Make sure you have these essentials before heading out for your next hike.
According to the National Park Service, there are proven health benefits of hiking. These include improved physical health, enhanced mental health, and boosted mood. To avoid issues, you should remember to pack the necessities.
You can feel prepared while exploring nature. If you’re interested in learning more about hiking gear, keep reading. Here are eleven must-have essentials while you’re on a trail.
1. Hiking Backpack
You’ll need a backpack to carry other hiking gear and essentials. How long you intend on hiking will determine how big of a bag you need. No matter how long you hike, plan what you need and pack accordingly.
For a full day, you should get one that’s twenty liters. Half-day hikes only need a smaller size. An overnight hike will need a backpack that’s around thirty-five liters for extra water, snacks, hiking clothes, and other essentials.
2. Happie Toes Foot Salve
This foot salve restores damaged skin in between hikes. The ingredients include kokum butter, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. These ingredients fight bacteria, decrease inflammation, heal skin fissures, and regenerate skin cells.
You can use this salve on your feet, hands, and any other dry areas for relief. Purchase Happie Toes Foot Salve in our shop online.
3. An Up-To-Date Map and GPS Device
Before heading out on the trail, you’ll need an up-to-date map. Some trails split off in different directions, making it easy to get lost. You can download the latest version online for your specific trail.
If you’re not good at reading maps, you may want to consider carrying a GPS device. These are great for helping beginners navigate different trails.
4. Headlamp for Dark Hikes
A headlamp is perfect for hiking in the dark and exploring underground caves. Unlike when using a flashlight, your hands are free to navigate. It can protect you from falling, stepping on wildlife, or losing sight of the path.
Even if you’re not planning on exploring in the dark, you should consider carrying a headlamp and spare batteries. If you happen to get lost, you’ll feel safer with light overnight.
5. Lightweight Utility Knife
Before you go on a hike, you should think about why you’d need a utility knife. You can use one to cut a rope, prepare fish, and more. Consider a lightweight option with a sharpened three-inch blade.
You never know when you might run into an emergency. Carrying a lightweight utility knife could save you from sticky situations.
6. SPF Lip Balm, Sunscreen, and Sunglasses
When you’re spending a great deal of time outdoors, you should always wear sunblock. For the best results, use SPF 30 to 50. You can protect your eyes with sunglasses.
Lip balm is sunscreen for your lips. Same as with sunblock, use one with SPF 30 or higher.
7. Bug Repellant
When you’re out on a hike, you can protect yourself from bug bites with repellant. According to the CDC, you should apply sunscreen before insect repellent. It’s the most effective technique to prevent West Nile virus and mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes bite at night and during the day. In addition to wearing insect repellent, you should consider wearing long sleeves and pants.
8. Water and Snacks
During moderate activity, the general recommendation is to drink half a liter of water per hour. Depending on the temperature and intensity of your hike, you may need to increase the amount. Strenuous hikes in extreme heat will entail drinking one or more liters per hour.
During hikes, you should consume one to three pounds of food per day. Strenuous hikes burn more calories and require higher increments.
9. Hiking Poles
Hiking poles make hiking easier on your knees. Unlike walking sticks, the poles provide symmetrical support. Using two will offer more benefits than only one.
When choosing poles, you’ll need to consider your height. Your size will determine how big they need to be.
10. Hiking Boots and Attire
Hiking requires the right gear, clothes, and boots. Your pair will need to be comfortable for trails, have grip, and be meant for the outdoors. You can find hiking boots with ankle support for extra protection.
You should consider buying wool socks, a jacket, gloves, and a hat. It’s best to dress in layers and check the weather before and during the hike.
11. First Aid Kit
Nothing says showing up prepared like carrying a first aid kit. For hiking, you should pack the following items:
- Antibacterial ointment
- Medical tape
- Nonstick sterile pads
- Pain reliever
- Anti-itch cream
- Allergy medicine
- And more
You buy a prepackaged first-aid kit from a store or online. You can also use this list to create a DIY version.
Other Must-Have Hiking Gear
Before you hit the trail, you should consider the specific trail and weather conditions. You may need to include an emergency water filter, fire starter, prescription medications, and more. Explore the trails early on with virtual maps.
Leave No Trace
Whenever you explore nature, you should leave no trace. This term means more than cleaning up after yourself. The following are some other things you should and shouldn’t do:
- Leave what you find
- Make a fire small, or not one at all
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of others on the trail
The goal of leaving no trace is to minimize alterations. If you’re camping overnight, don’t dig a trench or cut branches. Remember to always clean up after yourself, and to leave the trail better than you found it.
Going on a hike will help you feel happier and healthier. Now that you’ve read these eleven must-have essentials, you’ll feel prepared while exploring the great outdoors. Use what you read here today as a guide to finding the right hiking gear.
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