You look around. The sky doesn’t have a single cloud in it. The ground beneath you is soft and pliable. The air is crisp and fresh. You feel a gentle breeze that caresses your cheeks and brings a smile to your face. The sun is shining, and life couldn’t be better. You set off down a nearby trail, leading into the woods, and you feel the hairs across your body stand up on end with excitement. You explore the the gorgeous terrain ahead of you with the only goal in mind being to enjoy the journey.
Hiking experiences like this are not all that uncommon. Many people have experienced the joys associated with getting deep into nature, and hiking is an amazing way to do this. In order to hike, it’s important to be prepared for a large handful of situations you may face out on the open trail. Here are a few items you should consider bringing with you on each and every hike.
1) Hiking Boots
Hiking boots are the number one essential pieces of gear you should have with you at all times, when hiking. These boots are meant to offer your feet and ankles the support they need to overcome the highly variable topography throughout your hiking experiences. Once broken in, they prevent blisters and keep your feet safe, supported, and dry. People who have not used hiking boots while hiking can testify to the pain they have felt in using inappropriate footwear.
2) Adjustable Backpack
Adjustable backpacks are the number two essential pieces of gear that you should have with you when hiking. You can keep everything you need in there, from your wallet and personal identification cards to burn ointment and a swiss army knife. Adjustable backpacks allow people to make the backpacks hug their torso and backs in a comfortable, sustainable manner that keeps aches and pains from carrying gear to a minimum.
3) Protection from the Sun
If you are in the pathway of sunlight from up above, you need to make sure you protect your skin and eyes. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and one breathable, long-sleeve shirt, in case sunburn is imminent.
4) “Just in Case” Materials
When hiking, don’t ever assume that “you will be fine” and “nothing bad could happen.” There are no rules out in the woods, and nature, although beautiful, is not on your side. Make sure to bring a small first aid kit, a swiss army knife, a fire starter; and non-perishable, fully-prepared food, such as nuts and snack bars for the short-distance traveler and MRE’s for the most intense hikers.