safe at all times.
• Start with an easy hike to get your feet wet or find a hiking trail that is appropriate for your skill level. If you aren’t certain of a trail’s difficulty, call the local parks and recreation organization to help pick the right trail.
• Pack the right gear — we’ll get to that soon — including water and snacks. It is also essential to bring a map, compass and first-aid kit with allergy medicine as well.
• Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that will protect your feet from rocks and roots. Bring an extra layer of clothing in case it gets colder or wetter than expected.
• Bring a friend with you or hike with others. Not only will you likely appreciate the company, but it’s also much safer to hike with a buddy (or buddies).
Before you head out on your next hike, make sure to have the necessary equipment. Here’s the most essential hiking gear you need to gather before you hit the trail.
Essential hiking boots
Hiking boots are essential for hiking. They keep your feet warm and dry and protect them from the rough terrain of trails. We think you can’t go wrong with a pair of the Eddie Bauer Severson Moc-Toe. These are excellent, rugged, waterproof, unisex hiking boots that provide arch support and great traction to get you through even the roughest of terrain.
Essential hydration bottle
You should always make sure to take plenty of water when you go hiking. It’s almost impossible to overestimate how much you really need. In fact, many recommend that you should carry with you at least a liter per person for every hour that you hiking. The water bottle you keep at your desk isn’t going to cut it on the trail. Instead, we recommend the HydroJug, a sturdy bottle that lets you carry half a gallon of water (64 ounces) and comes with pockets and an adjustable strap for hands-free carrying.
Essential GPS system
If you intend to hike, it’s essential to bring a GPS device — yes, in addition to your smartphone — because the terrain can be difficult if the area is new to you. And while your phone may have a map in it, good cell service isn’t guaranteed. Neither is the layout of the trail. The Garmin GPSMAP 64x handheld GPS offers extended battery life, and it operates off of multiple satellites, making it much more reliable than your phone alone. You’ll be glad to have it, especially in an emergency.
Ladies and gentlemen, wear sunscreen. One of the most essential hiking items we can recommend to you is sunscreen. Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses protect your skin from harmful UV rays. We like Solar Goo sunscreen by Green Goo. Solar Goo contains only seven all-natural ingredients. It’s also waterproof, moisturizing and free of chemicals. That means it’s good for you, blocking harmful rays and relieving symptoms of sun damage, and it’s good for the environment too.
Essential insect repellant
Protection against mosquitos and other bugs that can carry diseases like West Nile virus or Lyme disease is a must for hikers. Depending on the season, you’ll need to make sure you have bug spray or insect repellent with you out on the trails. Bug Botanist’s Mosquito Repellant Spray is an excellent option. It’s made of essential oils and designed by chemists and entomologists to work without the use of toxic ingredients, so you’re safe to spray it in any environment.
Essential first-aid kit
There are lots of first-aid kits out there to fit your specific needs. Make sure you get a first-aid kit with bandages, gauze pads, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment packets and antihistamines. Be sure to customize your kit with any prescription medication you need to take on a regular basis. Like we said, you have plenty of options, but we like the first-aid kit from Adventure Medical Kits, which comes in a convenient bag, so you can carry anything you need in it.