Stepping out of your home, taking a hike, being one with nature is not only very healthy but also rejuvenates our bodies, souls and gives peace to the mind. In this day and age, carbon emission especially in the cities where you find most people settling is constantly on the rise. That said we need to get more fresh air for our body systems. What better way to do that, other than taking a hike? It can be as simple as a walk through the woods, a stroll along the beaches, or on the higher end a mountain climb. It does not have to be strenuous you can start with small hills and gradually chase Everest. Whatever kind of hike you are planning for, there are the necessities you need. We will discuss a list of the must-haves so that we can have a successful fun-filled hike.

  1. Footwear

To have the most fulfilling hike, the shoes need to fit right and be comfortable. During hikes, the terrain is often uneven so your hiking boots and shoes will give you maximum grip and support as you navigate through the hike. Apart from rough terrain, you may encounter dew and wetness, footwear that keeps the feet dry helps you stay warm and prevents possible illness. Invest in quality hiking boots and shoes, because they last you long enough before needing to purchase a new pair. Additionally, different footwear goes with different terrains. For a smooth trail hiking shoes would be sufficient whereas, for rough and rocky terrain, hiking boots provide more support.

  1. Clothing

Wearing the correct clothing is equally as important. The clothing will majorly depend on the prevailing weather. Weather changes constantly and a nice sunny day can easily change to a rainy cloudy day with harsh winds. Have a clear understanding of the weather and get clothing that will provide you with maximum protection. To be better prepared for any change or incident, pack some extra clothing to cater for such. Many hikers will consider thermal wear as it keeps you warm and comfortable without having to wear bulky clothes. It is made of moisture-wicking fabric that wicks the sweat away and keeps the skin dry and warm. A hiking buff can be useful in keeping the neck and lower face warm and shielded from sunburns or frostbites. A hat or cap is also good for protecting you from the sun.

  1. Hiking bag

Get yourself a good hiking bag that has enough room to accommodate all the supplies and any change of clothes you need for the hike. It is safer if the bag is waterproof to keep all your belongings dry in case it rains or there is wetness as you go through the woods. The bag should also be easy to access and comfortable on your back as you walk. How long or far you hike is will determine the size of the bag you bring. For shorter hikes closer to home a small bag will be okay, but for longer ones, a bag of about 30L should be adequate for a day hike. Understand the hiking route you are to use and plan appropriately on what gear you require to bring with you.

  1. Food and hydration

These two are a top priority because you need to keep your energy up through the hike. The amount of food and water will depend on the length of the hike, the weather, the intensity of the hike, and several other factors. Therefore, when packing, consider healthy food with heavy calories to keep your energy up. A good recommended range of calories per hour is about 200 to 300 calories per hour. Keeping yourself hydrated will also save you a lot of trouble, so bring enough water. Due to any unforeseen events, carry some extra food and water in case the trip is longer than planned.

  1. Navigation guide

This is very important especially if you are unfamiliar with a route. After choosing the hiking route get a map that will guide you through the route. For tracing and plotting your route, you can use a compass, a GPS, or a personal locator beacon. You may also consider hiring a guide who will be able to navigate you through the hike as they are familiar with the areas.

  1. Emergency and safety equipment

Making sure that you are safe as you trek through the rugged terrain is very important. Bring with you a well-packed first aid kit for minor emergencies. Apart from carrying the first aid kit, you must know how to use it. Also have an emergency contact for a medic, in case you encounter a major incident that requires a medic. Other emergency equipment to consider include the Swiss army knife, carabiners, or climbing equipment if the terrain is rocky.

Next time you are going hiking you can be sure it will be fun and full of health benefits if you follow this checklist. Now you can step out on a hike hear the sounds, see the sights and feel the smells of nature.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes

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