One of the best ways to enjoy nature’s beauty is hiking. Hiking can get away from people and off the beaten path. It is possible to hike just about anywhere, including national parks and national forests. Some people like to hike on marked trails while others want to really commune with nature and get into the wilderness. Either way, it is important to have the right hiking equipment before starting out. At a minimum, this means good, sturdy shoes with gripper soles and some way to carry water and an energy snack. Most hikers carry their gear in a backpack designed for hiking and wear hiking boots.
One of the most important considerations when choosing equipment is the type of hike. Will you be hiking for just a few hours or will you stay overnight in the wilderness? If you are camping, you will obviously need more equipment. Another important question is the type of terrain you will be hiking. If the trails will be relatively flat and well-maintained, you might not need much equipment at all.
If, however, you are planning to hike the Appalachian Trail for several months, you will need a variety of different equipment. In this situation, your main concern is safety and weight. You want equipment that will help keep you safe, but which will not add extra weight to the pack you will carry. The last factor to consider is the weather. Will it be hot or cold? Rainy or dry? It is also important to consider water availability and if you will have to purify or collect water.
To begin, there are certain pieces of equipment every hiker should have. The first is a good backpack. Your backpack will be carrying almost everything else, so it needs to be sturdy, yet comfortable. An ill-fitting backpack can really take the fun out of a hike. Another important item that should be in every hiker’s pack is a first-aid kit. This kit should include everything necessary to treating bug bites to snake bites.
No hiker should set out without a good compass and a map of the area. Take a hard copy of the area map since you may not be able to receive a signal to pull up a digital map. It is also helpful to have a topographic map which shows the terrain you may be hiking.
Of course, your pack should include water and food. Even if you are hiking overnight or for a prolonged period, you will still need supplies of dried or dehydrated snacks and a means for collecting water. It is not practical to carry all the water you will need on a long hike, but there are several pieces of hiking equipment that will allow you to collect and purify water while you are on the trail.
Perhaps the most important piece of hiking equipment is your shoes. They should fit well and be waterproof if you will be hiking for more than a couple of hours. Be sure and wear them before you hit the trail or you will be using your first-aid kit to treat blisters. Make your hike the best with the right type of hiking equipment.