Whether you are going for a brisk stroll through a wooded area, a vigorous day hike, or a multi-day trek, you can’t do it without the proper essentials. While it is certainly true that you wouldn’t need the same provisions for a day hike as you would for a weekend hike, there are still a couple of items you should have, even for a short period of time. In this post, we will take a look at some of the essential hiking gear and clothing items you don’t want to forget to bring.
If you are going to be hitting the trails for any longer than a couple of hours, then you will require a handful of provisions. Whether you are going on a mild hike or venturing onto advanced, rugged terrain, if you are hiking for several miles or several hours at a time, you simply can’t do it without certain items to keep you safe. Start with a small, comfortable backpack with adjustable, padded straps that you know you can comfortably and safely carry without aggravating your back and shoulders.
Next, fill your backpack with a refillable water bottle or a couple of water bottles. In addition to water, you will likely need nourishment if you are planning on doing a rugged, hours-long hike. For hiking, items like beef jerky and energy bars work best because they are packed with nutrients and are very compact, lightweight, and won’t take up much room in your bag. After food and water, bag items to protect you from the elements, including sunscreen, bug spray, and a small first aid kit.
Depending on the climate you will be hiking in, there are certain things you should wear for different environments. If you are going on a hike in a cooler region or during the fall or winter months, you will likely want thicker socks. Start with high-quality wool socks and supportive, durable hiking shoes. If you are an avid hiker, you don’t want to be cheap about the hiking boots you invest in. The quality of the shoes will either help or hurt your feet (and no one wants to deal with any unnecessary foot injuries). If you are hiking during the winter, in addition to high-quality, waterproof hiking boots and wool socks, you may want to think about investing in heated insertable insoles. Not only will they help keep your feet safe from frostbite, they will remain warm and toasty throughout the duration of the hike.
What you wear matters when you are going on a hike. Aside from proper footwear (which is one of the most important essential items for a camping trip), you will need the right clothing too! If you are hiking in a hot climate, where lightweight but protective items. If you are hiking in 90-degree weather, you should bring a lightweight long sleeve shirt to protect against the elements like the sun or pesky bugs. You can wear a tank top underneath it so you can remove your long-sleeve shirt and wrap it around your waist whenever you get too hot. For your bottoms, trekking pants or rugged women’s jeans are both good options. If you do want to wear athletic shorts or something else instead, consider packing a spare pair of pants in your backpack.
If you are hiking during the colder season or embarking on a snowy winter expedition, you will need at least three solid layers: a form-fitting thermal base layer like a women’s thermal , a thick mid-layer, and a waterproof outer shell. In addition to your top layer, you will also need hats, gloves, and other winter accessories to keep you warm. You will also likely need more layers on the bottom for a winter hike, such as leggings underneath thick, warm pants or even snow pants.
Whether or not you will need these items will depend on the type of hiking expedition you are going on. If you are simply going for a brisk, hour-long hike, you won’t need much. When hiking for several days, you may need all of these items. It all depends on your personal needs and what kind of hiking you are doing. For sun protection, pack sunscreen, SPF-rated lip balm, sunglasses, and a sun hat. For tools, pack a knife, a multi-tool kick, a flashlight, and fire-starter supplies. For navigation, pack a map, a compass, a GPS, and a phone, if you will need directions for your hike.
Are you planning to take more hikes this year? Shop Lands’ End today to stock up on the supplies you need for day trips and longer treks.