If you want to take up hiking as a hobby, perhaps you want to start enjoying nature a little more, want to get fit, or just looking to join a club to meet some new friends then there are several pieces of essential kit you will need to get started. While everybody’s idea of essential gear is different, and you may find once you walk regularly your needs and requirements change, the basics to get started include : –
- The backpack, you cannot hike without this, it is essential to store all your must have items and is easy to carry on your back. Size of backpack depends on length of hike, only use the larger packs if you are on a several days hike. One day hikers can manage very well with a school bag size backpack. The backpack should have at least one easy access pocket for those emergency essentials.
- Sleeping bag and tent – remember, if you are on a day hike this is not at all necessary, don’t take it, keep weight to a minimum. Overnight stays then these items are a must.
- Good quality footwear is essential, they need to fit well, be waterproof and preferably with padded ankle supports, like high tops. If the shoes are brand new they need to be worn in a little before the hike to avoid blisters. Spare socks are also essential in case your feet do get wet. Walking around with wet feet can cause more problems that you just don’t need and can make for a miserable time.
- clothing – light layers are a good idea along with a waterproof light weight jacket with hood. In poor weather waterproof pants are a must too. In summer this is not always necessary but when it is cold light layers are your friend.
- Food and Drink – water is important so take plenty, a refillable bottle is a great idea. Protein bars and jerky are good food packs too.