Hiking is an enjoyable, tranquil way to enjoy nature with friends and family. Hiking allows you to discover parts of nature that are off-limits to vehicles. Rekindle your sense of wonder by putting your concerns about time, work, and other stressors far behind you. Nothing beats spending time in nature with loved ones or friends to rekindle old friendships.
If you’ve never gone hiking before, you might find the idea intimidating. Perhaps you doubt your physical fitness for a hike. Hiking is a low-impact workout that’s about having fun with friends and taking in the beauty of nature, not about sprinting to the finish line. You can find everything you need to get started hiking in this guide. You can have a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable hike with a little preparation.
The Only Things You Need for a Great Hiking Trip
When you are equipped with the proper gear and have a positive outlook, hiking successfully is easy. Knowing what to pack is the first step to feeling great all day and maintaining your energy levels. Here are the things you need for a great hiking trip.
1. Navigation Tools
For your hiking trip, remember to pack a map, compass, or GPS. At all times, you should be aware of where you are and where you’re going, as well as the locations of all the campsites, emergency exits, water sources, and rest areas. Therefore, even if you have a GPS as a backup, it is imperative to bring a map or compass with you. Knowing what to anticipate allows you to plan other details more effectively and enjoy the hike without being concerned about getting lost.
2. Adequate Water
The most crucial piece of hiking gear is probably water. Your body cannot function at its peak level without enough water. Before going on the hike, make sure you’re hydrated and keep drinking water all day. The availability of sufficient water should always be a top priority, regardless of the weather.
3. Adequate Food
Everyone is happier when their bellies are full, which is important if you want the hiking experience to be as enjoyable as possible. If you want to spend a lot of time with your hiking companions by a mountain stream, pack extra snacks.
4. Clothing and Rain Protection
No matter how well you prepare, the weather can still surprise you. While unexpected storms and downpours are sometimes impossible to predict, you can always be ready for them. Pack a thin poncho to solve this issue, or layer your clothing to make it easier to adapt to temperature changes.
5. Safety Items
You might not be concerned about safety if you are hiking a simple, well-maintained trail that gets a lot of foot traffic. Whatever the conditions you expect on your hike, you should pack a fire starter, a flashlight, and a whistle in your safety kit to be ready for anything. A fire can both call for assistance and keep you warm. A whistle can also be used to summon assistance.
6. First-Aid Kit
It’s crucial to have a first-aid kit on hand and be familiar with its contents. First-aid kits that have been pre-assembled eliminate the guesswork involved in creating your own, though many people customize these kits to meet their unique needs. Any kit ought to contain remedies for blisters, various-sized adhesive bandages, several gauze pads, adhesive tape, disinfecting ointment, and over-the-counter painkillers. Gloves made of nitrile should be added as well.
7. Multi-Purpose Tool or Knife
A knife or other multipurpose tool is another essential hiking item. You never know when you might need to make bandages out of fabric or even just pry open a tough trail mix package. Additionally, a knife can be useful if you need to start a fire.
8. Sun Protection
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays and sunburn, respectively. Use sunglasses that offer 99–100% UVA and UVB protection along with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Aim to hike on shaded trails between 10 and noon. and 4 p.m. Use the mornings for open-area hikes when the sun is shining brightly. If you sweat a lot, reapply sunscreen every two hours or more.
Pick a pack that feels comfortable to you and won’t cause your shoulders and back to become overly stressed. Make sure the backpack sits high on your back, close to your body, and with both shoulder straps fastened. For hiking, hip belts that are padded and adjustable are ideal because they relieve the strain on your shoulders and back.
10. Trash Bag
Bring a trash bag with you so you can keep the trails you hike on beautiful, tidy, and garbage-free. Wrappers and other trash can be contained in a zippered plastic bag until you return. Make sure to assist younger hikers with proper trash disposal.
11. Bug Spray
Depending on where you go, when it’s day and night, and what time of year it is, you may come across insects on your hike, including ticks, bees, spiders, and mosquitoes. You don’t have to let these annoyances ruin a memorable hike, though. You can use insect repellants in areas that are bugged. Make sure to reapply often.
Bring toilet paper, hand sanitizer, waste bags, and any other essentials if you intend to hike far from facilities with bathrooms.
13. Emergency Shelter
Always have an emergency shelter with you to keep you dry and protected from the elements in case you become lost or hurt on the trail. An ultralight tarp, a bivy sack, an emergency space blanket, or even a sizable plastic trash bag are available options. It’s critical to realize that your tent will only serve as an emergency shelter if you keep it on hand at all times.
Hiking trips are a fantastic way to reduce some of the additional stress. However, if the hike isn’t planned well, it could make you more anxious. Plan the ideal hiking trip for you and your loved ones by going through the items we’ve listed above.