You can take hiking as a low-impact workout and still as a great way of enjoying the outdoors. If you are new to hiking, you would have the question, what do you need to go hiking?
Well, it is logical for someone new to hiking not to be sure how to proceed. It is why we have come up with this guide to give some tips and the essentials you need for your first hike.
If you can plan your hike correctly and get the right gear, you should end up with a memorable first hike.
Here are some tips on planning for the hiking trip and making it successful.
How to Plan for a Hiking Trip
When you decide to take on a hike, it is recommended that you start small before going hard. The first hike should be short and within your fitness level.
Try to estimate the amount of time it would take to cover the hike. From this time, you can know if it would be possible for you or not.
Also, inquire from friends who love to hike. They would give tips on which trail would be great to use when you are still a beginner.
Get Familiar with the Trail
So, you have selected the best trail for you to try out; what follows is to familiarize yourself with the track.
Grab a map of the trail to check out the different features trail. Online resources can also be great for those new to using the trail.
Sometimes people who have used the trail will have their reviews posted online. It is from these thoughts that you can learn more about the trail.
Researching more about the trail will help you understand what you need to carry for the hike. It will also help you know what to wear for the trail.
Always Consider the Weather
Before you can head out to enjoy the hike, make sure that you check the weather.
This will give you essential information on how to dress for the weather. The last thing you want is to dress for cold weather, and it ends up being too hot outdoors. You will then have to carry the extra clothes making the hike uncomfortable.
You can always check out the different weather apps to understand what to expect in terms of weather.
Let Your Friends Know Where Your Will Be
Let people know where you will be hiking. This is for those who will not be on the trail. This is crucial so that if you do not show up as expected, people will know where to start looking for you.
There is always the worry time after it gets dark and you cannot be reached. So, some people would carry emergency tracking devices they can activate so that rescuers can come to get them.
Always take your safety seriously. If you are lost, always ask for help. Also, consider going with experienced friends not to get too worried when you get lost.
Always Pack the Right Essentials
Still on what you need to go hiking, consider packing the right essentials. These supplies and gear will make your hike more accessible and better.
Depending on how much time you plan to spend on the hike, you can always decide what to carry. If you plan to spend the night, you might have to get yourself a lot more supplies for the trip.
We will discuss more of these essentials below to understand what you need for the trip.
You should also not carry too much gear that you probably do not need. We always recommend that you come up with a checklist tailored to the hike.
Wear the Correct Socks and Shoes for Hiking
This is something people often underestimate when they decide to try out hiking.
No one wants to end up with painful feet simply because they did not invest in quality hiking socks and shoes.
When we say hiking shoes, they do not have to be heavy leather boots but rather something tailored to improve your hiking experience.
It is common for people to skimp on socks. You should invest in synthetic or wool socks. Stay away from cotton socks.
Consider packing blister dressings so that you can attend to blisters just in case they happen.
Still, on what you need to go hiking, we recommend that you pace yourself. The last thing you need is to be overwhelmed by the trial. Some like to power through the trail as fast as possible but end up draining themselves before the fun begins.
You should pick a steady pace that you can maintain the whole day. This is crucial as you will thank yourself when you get to a hill.
This is more reason to go hiking with experienced friends. They would give you more tips and techniques to follow to improve your hiking experience.
Keep it Light
Trails can be tough on most people. It is why you need to keep it light on what you will be carrying for the trail. This means that you go for the lightest option when choosing the gear and supplies you need.
Going for the lightest model does not mean you go for the most unreliable. You would always want to get yourself something great to ensure that your hiking is satisfying and safe.
10 Essentials Your Need for a Great Hike
We have talked about planning in this what you need to go hiking guide above. Now it is time to see what kind of hiking essentials and gear you need to make your hiking experience awesome. Below, we look at the top 10 options to consider.
When you are going to a new place, it is always good to get yourself a map and a trusty compass. These are two navigation components you should always have on any hiking trip that you decide to take on.
A topo map and compass are reliable, lightweight, and will not run out of batteries compared to using a phone. Well, you can always rely on Google Maps if the area has network coverage.
