Hike Smarter With These Essentials
When you tire of working out in the gym or running on the treadmill, hiking your favorite trails is a great way to switch things up! Now that summer has come to a close and autumn is chilling the air, it is the perfect time to go for a hike. Here are a few things I’ve found that you should consider taking with you on your next hiking excursion:
Many hikers make the mistake of thinking that if the sun is hidden behind clouds there is no reason to bring the sunblock. Unfortunately UV rays can still burn your skin. I highly recommend non-nano sunscreen that works great and is eco-friendly.
While hiking boots might not be necessary for every new hiker, it is essential to wear comfortable shoes. It is especially important that the shoes have excellent traction. You should never wear open shoes or sandals to hike.
Food and Water
Staying hydrated can make the difference between a good hike or an airlift to the ER. Make sure to bring along enough water, consuming most of it on the ascent. Best case, use a water filter and take advantage of streams. Otherwise, take between 2-4 liters (heavy).
Additionally, healthy snacks are important. Your body needs fuel to hike! Make sure to bring food with good protein like nuts, a meal replacement bar, or meal replacement shake (just bring the mix and add to water). All of those items are lightweight, too, which is essential for hiking.
Not just any backpack will do. You need one that is not only practical but also comfortable. Nobody wants to hike with an uncomfortable pack, especially if the hike is particularly long. Without a backpack, it makes it extremely difficult to carry everything that you need to have a great hike.
Being a valuable player in hiking essentials, a backpack can act as a portable picnic. My husband gave me this awesome picnic backpack for our 3rd anniversary. We use it on all of our long hikes to enjoy with our family.
First Aid Kit
The best way to stay safe on a hiking trip is to bring along a first aid kit. This kit should include Band-Aids, gauze pads and any emergency medications. You might also consider packing some antibacterial spray and tweezers. Accidents are never predicted, but it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive!
No matter where you hike in nature, you are bound to run into bugs. If you do not want to end the day covered in bites just pack along some spray.
Map and Compass
Even the best hikers often find themselves lost. You are better off carrying a map of the trail and a compass. Even GPS can fail you at the worst times. One of my biggest fears is getting lost in the woods, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Cotton is a very heavy fabric that most hikers try to avoid. This is especially important in wet conditions, when cotton becomes very heavy. Hikers find wet cotton to feel extremely uncomfortable, especially in the wind. You should stock up on hiking gear that feels great in all conditions.
Nothing feels better than working out surrounded by nature. Best of all, you do not have to hike alone. You can take family and friends with you! It is definitely a great way to exercise as a group, exploring nature at the same time. We’ve made it a tradition in my family to go on hikes this time of year and find it a great bonding experience every time!
Today’s guest post was by Quinn McAdams