For us nature lovers, hiking is a dream come true. Fresh air, good weather, exciting exercise, and a chance to explore. What more could a person want? You’ll get to finally spend some time away from the computer screen and enjoy yourself as you trod along various path and experience all that nature has to offer. But if you’ve never been hiking, things can get a little confusing. What the hell do you even bring with you? You see people carrying these giant backpacks, but what do they even pack in there? Well, don’t worry, we’re here to help out and tell you exactly what you need to bring to ensure you have an enjoyable trip.
Regardless of the time of the year, regardless of the weather, you absolutely need to bring sunscreen with you, and try to reapply it at least a few times during the day. A hat is also a very good idea, and so are sunglasses that can protect you from the glare.
Even if you know the path well, a compass and a map are going to be necessary. In Australia, experienced hikers can tell where North is by the position of the sun and their own shadow, but even they still keep a compass in their pocket just in case they get lost.
This is the time to be practical and comfortable. You want something with good arch support that will enable you to walk for a long time without getting cramps and blisters. Don’t underestimate the importance of the right sneaker, even if you feel that the pair you have now is quite comfortable. You can get reliable sneakers like New Balance in Australia, which are very popular, and feel really good on your feet. If you’re going hiking in winter, you want a pair of sturdy boots, something that’s warm and completely water-proof.
Food and water
Water is the most essential thing to bring, as you want to stay hydrated through the entire trip. If you don’t want to carry too much, bring a water filter or chlorine dioxide tablets so you can purify water from natural sources. Food is also important, but don’t bring greasy snacks or candy. A few sandwiches, a pack of biscuits, and maybe an apple and a banana.
Tools and a flashlight
Simple tools like scissors and a Swiss knife are very useful, and they can help with everything, from opening cans to making kindling for fire. Duct tape can come in handy as well, and you also want to have a flashlight and extra batteries.
You never know what can happen, and simple injuries such as cuts can easily be cleaned and bandaged if you have a basic first aid kid with you.
You will need insulation on those cold days, and especially if you plan to set up a camp somewhere. Layering is the key to insulation, so bring a warm jacket, a spare sweater, gloves and socks. Socks are particularly useful, especially if your feet tend to sweat a lot.
You don’t want to be caught off-guard. A waterproof sit pad, a sleeping bag, or at least a blanket that you can sleep on in case you get stuck somewhere overnight. You don’t want any contact with cold, wet ground.
You need to know how to build a campfire. A set of matches (kept in a plastic, waterproof bag) should always be in your bag. Other stuff you’ll need is kindling, tinder and logs, but that is something that you will be able to gather around the forest.
Hiking is a real adventure, and as any adventure, it requires preparation. If you bring these essentials you shouldn’t have any trouble, and you can just relax and enjoy your day out in the nature.