You need to brush up on your skills of reading and interpreting a map. This will ensure that you can get to the destination with ease.
2. Sunscreen and Sun Protection
Another thing you have to consider on what you need to go hiking is sun protection. Even if the weather looks cloudy, you always have to consider getting yourself sun protection such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and SPF lip balm.
It would help if you also got yourself a brimmed hat and other types of protective clothing for your hiking trip. We all know that without the proper sun protection, you will end up with bad sunburns, cracked lips, and more.
No one wants to end up with cracked lips or even worse. It will take only a few minutes to apply sunscreen and stay protected for a longer while outdoors.
3. Extra Clothing is Important
The weather in the wilderness can quickly change, so we recommend that you also get yourself extra clothes for insulation. It does not have to be heavy clothes, but just an extra pair to keep you warm and comfortable in case you get wet.
A good example is getting a hooded jacket when you go for a hike. Even if the forecast says there are no chances of rain, you need to be prepared just in case it happens.
You should avoid cotton products. This is because cotton material takes too long to dry. The cotton clothes can also pull heat from the body, which you need at this point.
We recommend that you wear dry synthetic clothes that can be great for the outdoor environment. They will also help in keeping you from soaking in sweat.
People assume that hiking has to take place only during the day. However, a trip can take longer, and you end up on a trail when it is late. So, you need to get yourself the best illumination to not end up in an accident.
For most people, a smartphone would have a flashlight. So, they will find it is adequate to use on a hiking trip.
We still recommend that you get yourself a flashlight with the best brightness. At least you will now see better in the darkness and find your way home.
5. First Aid Kit
Yes, having a first aid kit is essential for what you need to go hiking. There are a lot of uncertainties when you decide to go hiking. There are times when you would get hurt and need immediate medical attention. It is easy to see why a first aid kit will come in handy at this point.
Ensure that your first aid kit has everything you need in an emergency. Also, the supplies need to be new and of high quality. Some people have first aid kits with expired supplies.
6. Fire Starting Supplies
The fire-starting supplies are essential for you to start a fire whenever possible.
You do not get regular matches for hiking; you need something good to handle different weather conditions. You end up in a storm and need to start the fire. It is the best when you get storm-proof matches.
Another choice would be to use Firestarter cubes. They can be great for starting a fire, especially in wet conditions. Once the fire is lit, you can at least have something to keep you warm.
7. A Comprehensive Repair Kit and Other Tools
Yes, it would help if you also had a repair kit and other related tools on what you need to go hiking. This is because you should quickly repair your gear while hiking.
A simple tool such as a Swiss Army Knife can come in handy to handle different cutting and repair needs. You can also get yourself duct tape in addition to the repair kit. Considering that duct tape can patch up almost anything, it is crucial to always have it with you.
Of course, you will also need food to be part of what you need to go hiking. You need to get the best food in terms of nutrition, calories, and more.
The food you get should give you all the energy to sustain your hiking activity. Well, hiking needs a lot of energy. It is why you have to get the right food.
You can also opt for snacking on bars, dried fruits, jerky, and nuts. This ensures that you get the best calories to tackle the hills.
In addition to food, what do you need to go hiking? There is also water. Hydration is crucial to keep you going for longer while hiking. The body needs water for its critical systems to work correctly. Without hydration, you might not go for long before you break down because of thirst.
The amount of water you can carry on a hiking trip depends on the trail terrain and how long you will be hiking.
This is for those who might have to take several days of hiking. You will always need the best shelter for all those days you will be hiking.
This might mean carrying more supplies, but at least you will have a decent place to sleep and relax. Get a tent to cover your friends who will be hiking with you. Since you are carrying the tent, let another person on the trip have the other supplies.
Now, you have the answers to the question, what do you need to go hiking. We recommend that you take your time to prepare adequately for the trip. You do not want to get to the hike unprepared without the right gear. The worst can be when you are using the wrong shoes. Blisters will not be kind to you—same as painful feet. With the proper preparation, you can expect to have the best time hiking.