Hiking in the great outdoors is one of the best ways to exercise because you can enjoy all the sights, sounds and scents of nature at its best. People will travel to many different parts of the world to hike and enjoy the unique beauty that each region has to offer.
While hiking is great fun and a good way to get exercise it can become dangerous when not properly equipped with the right outdoor hiking gear. Whether you are planning a short half or full day hike, or a longer hike that will include an overnight camp it is vital that you have all the correct hiking equipment.
Preparation of Your Outdoor Gear
With so many types of hiking equipment available it is important to consider what type of hiking trip you are planning. Things to consider may include the length of the hike, the weather conditions you are likely to experience, the terrain, any wildlife you may encounter. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you better prepare for your hiking adventure. Whether this is your first planned hike or you have been hiking many times the one essential piece of equipment that every hiker needs is an excellent backpack. This will be used to carry every other item of hiking equipment, and because you may be carrying it on your back for hours at a time it is vital that it is comfortable as well as functional. The shoulder straps should be fully adjustable and be adequately padded to ensure they do not cut into the shoulders. The backpack should also be the correct size to carry all your hiking essentials. For shorter hikes a smaller backpack may be all you need, but when an overnight camp is planned a much larger backpack is more likely to be needed to allow room for the extra gear required. Essentials to be carried include a very well stocked First Aid kit. While a minor scrape or bug bite may not be an issue at home, when hiking it can easily become infected and require treatment. Injuries can occur at any time, and when hiking in rough terrain it is quite normal for scrapes and cuts to occur.
Carrying a hand-held GPS or at the very least; a compass and an up-to-date map of the area you are to hiking in will ensure you know where you are at all times and prevent you from becoming lost, and the map can also be useful in advising the terrain you are heading into.
Hiking takes a lot of energy and if hiking in heat it is essential that you take an adequate supply of water and food with you. Dehydration can cause debilitation in a very short time, so you need to stay well-hydrated all the time. Take along some snack foods to keep your energy levels up in between rest stops, and pack a little extra in case the hike takes longer than anticipated.
A sturdy flashlight with extra batteries may not seem like a necessity but in some areas nightfall can come on very quickly, and a flashlight will become a necessity. An alternative to a handheld one is to invest in a LED headlamp, which will leave your hands free and yet still light the path ahead.
A multi-purpose tool and survival knife are two small items that can be of great benefit. Equipped with a great range of tools that you may find you need when hiking in the wilderness, they take up little room in your backpack and yet could prove to be a lifesaver. These are just a few of the things that will make your hiking adventure more enjoyable. Having a well-equipped, quality backpack with all of the essentials will ensure you are prepared for just about any situation. Pack your backpack carefully and well, and then you can just concentrate on enjoying your hike.