The right hiking gear will keep you comfortable on long hikes, whether you’re going for a leisurely stroll or tackling a strenuous trail. It is important to plan out and take into consideration the type of hike you will be going on so that you can properly plan out which hiking gear you will need to pack.
You will want to spend time checking the weather for the area you intend to hike and making lists to make sure you pack all of the gear you need for your trip. Planning a hike is a great way to familiarize yourself with your gear and the type of terrain you will encounter.
Choose the Right Hiking Gear for You.
If you plan to go on a short hike, choose lightweight hiking shoes with good traction. A pair of hiking boots are ideal for longer treks. Bring along a water bottle and snacks, as well as a flashlight and extra batteries.
When choosing hiking gear, consider what kind of terrain you’ll be walking on. For example, if you’re going to be hiking in rocky areas, you should wear sturdy hiking boots. If you’re planning to walk on sandy beaches, choose sandals instead of sneakers. Also, bring along a compass and map before heading out into the wilderness even if you plan to use GPS because you never know what may happen and it is a good idea to always have a backup.
At a minimum, I always suggest the following items no matter how short or long you intend to hike:
- Backpack. Be sure to get one large enough for all f your gear. I always recommend packing it ahead of time to ensure that everything fits properly
- Food and plenty of snacks
- Water. I like to use hydration packs with interior water bladders
- Flashlights. I bring a headlamp as well as a powerful flashlight
- Knife. You always need to cut things while hiking
- Tomahawk. Lightweight tools that are great for chopping down small branches to make a fire or for self-defense
- Walking stick. Some hikers say hiking sticks add too much additional weight, but I like to bring them for balance and to keep animals at a distance.
- GPS. Many watches have GPS functions on them to save space
- Map. Just in case your GPS doesn’t work for whatever reason, it’s a good idea to have a map of the local area. Many trails have maps at the beginning of the trail.
- First-aid kit. Anything can happen on the trial and you want to be prepared for anything.
Select the Right Hiking Backpack.
Choose a size that fits comfortably while still providing adequate support. You should also consider how much weight you will carry when selecting your hiking backpack.
When choosing a hiking backpack, there are several things to keep in mind. First, choose a bag that has enough room for everything you want to bring. I suggest getting a hiking bag that will work for both short and mid-range hikes. Second, look at the straps and back panel to ensure that they fit properly. Depending on your height, different backpacks may fit you differently and it’s a good idea to try them on if possible. Third, be sure to check the shoulder straps to see if they are comfortable. I own a few hiking backpacks that are perfect for hiking but aren’t very comfortable if I sweat. Finally, make sure that the bag is durable and strong enough to withstand the rigors of hiking. I always get rugged materials so that my backpack will last for a long time.
Pick the Right Hiking Clothes.
Choosing the right clothes can make your hiking trip better and safer. It’s a good idea to check the weather channel for the area you intend to hike to see how cold or hot your trip will be so you can dress accordingly. I opt for moisture-wicking shirts during hot weather hikes. This helps prevent chafing. You will want to layer your clothing for cold hikes. I tend to get hot while hiking no matter how cold it is, so I usually start out with an easy-to-remove jacket that I can tie around my waist when I get too hot. I also recommend wearing a sock hat and gloves to retain your body heat.
Choose the Right Gear for the Trip.
You should also consider how much space you will need for food and water. If you plan to camp, make sure you pack plenty of extra clothes and other items you might need during your trip.
When choosing hiking gear, you want to be prepared for anything. That means packing enough supplies to last you throughout the entire hike. The first thing you should think about is what kind of terrain you will encounter. Will you be walking through forests? Or will you be climbing mountains? Do you plan to carry everything yourself or would you prefer to hire a guide? These questions will help you determine what type of gear you need to bring with you.
Decide if you are camping overnight.
You will need to bring more gear if you are camping overnight. This includes a tent and a sleeping bag at the very least. If you’re not experienced at setting up a tent, you can get an instant pop-up tent. These are extremely easy to set up within seconds. You will also want to bring a warm sleeping bag. You can test them out in the store to see how soft and comfortable they are before purchasing. Also, be sure to keep in mind that if you are taller than average you will need to get an XL sleeping bag.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.