It is essential to know what to wear while hiking. Even though walking through the trails is a fun hobby, it could also be a dangerous activity if you are not appropriately dressed. Before talking on the importance of wearing the proper hiking gear, let me first go through some of its benefits.
Some Amazing Benefits of Hiking and Going out in nature hiking has always been one of the most popular and enjoyable pastimes known to man. People are naturally drawn to the beauty of nature, and hiking is one way to immerse in that.
If you are trying to find alternative ways to do cardio and strength training, hiking provides a taste of both workouts while also giving you the opportunity to spend time out in the open.
Aside from allowing you to re-immerse yourself in nature and giving yourself a full-body workout, hiking has so many other benefits. Some of them are the following: It saves you from having a sedentary lifestyle. It improves overall health, both physically and mentally. It promotes social interaction with hiking buddies. It provides you with new life perspectives. It does not need too much to get into the hobby.
These are just some of the benefits of hiking, and there are many more to discover as you go through the hobby. While it is quite easy to start, you should know that there are a few things you need to prepare. However, before giving you a list of those few things, I’ll explain why it is crucial for you to know what to wear while hiking.
Why It Is Important to Wear Proper Hiking Gear
Knowing the essential gear to wear while hiking makes any trip safer and more enjoyable. If you have not yet realized, there are so many hazards to this kind of activity. The risk of meeting these potential dangers increases the longer you stay out in the open.
Wearing the proper clothes and bringing the right gear allows you to become more prepared for any unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances that could be unfavorable to yourself and your companions. In the outdoors, one usually does not have control over most of these situations, but being prepared can lessen the risk of the inevitable. Also, wearing the right attire would make you feel more comfortable staying in areas with harsh conditions.
The first thing you have to manage when hiking is the temperature and weather conditions. Conditions could be hot and cold or a combination of both in a single day. That is why you should be ready for both types of situations.
Other things to deal with are insects and wild animals. So, aside from wearing proper attire, you should also bring a few other tools to repel them. Lastly, there are times when accidents may happen while hiking. It does not matter how minor they may be, but during these times you have to be prepared to at least give first aid.
Below, I have listed down the things that I usually wear while hiking plus some gear that I bring to have a safer and more enjoyable outdoor experience.
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Essential Things to You Need to Wear While Hiking
Here is a list of things that I bring when going out for a hike:
Hiking shoes, boots, or sandals – Perhaps the most critical gear I have on my list. Hiking is all about walking and moving from one place to another. That is why it takes a significant toll on the feet every time. A great pair of hiking footwear could provide your feet with sufficient protection.
Hiking socks – A nice pair of hiking socks is also needed for additional foot protection. Hiking socks are not like your average, everyday athletic or dress socks. They are thicker, breathable, and more durable. They also provide more cushioning and support to parts of the feet that need them the most.
Hiking trousers – These types of pants are typically lightweight, weatherproof, and made of extremely durable materials. They are also quite flexible and comfortable to wear, allowing you to bend, stretch, and crouch without worrying that your pants may rip. Mine has multiple pockets to store gear while it can also convert into a pair of shorts.
Hiking shirt – Hiking shirts are made of light materials that keeps sweat and moisture away from the skin. They can be long-sleeved or short-sleeved, or you may want to have both in one shirt. The same as with my trousers, my hiking shirt has zippers to remove the sleeves to make them shorter.
Waterproof jacket – This is essential apparel during rainy or cold weather. The ideal hiking jacket should be waterproof, lightweight, and easy to pack. This is because you don’t need to wear it all the time and it is mainly for emergency purposes. I usually keep mine inside my backpack.
Hat – A good, reliable cap is another necessary gear to wear during hiking trips. It is used to protect your head during both hot and wet weather conditions. I use a lightweight, breathable nylon hat that has a wide brim which I can easily store in a small pouch.
Sunglasses – Sunglasses are another essential gear for eye protection. Aside from protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare, eyeglasses may also act as goggles to shield your eyes from dust or dirt. I use a pair of ordinary sports sunglasses that protects even the sides of my eyes.
Backpack – A reliable and ultra-durable bag is one of the most important things to bring when hiking because it would carry all your water, food, and other gear. I have a medium-sized pack with lots of pockets and compartments. I don’t like to bring a massive backpack so that I could move more freely and would also be forced to carry only the essentials.
Other Gear and Equipment to Bring for a Safe Hiking Trip
Communication equipment – Don’t forget to bring your cell phone or a ham radio so you can communicate in case of emergencies. Smartphones could also be used as a compass, alarm, or GPS tracker if needed.
Tip: always tell someone where you are going, whether alone or with a group, during hiking trips.
Hiking poles – Hiking or trekking poles are good to use when treading any tough terrain. I used to think that they are only for the elderly. However, when I decided to try a pair a few years back, I could never go out to the trail again without them.
Flashlights – Quite handy to have in case you end up getting stranded and the sun has started to set, or you have to spend the night out in the woods. I need to use both of my hands, I bring a headlamp.
First aid kit – Always a vital part of my gear on any hiking trip. Aside from the usual first aid items such as bandages, plasters, gauze dressings, scissors, disinfectants, and medicines, I also include some duct tape, a whistle, and fire-starting materials.
Sunscreen, bug spray, and wild animal repellent – I also bring a few chemicals to help protect my skin from the sun and insects. Also, I carry a bear spray whenever I hike in a bear country.
Hygiene kit – This should be a necessary inclusion every time you go on a trip. The basic stuff includes soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, and some toilet papers.
Camera – A great addition to your hiking gear is a reliable camera. Use it to document your expedition by taking photos and shooting videos. I always bring a DSLR camera with a tripod when hiking.
Hiking should be safe and satisfying as long as you bring the right gear with you. Now that you know what to wear while hiking, it is time to spend some time outdoors on the weekend.