Any trip worth going on should have an element of exploration to it. Even if it’s just because it’s a new state or country. But some of the best included an activity. There are some amazing hiking trails in the world, every country in the world has them, and some great ones are here in the US. But packing for a hiking holiday is different than packing for a pool-side or city break. There are things you need to think about that you wouldn’t need to otherwise – the same as if you wear going on a diving vacation, or doing a ski season. In amongst shopping for the best deals on sundresses, top brand sunglasses, and on-trend travel luggage, you should start looking for the best deals, top brand, and on-trend hiking gear.
Hiking, no a casual walk, needs special equipment and planning. And is a great way of exploring a new place.
You need to take the right sort of hiking shoes for the walk you’re doing. Consider the grip needed, durability, waterproofness, and how tall – are there snakes and ticks where you’ll be walking, ready for an exposed ankle to nibble on? Go for a well known and reputable brand, and give yourself time to break them in on familiar routes, before heading into new territory.
It doesn’t need to be huge, but you need to be able to carry necessities with you, like food, water, first aid supplies. Find one that has a built-in camelbak, so that you don’t need to constantly be stopping to pull out a heavy, space-taking water bottle.
Keep the basics in your bag, and in the bags of you hiking buddies. Simple things like blister tape and bandaids, but also things like bandages, insulin – if someone needs it – and painkillers. If one of you needs a particular medication, life insulin or an inhaler, then have multiple copies in different packs just incase of an emergency.
Dress in layers while you’re hiking – you never know how hot it’s going to get, or when a sudden wind picks up. Choose clothes that use thermo-insulating technology that keeps you cool when you need it, and warm when the situation calls for it. Layers mean that you can slowly peel off, or pile on as you need to.
The aide of walking sticks, not the sort your grandparents use, but one’s designed for multi-terrain hiking, can really help you by giving extra support as you walk. They are also great for testing the possibly treacherous ground before you walk on it. Again, opt for a reputable brand before buying.
Hiking apps are great – they combine maps with altitude and location services. You can use a GPS tracker for emergencies and even receive to-the-minute weather warnings. The top hiking apps for this year are AllTrails, PeakVisor, and First Aid By Red Cross. If you’re using these apps, invest in a portable power pack and a waterproof case.
As crazy as it sounds, there are parts of the earth where you can’t get cell reception. In those instances, you need to be prepared for everything the old fashioned way. A map and compass (and knowing how to read them) will help you to find your way back, and a satellite phone might be your only option in an emergency to contact help – make sure you have the numbers you need memorised or written down.
This doesn’t fit in your suitcase as much as in your head, but before heading out on a hiking trip, make sure you have researched where you’re going. Is the trail within your level of experience, or way above what you’re used to doing? Is the weather going to permit you to complete the hike, or will it be unsurpassable? Are there any creatures you should be aware of before setting out – snakes, wolves, bears? And if so, what do you do in those situations? These, and many other questions are things you should be asking yourself before you even set off for your hiking trip.