You know what the ultimate hiker looks like in the movies: large chunky hiking boots, khaki waterproofs and a huge rucksack which is practically as tall as the person wearing it. If they’re really professional, they might even be carrying a walking pole, making them look like some physically superior modern-day Gandalf. But do you know the essentials really required for a healthy hike? Let’s start with what to wear.
Shoes: Hiking Boots or Shoes
Depending on the terrain you plan to hike across, it’s important to pick an appropriate pair of boots. Normal trainers or high street brands aren’t generally appropriate, as they don’t have the durability required to make it across harsher terrain and are impossible to clean fully. A great tip for avoiding the dreaded blisters is to double up on socks: one cotton pair which will absorb sweat, then another thicker pair of hiking socks which will have the dual purpose of cushioning your feet and stretching over your ankles to protect your shins.
Your trousers need to be stretchy enough to enable you to bend over and climb over obstacles without fear of ripping or constricting your waist.
When hiking, it’s easy to forget that the sun is shining directly upon your head for hours. This can cause unwanted effects such as prolonged exposure to UV rays, which can cause health complications. Therefore, as well as applying a lot of suncream, donning a hat can not only keep the sun out your eyes but protect you from heat exhaustion at the same time.
A Sturdy Bag
A rucksack with lots of compartments is extremely useful on longer day-hikes. Make sure this is a lightweight bag to avoid literally getting weighed down.
If you’re not a rucksack fan, there are alternatives such as the Vanquest 3.0 bag (http://www.angloforro.co.uk/product/vanquest-envoy-3-0-messenger-bag/), which is lightweight, comfy and great for shorter hikes.
So now we know what to wear, but do you know the essentials you should pack? We’ve listed our top essentials to pack in that snazzy new bag of yours:
6. First aid equipment
9. Map and/or compass
10. Lightweight fleece or mac
Think we’ve missed anything off? Let us know what you think.