For the outdoorsy type: What is the most breathtaking view of nature that you have ever seen? What did it take you to get there? Whether you're a wilderness journey expert or simply a curious individual that wanders, you all share the common interest in getting out there, challenging yourself, and taking in the view. If you think about it, hiking and climbing have essentially been a common human activity, even at the most basic and primitive level. Before any kind of motor technology, humans explored the landscape around them by simply walking around. Now seen as a great form of exercise, hiking has evolved from simply exploring to appreciating nature while challenging yourself to new heights. However, if not equipped properly, hiking can be quite arduous, even dangerous in some cases. Here are some must-have essentials to bring with you on every hike so that you're ready for whatever comes at you.
Always make sure you carry enough water in a container that is easy to bring and refillable. Some of the best options are either a CamelBak or an aluminum water bottle. Pro-Tip: fill your water bottle half way the night before, and lay it on its side in the freezer. In the morning, fill up the other half with water and you'll have ice cold water most of your hike. When it finally melts, you have more cold water!
Depending on how long your hike is, have a backpack that will be able to accommodate all the necessary supplies you are bringing with you. Get one that has good support and relatively lightweight. As part of a side list, here are all the little essentials you should always have in your backpack:
- a light snack
- first aid
- small flashlight
- Trail marking tape (this stuff is biodegradable too!)
Compression shorts are great because they wick away moisture, breathe really well, and prevent chafing on even the longest of journeys.
Serving a different purpose, compression socks will give you the ability to endure even the longest of hikes. The graduated compression will support your legs by promoting healthy circulation, preventing shin splints, and reducing lactic acid buildup. I recommend wearing Sigvaris Merino Wool socks for hikes because they are soft, comfortable, and can wick away up to 30% of its weight in moisture.
Good hiking shoes:
Last but certainly not least: your shoes. Without proper-fitting comfortable hiking shoes, you will not get very far up the mountain. Whether you prefer boots or low cut shoes, you need a rigid and relatively water-resistant type of shoe. Boots are great because the high tops prevent ankle injuries from stepping on uneven terrain. However, shoes have the upper hand (or foot) in terms of being more lightweight. Not sure which one to choose? Honestly, I'm not so sure either, so here's a pretty good guide on picking the right hiking shoe, courtesy of REI.
When you're out exploring nature, remember to be aware of your surroundings so as to not get lost, and take steps to prevent injury so that you can make it back down to your car with little to no hassle. Always plan your adventures, and make sure you don't stray off too far from the trail by yourself. Happy hiking!