Is it your first time hiking? Or the last time you went hiking was 11 years ago? Then some basic guides and tips such as “Essential Hiking Gear for Beginners” can go a mile away to ensure that you and your hiking group have the best times of your life. Therefore, if you want to know what kind of equipment you can rely on nowadays, read and enjoy this short article of the very essentials you’ll need.
Note: This gear is a must have for your survival.
And in addition there is a space for what not to do when hiking. Careless hikers have the largest probability of poking a diamond rattler, tumble of a cliff and in other senses get themselves routes of trouble. No offense intended, our nation needs more people of outdoor lifestyle and not less. Don’t be scared. Be prepared.
Let’s get onto it.
Here is the list of must have hiking gear for beginners
Below is a guide to the necessary equipment that is a must have when going hiking, regardless if you are an amateur or professional.
Backpack, Sleeping bag, and a Tent – aka the Big Three
We wrote a pretty thorough article on the best choice for backpack, sleeping bag and tent for 2016, but in a nutshell:
Your backpack is the very essence of hiking. Choose wisely, choose a good one and make sure you do pick the best for your hike. There are differences between the ultra small backpacks like the Camelback Mule, the “simple” one-day packs and say, best expedition backpacks that can carry a truckload of gear for you. You don’t want to bring too much on a short hike, but you also don’t want to be left without socks on a 2 week trail.
Sleeping bag, likewise. There is a ton of great sleeping bags that you can chose from, we prefer the Kelty Ignite dridown, but you might want to look for something else.
A tent is also pretty much useful during hiking whether you are going there for a few hours or days, it really doesn’t matter. This is because you might be planning to hike for a few hours yet Mother Nature has put a will of its own which might force you to spend the night. So, for precautionary measure always ensure you carry your tent and beddings which you can use.
How you navigate when hiking plays a huge percentage of survival, because it is the deciding factor of whether you are going in the right direction. It is the only reliable way of telling will you reach your destination. On time. Navigation equipment includes a watch, map and compass. The latter should have glass casings.
It is also a good idea to have a tracker that you can leave with the police or relatives after informing them of your adventure. This will enable them to easily locate you if at all they fear something went wrong.
You also might want to consider investing in a GPS device.
Find your Affordable GPS Device right here.
If being in the wild is your passion and you frequently spend several days out there, even in harsh conditions, then getting one of these units may be a good idea.
When hiking, it is a perfect gesture to ensure that your feet are protected by wearing foot gear that is well covered and hard on the sole. The woods have thorns, you know, some of which are poisonous hence; it is very dangerous to be pierced by them. Especially in such an environment where medical attention is a nightmare because of the distance.
We prefer Merrell hiking boots, with their Vibram sole which is a blessing on longer hikes. The one shown here will literally feel on your feet like you are walking on clouds. Men’s shoe:
And the same, for Women:
So, again, be prepared. Fully protect your feet by wearing hard soled boots made for this particular activity.
On longer hikes, your boots should be tall to cover your legs in order to protect you from dangerous and poisonous crawling animals. Like snakes.
First Aid kit
Although you may not anticipate for anything bad to happen to you, it is usually a precautionary measure for you to carry a first aid kit, this is because, you never know what might happen on such an adventurous journey.
It’s not being negative rather working on realism. It may not be you whom an accident may fall on, but the kit can work for someone else maybe a partner, friend or even a total stranger whom you might meet there stranded and in need of help.
Water and Lighter/ Matchbox
As they say, “water is the source of life”. This definitely makes it an essential package in the hiking business. Hence you must carry dispensing water equipment or chemical such as chlorine in order to purify the water in the wild before you can drink.
If at all you drink the wild water without purifying you stand the risk of being contaminated with diseases such as bilharzias, amoeba, cholera and other waterborne diseases. In substitute you have the option of boiling the wild water before drinking as another way for water treatment (We still recommend the proven good purifiers such as the Survivor Filter PRO from Amazon).
But it’s not only for boiling water, you must have a matchbox or lighter for other reasons too. What if you want to cook/warm your food while hiking. Or, in rare cases, if you do get in trouble or can’t make it to your shelter during the night and need to sleep in the wild, you will want to make a fire to keep you warm during those freezing nights in the woods.
A great alternative to matches that can get wet, or stop working is a good outdoor firestarter. You can get one here.
