Are you looking for a hiking checklist for your first trail of 2022?
Everyone is raring to finally go outside as lockdowns and restrictions begin to lift. Many of us may have taken the freedom of going out and enjoying the sun for granted. While you may not be able to travel outside your state yet, there may be a hiking trail open near you.
Studies show that the benefits of hiking go beyond physical in nature. While it increases strength and improves health, there are also plenty of mental benefits. If you’ve been feeling cooped up for too long, hiking is definitely something to try.
Before heading off, you need the right equipment. This article covers a backpacking checklist for essential gear when going hiking. Read on to discover more!
Wear the Appropriate Gear
Hiking can feel like an Instagrammable adventure, but you can’t go off with the wrong gear. When hiking, there’s no need to dress to impress. Put your comfort first and wear the right equipment.
Jeans and jewelry are a no-go for a hiking trail. Instead, opt for clothing with synthetic fabric. Quick-dry and sweat-wicking clothes are your best friend on a day hike.
Unlike cotton, synthetic fabrics are best for hiking trips as they don’t trap moisture. Trapped moisture can give you a higher chance of hypothermia and bacterial growth, depending on the climate. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast to have a better idea of what to wear.
Regardless, it wouldn’t hurt to pack a raincoat in case of a drizzle. It’s also crucial to have proper hiking shoes to prevent sore feet.
Stay organized and pack all your things in a daypack. Whether you’re out for a 3-mile hike or a longer loop, a daypack is a crucial component of your hiking checklist. Most backpacks aren’t sturdy or big enough to carry all your packing essentials.
When choosing a daypack, fit and capacity are vital things to consider. You want a backpack that sits comfortably on your torso and hips during the hike. If you’re an experienced hiker, look for backpacks with features to fit your hiking style.
Water Bottle and Trail Snacks
It goes without saying that you need proper sustenance before any kind of exercise. However, don’t forget to bring snacks and enough water on a hike. Energy, nuts, and jerky are great snacks for the trail. You may also pack a little extra something for lunch, like a sandwich or a pre-cooked meal.
As a general rule of thumb, each person should bring 2 liters of water for a hike. However, the amount of water you should bring can depend on several factors. This includes age, the hike’s length, and intensity, and your body type and sweat rate.
Your general thirst level can also affect this. When hiking, a daypack with a water reservoir is a handy feature. It also doesn’t hurt to have a water purifier with you in case you run out of water on the trail.
If you have a dog with you, don’t forget to pack water and snacks for them too!
Even if your hike won’t last more than a day, it’s best to pack two extra sets of clothes. This includes underwear and socks. If you fall in water or catch rain, you don’t want to continue the hike in wet clothes.
Inexperienced hikers are prone to overheating on a hike. If the weather is hot enough, bring a cooling towel. These towels are primarily designed to stay 20-30 degrees cooler than outside temperatures.
All you need to do is wet the towel, wring it, then hang it around your neck. This should provide you with immediate relief on a hot hiking day.
Map and Compass
Whether you’re on a local trail or a 7-day escapade on Mt. Kilimanjaro, you need to have a map and compass. In addition, most hiking destinations offer a guidebook complete with a route description. This should help you avoid getting lost, or at least find your way back if you do.
If you don’t know how to read a map or use a compass, now is the best time to start! Hiking requires a good understanding of your surroundings. This is especially so if you plan on taking up more challenging trails.
First-Aid Kit With Whistle
It’s always good practice to bring a first-aid kit wherever you go. Even if you’re on an easy trail, a first-aid kit will help you complete the hike with a clear mind. In addition, your first-aid kit could help not only you but also other hikers you may encounter.
Bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, cleansing pads, and ointment are the basic components of a first-aid kit. You can also pack antiseptic wipes, alcohol, safety pins, and tweezers. Your kit may also carry feminine hygiene products and sunscreen.
Don’t forget to pack prescription medicine. You can also pack aspirin, ibuprofen, and antihistamine. When hiking, a first-aid kit isn’t complete without a whistle.
A whistle will serve as your lifeline if you get caught in a bad situation. Three loud bursts from your whistle will help you alert others that you need help.
Emergency Paracord Bracelet
No camping trip or a day hike is complete without an emergency paracord bracelet. You can find 12 feet or military-paracord in the compact form of a bracelet. It also comes with an emergency whistle, a small knife, a compass, and a fire-starter.
The Complete Hiking Checklist for You
Hiking is a fun and often rewarding activity. However, there are plenty of things that can go wrong, so don’t leave the house without the essentials. With this hiking checklist, you’re ready to head into the wilderness.
Are you looking for more hiking tips? Don’t stop here! Check out our other blog posts for more guides and discover the best hiking trails in the travel industry.