Essential Hiking Equipment 9 Things You Need Before Hitting The Trail

Essential Hiking Equipment 9 Things You Need Before Hitting The Trail

There is​ nothing worse than getting miles away from civilization and​ encountering an​ emergency you are not prepared for. Whether you’re lost with no food, caught in​ an​ unexpected rain, or​ in​ pain from poor footwear, hiking without the​ right equipment is​ never a​ fun experience.

Your gear will vary depending on what type of​ hiking adventure you are planning, but whether you’re backpacking the​ Appalachian Trail or​ planning a​ day hike with your family, there are some pieces of​ hiking gear you should never forget.

First, you need a​ rugged hiking backpack to​ comfortably hold the​ rest of​ your gear. a​ small day pack may be all you need if​ most of​ your hikes are short and​ you seldom plan to​ stay overnight. if​ you are planning longer hiking trips, look for​ a​ backpack that fits comfortably with plenty of​ compartments and​ enough room for​ all your food and​ equipment.

Proper footwear is​ another essential piece of​ hiking gear, regardless of​ where and​ how long you are hiking. Select hiking boots or​ shoes that are designed for​ the​ type of​ terrain you will most often be hiking and​ make sure they are a​ comfortable fit. Wear high quality hiking socks as​ well, designed for​ the​ specific climate you are in​ and​ cushioned for​ extra support. for​ a​ more precise fit, buy your hiking socks first and​ wear them to​ shop for​ your hiking boots.

Always have a​ map of​ the​ area you are hiking, as​ well as​ a​ compass. the​ Coleman digital compass is​ great for​ backcountry hiking. Trail maps are typically available at​ the​ ranger station for​ most state and​ national hiking trail systems.

Food and​ water is​ a​ must, no matter how long you are hiking. Long hikes require at​ least one gallon of​ water per person each day, while 32 ounces of​ water per person is​ usually adequate on shorter hikes. Bring along plenty of​ calorie rich snacks, like jerky and​ trail mix, for​ all your hikes and​ pack an​ extra day’s supply of​ food for​ overnight hikes. It’s a​ good idea to​ bring enough food for​ both lunch and​ dinner on your day hikes, just in​ case things take longer than planned.

You will also want a​ first aid kit with you on all your hiking trips. Unless you are hiking in​ extreme conditions, you will just want the​ basics for​ insect bites, minor scrapes, blisters, thorns, and​ other common trail ailments. Sunscreen, lip balm, and​ insect repellant should also be included in​ your hiking first aid bag.

Never start out on a​ hiking trip without rain gear and​ extra clothing, especially in​ areas with very unpredictable weather. a​ lightweight rain jacket with a​ hood is​ perfect if​ you get caught in​ the​ rain. an​ emergency shelter may be a​ necessity for​ extreme weather hiking and​ an​ emergency blanket is​ a​ must if​ you’re hiking in​ the​ winter.

Another essential piece of​ hiking equipment that you shouldn’t forget is​ a​ small flashlight. Flashlights are crucial for​ long hikes when you need to​ find your way around camp, but they can prove to​ be handy on day hikes as​ well if​ you are still hiking at​ sunset.

Make sure everyone you are hiking with has a​ whistle for​ emergencies. Other hiking gear you should bring on every trip is​ some sort of​ fire starter, along with wind and​ rain resistant matches, and​ a​ multi-purpose knife.

These are the​ most basic essentials for​ any hiking trip. Longer trips will require additional gear, as​ will extreme weather hikes. You may want additional gear, depending on your hike and​ your interests, like binoculars, a​ hiking pole, or​ a​ trail guide.

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