Are you about to embark on your first real hiking trip? Hiking is an incredible activity. It can take you to some of the most stunning places on Earth while it improves your health. From ocean-side trails in the Pacific Northwest to the Appalachian Trail, hiking can take you from coast to coast and beyond.
Before you embark on your first serious hiking trip, you’re going to need to get prepared. Bring these essentials to stay warm, comfortable, and safe.
#1 The Right Footwear
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This depends on what kind of hike you’re taking. Is it a short day trip? Trail shoes are very similar to running shoes but made for more rugged terrain. These are great for short trips, but real hiking boots are needed to provide the kind of support you need if you’re hauling packs or crossing technical terrain.
#2 Thermal Socks
A fall hiking trip can be a cold one, especially if the weather conditions get damp. One of the places where your body loses heat quickly is your feet, but thermal socks can help prevent heat loss. Before your hiking trip, find out what makes a quality thermal sock. Thermal socks made by Heat Holders are a great example. The company uses a 3-step process to create a thermal sock that’s better at retaining your natural body heat and keeping you warm. It begins with high-performance thermal yarn that provides insulation and moisture breathing ability. They then use an innovative knitted loop to create extra long looped cushion pile in their socks. This traps warm air. Finally, they use a brushing process meant to maximize the amount of warm air each sock can contain. Find out more at Heatholders.com and keep your feet warm on your next hiking trip. Test-approved, these are the warmest thermal socks you can find anywhere. Stock up on thermal socks from a company that cares.
#3 GPS & Maps
GPS will make sure you don’t get lost, but when you’re out in the wilderness, don’t put all your faith in an electronic device. A map and a compass will tell you where you are and how much farther you need to go. A map will also help you find an exit in case of an emergency, as well as a source of water.
#4 Safety Equipment
Essential safety items include fire, a light, and a whistle. If the weather takes an extreme turn, you need fire to stave off hypothermia. Whistles are better than your voice at attracting attention if you get lost, and a flashlight or headlamp will be necessary for reading maps and seeing where you’re going on a dark night.
#5 Plenty of Food
Even if you’re just going on a day trip, hiking takes a lot of energy. Bring extra food with you to keep your energy levels up and to keep your hiking trip pleasant and fun. You never know what could cause a delay. Anything from getting lost to enjoying yourself taking pictures or hanging out by a waterfall can cause you to spend more time out than you expected. Don’t forget to bring extra water too.
This is not an exhaustive list. You should also bring sunscreen, a first aid kit, a knife, rain gear, and more. You don’t have to come stuffed to the gills, but there are definitely some essentials you want to bring with you hiking.