Hiking Essentials: What to Bring and What to Leave Behind - Share A Word
While some prefer a sport that allows you to test your physical stamina such as mountain biking, others like to take it slow and hike, whether alone, with a partner or in a group. If you are planning to do some hiking, then you must consider what items should be contained in your hiking backpack. Packing properly for your trip will help ensure that you enjoy your hike and don’t find yourself in a situation where the lack of an item needed for safety could make your trip dangerous or even deadly.
Bring a Backpack That Provides You Plenty of Storage While Being Comfortable
Picking the right backpacking backpack is not easy. While planning your trip, you should take into consideration that there are different types of hiking backpacks available in the market today.
Hiking backpacks for men and women come in different sizes, shapes and styles. There are specific features like compartments for hydration packs, water bottle holders, chest strap, hip belt and waist belt. When purchasing a hiking backpack, think about your needs and what you will be using your pack for. If you’re planning on long hikes or multi-day treks into the wilderness, you’ll need a more substantial pack than if you’re planning to carry just essentials for day hikes. Also, keep in mind where you’ll be hiking and the weather conditions you’ll be facing. Make sure your pack fits properly so it doesn’t cause strain on your shoulders or back.
Hiking packs are typically rated by the amount of weight they can carry. A 60-litre pack can hold about 60 litres of gear while 50-litre daypacks for hiking can hold closer to 50 litres of gear. The smaller packs are perfect for day hikes while larger packs are designed for multi-day camping trips.
Hiking packs generally have an internal frame, external frame, or frameless design. An internal frame comes with a metal or plastic structure that you can load up with your gear. The internal frame disperses the weight evenly across your body which makes internal frame packs more comfortable to carry for longer periods. While most people consider the internal comfortable, women tend to feel better with external packs because they don’t put as much pressure on their chest.
If you’re going to be carrying a lot of gear, then you’ll want a larger backpack. But if your goal is to hike fast and light, then daypacks for hiking would be perfect since you don’t want anything too big or too bulky. Whatever size or style of backpack you choose should provide you with plenty of storage while still being comfortable.
Pack a Water Bottle-Preferably a Metal One
When hiking it is important to have plenty of water with you at all times. You never know when you will need some water, so it is best to just bring as much as possible. However, if you don’t bring enough water, it could be difficult for you to make it through your whole hike without running out of water and becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can be very dangerous and it can lead to severe health problems such as kidney failure and even death in extreme cases. To prevent yourself from getting dehydrated, make sure that you always have plenty of water with you when you go hiking and especially if it looks like there could be a chance of becoming dehydrated due to the weather or other factors. One way that hikers combat dehydration is by bringing a water bottle with them. Hikers have two main choices when it comes to water bottles: plastic and metal. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type, as there are for almost everything else in life. But one thing that most people believe is that metal water bottles are better than plastic ones. Is this true?
The first thing to say about metal water bottles is that they’re a lot more durable than plastic ones. If you drop a metal bottle on a hard surface, there’s a pretty good chance that it won’t break or crack, whereas a plastic bottle might crack and break after such an impact. In addition, metal water bottles tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than plastic ones. And, if you happen to be an environmentalist, you’ll probably feel better about yourself if you use a metal water bottle instead of a plastic one.
Another thing I like about metal bottles is that they’re good at keeping their temperature (or lack thereof). If you’re hiking somewhere hot, it’s nice to be able to fill your water bottle with cold water and keep drinking it as it very slowly warms up. And if you’re hiking somewhere cold, you can freeze water at night and top off your bottle before heading out in the morning.
Bring Bug Spray and Sunscreen
Mosquitoes, ticks, and flies are all voracious in the summer months. You will have more fun if you don’t spend most of your time swatting at them so make sure to grab some bug spray. Except for that, in the woods, skin is often exposed to intense sunlight for extended periods. If you forget sunscreen or run out, it’s not a tragedy; but you’ll be happier if you don’t end up with a sunburn.
Wear Comfortable, Breathable Clothes
The right clothing can make a big difference in how much you enjoy hiking. The wrong clothing, on the other hand, can take a long hike a miserable experience. When planning your hiking wardrobe, think about two things: comfort and breathability.
Comfort means that the clothes fit well and are cut to allow for a good range of motion. They shouldn’t bind when you’re bending down or reaching up. They should also minimize friction when you’re walking through brush or over rocky terrain.
Breathability is an essential quality in any hiking clothing. The whole point of sweating is to cool yourself off by letting your sweat evaporate from your skin. But if you trap your sweat against your skin by wearing clothing that doesn’t breathe well, then a very bad thing happens: a cold, clammy feeling develops under your clothes, and this coldness makes it even harder to be active in the outdoors. Then your clothes have to let even more moisture out just to maintain the same level of comfort as before—and now you’re back where you started from with that clammy feeling!
Other Extras That Shouldn’t be Forgotten
A map and a compass. It sounds so simple, but the experts stress over and over again how important it is to have these two things if you’re going off-trail. It’s often hard to tell whether a trail will be easy or hard to follow, so bring extra food in case you get stuck and have to spend extra time looking for your way out. Bring layers of clothing. The temperature can change quickly in the mountains, and it can get very cold at night even when the day was warm. Bring a flashlight and extra batteries. You never know when you might need one. Be sure to research the area you are hiking in beforehand so that you know what natural dangers there are (i.e., flash floods). And be sure to tell someone where you are going, just in case something does happen that requires search-and-rescue efforts.
To Sum it Up
Hiking can be a relaxing experience or a bold one depending on what you choose to do. If you’re going on a guided tour the guides will take care of you and all your hiking equipment. If you’re going it alone, then it’s best to know the basics–such as what to wear, how to prepare for inclement weather, and what things you should bring along with you to make your trip as pleasant as possible. Each person’s needs will vary but these are some general guidelines to help get you started so go ahead and pack up those hiking boots, grab a friend or a guide and head out!