Hiking is a pastime enjoyed by many people the world over and has experienced a surge of popularity since the Coronavirus pandemic. As lockdowns around the globe have been eased many people are looking for a trip away. However, with international travel still a minefield, hiking is the perfect activity to get a break and enjoy the countryside. For many new hikers it is a trip into the unknown as they will not be sure of what kit is needed to make it fun, but more importantly, to make it safe.
The last thing you want is any mishaps along the way, so here we are going to take a look at the most essential gear that you need to take with you if you are thinking of going hiking.
Perhaps the most important thing of all is a good sturdy pair of walking boots.
If you are going to be walking all day long, or perhaps for longer on a weekend trip, then you need to look after your feet or you are not going to get very far.
Make sure you go to a specialist store and have your feet measured properly and buy some thick socks.
Before you go on your first trip you will need to break in your new boots as the leather will likely be quite tough, and you don’t want to risk getting blisters on your first expedition.
Once you return home, you need to look after your boots and clean them so that they are in the best possible condition for your next trip.
When hiking you need something to transport all of your gear, whether you are going for a day trip or a longer trek.
The size of your rucksack will be determined by the length of your trip, but what isn’t in doubt is that your rucksack needs to be of a sufficient quality that it can carry heavy items in a comfy manner.
It should have wide padded straps over the shoulders and around the waist, and it is often useful if it has a built-in water system so that you can easily stay hydrated without having to stop and delve into the pockets every five minutes.
Pack depending on your needs so that overnight gear is at the bottom, and anything that you might need during the day is at the top and easily accessible.
A survival kit
The wilderness can be a dangerous place at times, especially if you are heading out onto the moors or into a forest, as weather conditions can change in an instant leaving you exposed.
A knife is an essential bit of kit, in case you need to build a shelter, and you should also carry a first aid kit for any emergency needs.
It is possible to purchase survival kits that will have all the essentials in one place but do some equipment reviews first to make sure that you have everything for your needs.
For example, a radio transmitter may not be needed if you are just going hiking in the local park, but if you are heading up a mountain it is advisable so that you can alert the authorities if you get into serious difficulties.
Food and drink
It sounds stupid but you would not believe the number of people who do not take adequate provisions with them when they go out hiking.
Hiking is an extremely calorie intensive activity so you will need much more food than you would consume in an average day.
If you are lugging around a heavy backpack and traversing hilly terrain it will take its toll so ensure you have high-calorie snacks with you to keep you going.
Nobody can survive without water, so you must have a decent water bottle, and while you will often pass streams to refill it, you don’t know how clean the water is, so you will either need to boil it before drinking or you can use some water purification tablets to make sure that it is potable.