Hiking is a terrific pastime that allows participants to exercise while exploring the world.
It is not a risk-free activity; however, many people can safely participate if they bring the proper equipment with them. According to research, the most commonly experienced injuries while hiking long distances include blisters, skin irritation, and joint pain.
Keep reading to discover some essential pieces of hiking equipment you need to bring with you on your next excursion to keep yourself safe.
While hiking, you will experience rocky and uneven terrain. You run the risk of losing your footing and falling if you do not equip yourself with proper footwear. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that you must find a shoe that matches the shape of your feet. Some people have wide feet. Others have narrow feet. Some people have flat feet, or suffer from foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
Regardless of your foot shape, if you do not find the right fit, then you run the needless risk of developing blisters, discomfort, or even injury. You do not necessarily need the fanciest shoes on the market, but you should look for shoes specifically designed for hiking.
First Aid Kit
Even though you hope never to have to use it, carrying a first aid kit with you at all times is vital. At the very least, it should include band-aids, bandages, antiseptic, ibuprofen, tweezers, and safety pins. If you do not feel like assembling all these components on your own, you can buy a pre-made first aid kit that will contain all the essentials.
Consider packing all this in the smallest and lightest package possible so that it does not take up too much space or weight in your bag. While this may not seem necessary to bring on a short hike, it is always a good idea so that you can be safe rather than sorry.
Hat and Sunglasses
Many people forget just how dangerous UV rays from the sun can be. Wearing a hat and sunglasses is an easy way to protect your head, face, and eyes from sunburn and damage. Sun exposure can also lead to cancer and cataracts down the road if you do not take the proper precautions. A hat can also help to keep you cool if you are hiking at high temperatures.
Staying hydrated while hiking is essential. Carrying a water bottle with you, no matter how long you are hiking, is a must. For more strenuous hikes, you may want to consider taking a hydration backpack. Be sure to always bring more water than you think you will need.
Additionally, it is never a bad idea to also bring a water purification system. Bringing this will come in handy if you run out of water and need to find some to drink from a river or stream. You must never drink water you come across without purifying it first because it will likely make you sick.
Carrying a multi-tool like a swiss army knife will help prepare you for anything that may come your way while in the wilderness. As its name suggests, a multi-tool can serve a multitude of purposes while hiking, including assisting in food preparation, first aid, making kindling, or dealing with emergencies. These useful tools are small and lightweight, allowing them to provide significant utility without taking up too much space in your pack.
If you get lost and end up on your own out in the wilderness, a fire will be your best friend. The ability to start a fire will keep you warm and ward off predators. Taking fire starters with you is always a prudent idea because it can be challenging to start a fire with exclusively natural materials.
While it is ill-advised to hike at night, sometimes routes will take you longer than expected. If you find yourself still out in the wild after the sun has gone down, then a headlamp will be of immense help to get you back home again. Without a light, you run the risk of losing your footing and injuring yourself in the dark.
The Wrap Up!
Once you acquire all this equipment, you will be well on your way to being ready to go out hiking. In addition to taking along all this gear, you must never hike alone unless you’re experienced and know the area. You should also always let someone know where you are going.
These small actions will keep you safe and allow you to get help quickly when you need it most. You can never be too prepared when it comes to hiking in the wild.