Some people prefer carrying bottled water; this is not a good idea because in most cases thirst may consume you heavily under the hot sun during the hiking business leading you to exhaust your water can quickly. Be on the safe side by carrying your alternative means of drinking water as explained above.
The amount of water normally depends on how long the hiking journey is going to take.
The rope, you may despise it because of its simplicity, but it is one of the most effective equipments that can save your life in the hiking world. No one with their rightful mind would dare go into the wild without a rope and simple pen knife. You don’t have to buy some super fancy extra expensive cord either. It’s enough if you carry with you a 100 Ft long rope such as the Titan Mil-Spec 550.
It is designed as parachute cord, but works awesome for all outdoor enthusiasts.
Even boy scouts and girl guides in their training instruction put the two as a major priority. As a beginner you may not understand the magical nature of this life saving equipment, but for those that have gone to the school of hiking and gathered experience from it definitely know of the need for the two. Pack your ropes and pen knife in the hiking quest, their use will definitely come up.
We here are big fans of survival knives which are also great for hiking and camping too. This is the one that we liked the most:
This is the kind of knife that won’t disappoint you ever.
Light is what we need to be bright, “give me light and you have shown the way”. It is a simple statement, but a true one when implemented in the world of realism. When hiking during the day and the cover of darkness overshadows you during the night, there and then is when you will know how hard it is to be blinded.
If you are looking for an affordable one, Aennon got you covered. For a pretty fair price you can light your path to instant beauty. Or, you know, not step in cow poop.
Without light, hiking would be a nightmare and sudden death can approach you at any time. This is why whenever you are going on a hike whether it is short one which can take half a day or that which goes for days always ensure you carry an effective flash light (two of them, one as an insurance policy) and extra batteries.
A dark night in the woods without a flashlight or lamp is something you won’t want to experience. There are so many things which you must avoid under the cover of darkness. For example, there are set-up traps by hunters to catch animals, uncovered holes, wild animal dens, and dead-end roads, among other things which you might not want to be caught-up in.
If you are looking for top-notch products in headlamps, the Apex is one of the best. A bit pricy, though, but you’ll definitely be satisfied with it. Easy on the eye, and the reviews are quite good:
Mobile Phone or any Other Contacting Device
Mobile phones have become cheap lately and almost everyone can afford and own them. This is a good thing to our society and we should embrace the advantages that come with this technology even when on our hiking business. It is a very good idea to be with your mobile phone at all times with all the necessary contacts and enough credit to call and receive calls. This will enable people to know that you are doing fine and at the same time you will be able to call back and reassuring you are well in hiking whereabouts.
Sometimes people go on hikes where phone networks are rare to find or even unreachable. In such places they should ensure to tell the local authorities of their whereabouts and when they are expected to return from their trip.
It is usually advisable to sleep under a mosquito net whether you are at home or in the woods. It is not a good idea to go on a giant adventure then fall sick because of a small bite from a mosquito. Don’t be a laughing stalk, take precaution and live a healthy life away from malaria parasites.
You can even combine them with your “bed”, that is, there are hammocks that come with mosquito nets installed with them, makes your life easier if you can sleep above the ground (which in some cases isn’t such a bad idea, given the bugs and all that can crawl in the wood during the night)
When doing your outdoor lifestyle carry your mosquito net and ensure you sleep under it because in the wild is where most mosquitoes breed due to the tall bushes and stagnant water. Malaria is not the only sickness to be worried about, but also cold and flu.
Cold and Water Proof Gear
When hiking, it is important to carry harsh weather preventive gear as this will prevent you from unfavorable weather conditions such as heavy rains and cold weather. Water proof gear will prevent you wetness caused by rain or when you fall into a pool/stream of water even a river while the cold weather gear will be keeping you warm all through.
A Small Radio
The radio, it sound funny, but this small gadget can actually save your life. This is because it gives you news when on your hiking business hence, keeping you up to date. However the main reason why you should carry it is because of the weather locust update especially of the area where you are hiking. This will enable you to know what your next plan of action should be.
Conclusion about hiking gear for beginners
The outdoor life is an immaculate beauty and one that everyone whether young, old poor or rich should experience. It is one of a kind and through it you will appreciate the beauty of life and why it is worth living it. Although hiking is a risky ordeal one should learn to appreciate the benefits that come with it and overlook the risks because they can be avoided through proper planning and experience.
So take that courageous step and go into the wilderness for your first hike. You might also consider who are you hiking with.