Essential gear needed for a successful hike
Hiking can be a thrilling adventure, conquering the challenges of the landscape against the elements. However, in order to make the most of your experience you will need the right clothing and equipment to make sure you are well armed and able to perform well.
Hiking is effectively walking, just on rougher terrain and tougher conditions. It is all about exploration and it therefore enables you to see some beautiful scenery and be a part of it. It is an activity that encapsulates being at one with nature and in order to do so your hiking gear needs to be functional as well as comfortable.
You will need to be confident that your equipment can cope with unpredictable weather including heavy rain and strong winds, plus challenging routes that may cause your footing to be unsteady or be filled with wild trees and shrubs that may be in our path.
The most important component of your hiking gear is comfortable and efficient footwear, which you will need to protect your feet from harsh surfaces. You want to make sure that you will have secure footing on rough grounds and therefore need to check that your hiking shoes have a good grip and are protective. Ideally they will be waterproof, resistant to wear, offer stability, breathability and have rubber soles for durability and comfort.
A high quality walking pole will provide a good grip as well as a firm and stable platform. Modern poles are meticulously designed with shock-absorbing properties, lock systems and interchangeable basket systems all of which combined can aid the exhilarating experience of hiking to reduce stress on the joints and ligaments and improve your performance.
Walking poles are there to support your hike and enable you to make as much of it as possible. If you look for features such as moulded handles and anti-shock facilities, it will help you prevent strain and be supportive when descending steep heights and can prevent sinkage in soft ground.
Depending on the conditions you will be facing you will need to dress accordingly. This means base layers to trap the heat in, fleece layers, waterproof trousers, softshell and windproof jackets or down jackets – filled with either goose or duck for added warmth.
Dressing for hiking is all about building layers up and protecting yourself from the elements, so keeping yourself dry, warm and shielded from the wind. Waterproof, wind-resistant and breathable clothing is widely available to ensure that wherever you are hiking you will be comfortable.
Other hiking basics you will need to make sure you have with you are things such as maps, a compass, security rope, a head torch, GPS, first aid kits, blister kits, altimeter watches and watch parts. Make sure you compile a check list of everything your walking group or guide advises you have and tick everything off as you go along until you have a steady supply of hiking equipment that won’t let you down.