Planning your very first hike— or simply considering doing one? You won’t want to leave home without these must-haves.
I can’t stress the need for proper hiking shoes! You can get away with different pieces of clothing, but if your shoes don’t offer the right support, it’s going to make your hike uncomfortable very quickly, and also unsafe. In fact, bad shoe choices are one of the top reasons people need to be rescued in national parks.
The Columbia Waterproof Hiking Shoes are a great choice for an easy, lightweight hiking shoe:
A Shoe that’s a bit heavier and more durable for the more experienced hiker would be the Merrell Moab Hiking shoe.
I once hiked in $20 shoes and it almost destroyed my feet. It also wasn’t a pleasant experience. Of course, it will depend on what trails and hikes you do, but for the most part, if you can invest in proper hiking shoes before you head out, do it!
Generally, when hiking, you want to think about layers. For hiking clothes, you want to look for a jacket that’s going to be breathable.
Jackets can also be key for moisture resistance! Whether it’s rain or sweat, nobody wants to feel soaking wet as they hike up a mountain. Avoiding sticky clothes is key. This jacket from Mountain Hardwear is super lightweight, warm if the weather gets cold, but also easy to take off or utilize the pit zip, which cools you down quite quickly. Weather can change instantly when you hike, so you want to be prepared!
Backpacks and accessories
There are a few different things you want to bring along with you on your hike to be safe, which is why it’s important to have some kind of comfortable hiking backpack. This Osprey backpack is from Camper’s Village. I adjusted the straps so it sits pretty straight against my back, it doesn’t sag or pull me down and doesn’t jostle I move. It also isn’t going to stick to me as much as I sweat.
Now what to pack? You always need to bring water and a snack pack. I love 7 Summit snacks’ Explorer Box, this Alberta-made chocolate is specifically for runners and hikers. Their chocolates are made with hiking in mind, so it’s packed with endurance and energy boosters. This is a bonus: they ship all across Canada. My friends enjoy sour gummies for the instant shot of energy, but you have to be careful or you can have a sugar crash and be stuck at the top!
You also want to stay super hydrated throughout your hike, and you’ll need a good bottle or hydration pack. Lamose is a Canadian water bottle brand that retains cold, it is based in Alberta but ships worldwide. They carry a large variety of water bottle sizes in the cutest pastel colours!
Hiking poles are also super helpful! The ones I recommend can be found right off Amazon, click the image below for more information.
How to pack
You want to make sure you’re bringing items that will help in an emergency. Medical and first aid kits are hiking safety essentials and can come super compact these days. This medical kit from Camper’s Village is available in three different sizes depending on the length of the hike.
Using a small air horn, as this portable one, throughout your hike, or being super loud can help keep bears away.
Also important to have with you is bear spray—though, you hope you won’t have to use it. Bear spray is considered a firearm.
On a hike, you want to enjoy the view. To see where you’re going in the dark I’d recommend purchasing a headlight.
The biggest thing to think about is safety. Ask yourself if you could safely and successfully spend a night outdoors if you had to— this way, you can start adding things like a knife or rope to your packing list.
The best time for hiking
In general, you want to consider starting your hike earlier in the day. The weather is generally cooler at this time. Pick easy objectives— ease your way into hiking, don’t push yourself too hard or too fast. Pre-planning is so important. Understanding what the route looks like, what type of terrain you’ll encounter, is really important for a successful hike.
I am NOT a pro hiker, I usually go with experienced hikers or book guided hikes and tours, and if not, I’m researching the heck out of the hike before I go. Again, it depends on the hike you choose, as there’s lots of flat terrain and simple loops that can still give you good views. However, if your hike has a higher elevation, you need to think about what you’re bringing to stay safe and comfortable before you get to that stunning picture-perfect moment. Because let’s face it, this is why I’M hiking, and I think why many beginner hikers get into it.
Use Code LINDORK to get 10% off at Campers Village until Sept. 30, 2021
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