Hiking is not only a remarkable form of exercise but also a great way to unwind. Yet your survival outdoors is dependent on the hiking gear you have on hand. Before stepping into the jungle, it is crucial to ensure that all the necessary gear is packed up. Hiking essentials boost your security, elevate convenience and keep you alive. Most importantly, they ensure that you get the most out of a hiking trip.So, what do you need for hiking? Let us break down the ten essentials for hiking:
1. First aid kit
The importance of having a first aid kit goes without saying. You never know when a medical emergency could come up. A basic first aid kit ought to include latex gloves, scissors, dressing, antiseptic wash, painkillers, adhesive tape, roller gauze, and bandages.
You do not expect to run into conventional street lights in the jungle. Always carry your own light source whenever you go hiking even if it only for a day. Who knows? You may be forced to stay outdoors until it gets dark. Headlamps, lanterns or flashlights are the most common illumination tools for hiking.
3. Sun protection
Sunlight has UV rays which are a health hazard. With that in mind, it is vital to carry some sun protection gear when you hit the trail since you will be exposed more to the sun. Skin protection is crucial during winter and summer. Applying sunscreen with SPF 15 minimum is an effective way of protecting your skin. Aside from that, you can bring along a pair of sunglasses and a hat.
Remember, you are certainly going to get lost and stranded if you hit the trail without a proper navigation accessory. With the sun’s position changing constantly, even the best hikers may not be perfect with landmarks in the jungle. It is imperative to carry a compass, GPS or map especially if you plan to explore a remote location.
Since the weather is highly unpredictable, you should always be prepared for anything. The amount of insulation you have to carry is anchored on the prevailing weather conditions. In case you are heading out during winter, it is wise to carry an extra shirt, winter coat, a pair of gloves and socks. Also, remember to include a rain jacket.
Just like any other physical activity, hiking demands a lot of water. Actually, you should drink a litre of water for every two hours of active hiking. Besides that, the deeper you wander into the forest the more likely you are to run out of water. Plus, you do not just require any form of water; it is clean and safe drinking water that you need. Do not be duped by lakes or ponds in the jungle as they are riddled with infection-causing microorganisms. Water from unknown sources has to be purified before drinking. To avoid all this trouble, carry adequate water to sustain you for the period you intend to spend outdoors.
7. Pocket Knife
A pocket knife is the best companion on a hiking trip. It is a versatile survival tool that you should always have when exploring outdoors. Whether you need to slice a sausage, sharpen a stick, open sealed packages or trip a rope, a reliable pocket knife will come in handy. Other life-saving tools include screwdriver, scissors and duct tape. This way you can fix anything effortlessly.
Food is a must-have for any outdoor adventure. Considering that hiking is a physical exercise, you will require all the energy you can get. Insufficient food will culminate in low blood sugar which is likely to ruin your hiking experience. Non-cook or Ready to eat food is ideal for hiking. Furthermore, it is good practice to keep on hand a day’s worth of food. Nut and protein bars are some of the easily digestible foods to pack on your backpacking excursion.
You need fire to stay warm in cold weather, heat up food or cook. Still, you can go old school by utilizing it as an emergency signal. There are numerous ways to start a fire such as matches and lighters. Likewise, you can use a magnifying glass or friction through a bow drill. Modern-day hikers are lucky to have waterproof matches that are ideal for any condition.
10. Reliable backpack
How are you going to carry all the essentials above? This is where a good hiking backpack comes in. The backpack should be strong, spacious, comfortable and well adapted to the outdoor environment. Nonetheless, you can try out hiking backpacks fitted with water reservoirs. They make carrying water a piece of cake and boost the ease of drinking it too. Learn more here, how to choose a budget friendly backpack for hiking.
Check out more faqs related to hiking essentials below:
How do you dress for hiking?
Your hiking dress code depends on the weather. Thick insulated clothing is great for the cold weather. In case you are dealing with warm weather, go for clothes that are breathable like shorts and short sleeves. For sun protection, get lightweight trousers or long-sleeved shirts. Lastly, the clothing fabric should have moisture-wicking capabilities to keep your body dry.
What do you need for hiking and camping?
For a flawless hiking and camping experience, you need enough food, water, tent, sleeping bag, fire starters, first-day kit, repair kit, navigation tools, insulation, illumination, and sun protection.
How do you prepare for hiking?
First, you should find more about the perspective of your trail. After that, you have to be physically ready with the help of some flexibility and strength training. Next is to pack the ten essentials and dress accordingly. Thereafter, it would be perfect to come up with a trip plan. For safety and more fun, you can bring a hiking buddy on board. Lastly, watch your step.
What to bring hiking for beginners?
Whenever you step onto the trail as a beginner, you should be equipped with emergency shelter, sun protection, water, first aid kit, repair kit, navigation tools, fire starters, illumination, and insulation. Alongside that, hikers ought to have appropriate footwear.
What should you eat when hiking?
The best hiking food ought to be loaded with energy. It also has to provide lots of nutrients. The food should be easily digestible as well. Another tip is to go for easy-to-prepare dishes such as instant noodles or rice. Cheese and fresh fruits are excellent. Ensure your food has healthy fats, sufficient proteins, and complex carbohydrates for long-lasting energy.
You should never leave home without the ten essentials. With these gear in place, you are guaranteed a safe and hassle free hiking experience.