Seasoned hikers know the importance of having the right equipment unfortunately most newcomers struggle to get an idea of what they need. It can be difficult because different hiking trails require different equipment and many newbie’s don’t understand the need for so much equipment. However, having the best hiking equipment will be necessary when you are heading outdoors and you will need to know what you should be taking with you. Here is just a handful of the best hiking equipment you will need.
Choosing a suitable backpack is crucial when it comes to hiking, however, you don’t just have one or two backpacks to choose from, you have a huge variety. For example, there are day hike backpacks that are suited for shorter hikes; and there are also the weekend and week backpacks along with the summit backpack. Now, depending on how long your hike will be and where you will hike, you need to choose the most suited backpack.
If you plan to go on week-long excursions or arduous trails, you probably are best to stick with the summit backpacks. These are reliable for almost every occasion and even though you may not think they will be needed, they can be useful for any hiker. When you are choosing a new backpack, you want one which is comfortable to wear and very durable so that you are able to pack all necessary equipment.
Tents and Sleeping Bags
Shelter is crucial for hikers because when night comes, they need to have a safe place to rest their heads. A tent is a crucial piece for hikers who plan to spend an evening outdoors and it helps to keep the cold out which is what you need. However, if you are hiking alone, you don’t need a large tent, just one that sleeps one or two people at most otherwise you will carry additional weight you don’t need to.
For weekend adventures, you are going to need the very best sleeping bag possible to allow for maximum comfort and sleep time. Sleeping outside may not appeal to a lot of people but it’s a part of the hiking experience. You want to choose a sleeping bag which is light to carry but durable and warm enough for nights and colder weather. Ideally, you want to choose a fleece lined or insulated sleeping bag with a full length zipper. This should help keep you warm throughout the night and allow you to get a good night’s rest.
Food and Water Supplies
You will need to carry a few good gallons of water for hiking because as you walk, you are losing fluids and you need to keep hydrated throughout. Let’s say you were going for a short hike, you should carry at least one or two gallons of water so that you have enough water to keep yourself hydrated. For longer hikes, you are going to need considerably more water and remember you need enough water for the hike and back again.
For food, you will need enough for the trip but you want to pack foods that are light and easy to eat. You don’t want to take items you have to spend a lot of time preparing or cooking because it’ll waste more time than needed. Canned goods are probably best because they are easy to carry and take minutes to cook; and even though it’s not a gourmet meal, it still will be filling. Protein and energy bars always work best for quick snacks just make sure you have enough supplies for each person in your hiking group. Don’t forget to pack a small cooking stove.
Even though you aren’t going to be hiking at night, you still need to have some form of lighting. Things such as flashlights, headlamps, lanterns and candles can be very useful because they provide you with simple methods to light your tent at night. Lighting will also be needed for you to find a way to the bathroom during the middle of the night; so don’t forget to stock up on batteries and matches.
Having a first-aid kit can be very useful when it comes to hiking and you will need to carry one of these kits. Hopefully you won’t ever need to fall back on a first-aid kit but you simply never know when it’s needed. It’s important to have a first-aid kit with you; and don’t forget to pack a pocket knife.
Maps, Compasses and GPS
You are out in the wilderness and it means you have to rely on your skills and know-how. Sometimes, it comes down to a map and compass and these are the things you may have to rely on to find your way home. If you don’t pack these, you will get lost because trails can get confusing and you get turned around and end up lost. However, having a compass and map of the area can allow you to find your way back safely.
You should also consider using GPS even if you have maps with you. If one should fail, you at least have a back-up option to rely on.
There are lots of options to consider when it comes to jackets but you want one which is going to be comfortable and durable. Look for hip length jackets which offer wind and water resistance properties. Don’t forget to look for hooded jackets with extended storm flap to keep you warm in harsh weather conditions. A good water repellent jacket may set you back anything between fifty and one hundred dollars but it’ll last a good while nonetheless.
It is considerably difficult to narrow down the choice for hiking shoes because there are lots of varieties out there. The reason why is simple, you’re going to cover a lot of terrain and sometimes, different walking shoes will be needed. If you are going on a light hike, you want to stick with a trail runner shoe that is light but capable of handling most soft conditions.
For tougher terrain a strong hiking boot will be needed. Ankle high boots are perfect for most terrains and ideally you want to choose hiking boots that support the feet. You want durability most of all because you want to protect your feet at all costs. Some of the high-end boots will cost maybe around one hundred if not more but it’s your choice what you are happy to pay out.
Don’t Forget the Essentials
If you plan on rock climbing or some other form of activity during hiking you must ensure you have the necessary equipment for this. For example, you need to have lots of climbing rope suitable for rock climbing as well as harnesses you can rely on and don’t be afraid to spend good money on these items because they are essential. You cannot afford to get poor quality harnesses or ropes because they may hold your life in these and you want them to keep you safe.
Common sense tells you certain equipment must be high quality and if that means spending a little extra on these items, so be it! Remember, if you are going Scrambling or rock climbing while hiking, you need the best equipment to keep you safe. Spending a little extra doesn’t hurt and you only want the best equipment.