Hiking reconnects people with nature and nurtures positive moods. An extended hike delivers an immersive experience that amplifies nature’s capacity to strengthen your well-being. Prepare for your trip with this list of items you should bring on your first hiking trip.
The right clothing for your hiking trip depends on the time of year and your activity level. Moisture-wicking underwear and shirts will help keep your skin dry, preventing chills and chafing. Wear a moisture-wicking base layer underneath a middle layer, such as flannel, and a jacket in cold weather.
Quick-drying shorts and pants are also essential for comfort. Hiking socks should provide cushioning and fit well to prevent blisters.
You’ll be on your feet for long periods, so proper footwear is one of the best investments you can make for your trip. Heavier boots can provide more stability on rougher terrain, but you can use hiking shoes or day hiking boots for most hiking trips.
Hiking shoes feature a low cut and flexible midsoles, making the shoes more lightweight and easy to maneuver in. Day hiking boots wrap around the ankles and have stiffer midsoles to provide more support and protection on the trail.
When deciding on what you should bring on your first hiking trip, don’t forget a backpack. A regular backpack works well for shorter hikes as long as it fits all your essential items comfortably.
For longer treks, consider a hiking backpack. A hiking backpack has a hip belt that distributes the bag’s weight across your hips and a sternum strap that keeps the bag balanced. Hiking backpacks have optimized compartments that make organizing and accessing your essentials easy.
Food and Water
Stay energized and hydrated with snacks, water, and other fluids. Some of the best snacks include trail mix, whole fruits such as apples and oranges, granola bars, dried fruits and vegetables, and energy bars. You will want lightweight, non-perishable, nutrient-dense foods.
Water and electrolyte drinks are great beverages to bring on your hike. Pack about two cups of fluid for every hour of your trek. Avoid alcohol, fruit juice, and soda, as these can cause you to become dehydrated during the hike. Drink plenty of water the night before and the morning of your excursion to start your journey adequately hydrated.
Navigation Tools and First Aid Items
Finally, remember to pack navigation tools and first aid items. Bring your cell phone, but know that it might not work in more remote areas. A paper map and a compass will help, too.
Essential items for your first aid kit include antiseptic wipes, bandages, blister treatments, tweezers, and antibacterial ointment. You can add other coverings, medications, and tools for a more thorough kit. Sunscreen, lip balm, and bug spray are also great to have on hand.
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