Spring is already here and the weather has been started to warm up. The hiking in cold weather is difficult for me because I am not comfortable doing outdoor activity in cold weather. Hence, I am not much of hiker in winter season but from Memorial weekend to Labor weekend I can crash the hiking goals till 10 miles. Last year I had shared my experience of Hiking at Charlie’s Bunion in Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Once upon a time, I was also beginner So I thought to share “A beginners guide to Hiking Essentials” to help my fellow readers. If you love to hike then before summer hit the ground make sure you have all hiking gear in ready to go condition.
Things you should consider before planning a hiking trip
- You should know your limits. If you are going for hiking first time I would suggest go for two or four miles not more than that.
- Going for a walk and hike is different because hiking leads to rough and rocky trail not paved walkway.
- Better to go with a group for first few times.
- Consider your strengths and weakness.
- Don’t stretch yourself beyond your limits.
- Check weather forecast so you know what’s coming.
- Hike when enough daylight is there. Don’t start too late.
A Beginners guide to Hiking Essentials
1. Quick dry and easy fit clothes
The first and foremost step is t choose your clothes wisely. You need clothes which soak your sweat and dry quickly. Keep in mind not to wear clothes which are too tight or baggy. I personally feel yoga pant is more comfortable bottoms compared to jeans and pants. One of the great benefits is it helps you to stay dry, so no wet clothes no itchiness. Any clothes which have flair won’t be safe because you will be walking in the woods.
2. Comfortable shoes
Don’t even think of wearing fancy shoes or heels during hiking. This will be a huge mistake of your lifetime and you will never forget that. As you know in hiking you will walk miles and miles, so wear more comfortable shoes. I prefer wearing sports shoes but hiking shoes are also available in the market. Never ever use slippers or any open toe footwear because if in any case, you hit the stone or the trail is unpaved your feet will get hurt. Hence, be careful while you select your shoes.
3. Hiking bag pack
The beginners might be thinking why we need a bag pack? When you hike in the forest, you will not get water or food on the trail. During hiking you need to keep water and snacks with you so instead of carrying everything in your hand, its better to keep the bag pack. So it will be easy to carry and your hands stay free. Stay hydrated and energetic is important to make your hiking experience better.
When you go to the new place you always follow the direction given by GPS right? Same way whenever you go for hiking don’t forget to take a map with you. That map is the only thing help you to get back to the parking lot. If you lost in the woods then it is very hard to find you as most of the hiking trails doesn’t have cell phone signals.
5. Bug spray and basic Medicines
Not just for hiking, but whenever you plan a trip in summer do keep bug spray with you. Apply bug spray on your hands and legs so that you won’t encounter bug bites during your trip.
The other thing which you should not forget is the first-aid kit. If in any case, you get hurt then this first-aid kit can be a lifesaver for anyone. Hence, keep the basic First-aid kit with you, you never know when you need it.
6. Cap & Sunglasses
The cap and sunglasses will save you from a heat wave in the summer. Protecting head and eyes is one more important thing to consider. If you are hiking in the dense forest then you might not able to see the sunlight but better to be prepared. Hence, keep hat/cap and sunglasses in your bag pack.
7. Water bottles
In summer when you hike in the woods, you sweat and ultimately lose water from your body. So staying hydrated is also important. There is a certain level of water necessary for your body otherwise you get faint with excess loss of water. If you have less water in your body, you feel dizzy, tired and might cause a headache. So carry plenty of water.
8. Granola bars/protein bars
Feeling hungry during hiking?? You are not caring full meal in your hiking bag because it increases the weight of the bag. I would suggest you not to eat food which makes you feel heavy but chooses food which makes you feel full. Granola bar, protein shake, fruits (apple, grapes, etc.) and cheese bites are some of the great options which are easy to carry. Whichever food contains protein is good to carry during hiking.
9. Energy drink
I love energy drinks, it is thrust quencher with little flavor. I personally feel energy drink helps you to boost up your energy and helps you to stay strong. It’s all depends on your liking. There are plenty of options vitamin water, Powerade, Gatoroid etc. There are also powders available in the market, you can add directly to your water bottle, shake it and drink it.
The Flashlight is not always necessary but if you think there are chances that you will not able to finish your hike during daylight then better to keep flashlight. This is the only light source available to you. There is no other light source will be available on the trail.