Hiking gives you a chance to explore the great outdoors and be closer to nature. There are so many awesome hiking spots around the country, and your experience will be made all the better if you have the right gear at your disposal. Below, you’ll find ten of the best hiking gear essentials needed for your next nature adventure:
1. Hiking Boots
Starting on your feet, you need a solid pair of hiking boots to make your adventure as comfortable as possible. They should be durable, have lots of grip on the bottom to handle different terrains and be totally waterproof. This will keep your feet dry and prevent some of the soreness that happens at the end of every day.
2. Insect Repellent Spray
Something you definitely need with you on hikes during the humid summer months through forests. There will be loads of insects that like to land on you and feast on your blood. To prevent a hiking trip spent scratching your bites every five seconds, get some insect repellent spray to keep these little pests at bay. There are loads of affordable brands around, and you can carry it around in your backpack throughout the day.
3. Hiking Backpack
Speaking of which, you absolutely need to get your hands on a proper backpack for hiking. A standard backpack won’t cut it as it won’t be spacious or durable enough to withstand your trip. Instead, a tactical backpack, like the ones shown on EcoGearFX.com will do the trick. This style of backpack provides you with ample room to store things, but they’re also built for the outdoors. So, they can stand up to scrapes and wet weather while keeping your belongings safe.
4. Waist Pack
Similarly, you need a slightly smaller pack to tie around your waist. This is great for keeping a few essentials – like your phone – offering easy access whenever you need them. Again, be sure to buy one that’s built for hiking and outdoor excursions as it needs to be durable and waterproof. Waterproofness is really the key one here; you don’t want everything inside this little waist pack to get ruined.
5. A Utility Knife
Bringing a utility knife with you is useful for certain situations. It can come in handy if you go foraging for food as you can cut things from trees to bring back to camp. Or, it’s useful for cutting loose threads away or sharpening twigs to use as posts, and so on. There are other features of a utility knife that can come in handy too – such as bottle openers and anything else it might include.
6. Reusable Water Bottle
You need to stay hydrated during your hikes, so a reusable water bottle is absolutely essential. Try to get one that’s insulated as it can keep your water colder for longer. Also, and this is pretty amazing, you can actually buy self-cleaning and filtering water bottles. They will be more expensive than regular ones, but the idea is that you can fill them up with water from a lake and it cleans the water for you, making it safe to drink. A bit of a high-tech hiking water bottle, but it could be worth the investment if you hike regularly.
7. Trekking Poles
They look like the sort of poles you hold when you go skiing, but trekking poles are crucial if you’re hiking up mountains or hillsides. Effectively, you stick them in the ground to give yourself more purchase and stability. They can stop you from falling over or feeling shaky when you go up a hill, helping you preserve your energy. Be sure to get a high-quality pair as you don’t want your trekking poles to break mid-hike!
It’s always advisable to get yourself a headlamp when hiking. Ideally, you want to finish your hike and set up camp before the sun goes down, just to avoid any safety concerns. Of course, things don’t always go to plan – and forests and certain hiking paths can be naturally dark anyway. So, a headlamp illuminates the way while letting you keep your hands free. If everyone in your party has one, they can also be used to help you find one another if you get lost – just look for the light!
9. A GPS Device
Handheld GPS devices are super helpful when you go hiking quite often. Essentially, they let you see the area around you and get a sense of how elevated certain paths are, etc. More importantly, they can stop you from ever getting lost. With a GPS device, you can always map a path back to a specific location. Also, seeing as you’re generating a signal from the device, it means that other people can come and find you. Hopefully, that never happens and you only ever use your GPS to map out your hiking route!
10. Weatherproof Clothing
Okay, the final entry is more of a collection of items under the same category. When you go hiking, you need to dress appropriately for the weather you’re likely to experience. If you’re hiking in the colder months, this means packing things like thermal socks, fully waterproof coats/jackets, etc. For summer hiking, you need clothing that’s more lightweight and breathable. You’ll also need protection from the sun, meaning a hat and sunglasses are critical aspects of your summer hiking gear. Always check the weather when planning your hike to know the type of clothing you have to bring!
Just like that, you’ve got a broad selection of things to bring on your next outdoor adventure. Hiking is incredibly good for the body and mind, but it can be slightly stressful if you’re not well-equipped. Arm yourself with these ten products and your next trip will be more convenient and comfortable. Of course, if you plan on staying overnight while hiking, be sure you have all of your camping gear as well – this includes tents, something to start a fire, something to cook with, and all the other essentials you might need.