Hiking is a great way to spend some time in nature and reconnect with your loved ones. The fresh air and gorgeous scenery make even the toughest climbs worthwhile. Whether you’re planning a backpacking trip or a casual day hike, it is essential to wear the right gear. Here are a few hiking basics you should have when you hit the trail.
Even in cooler weather, bright sunlight can damage your skin and eyes. For this reason, sunglasses and sunblock are essential—no matter the season. The sunnier the climate, the more important it is to wear multiple layers of sun protection.
Some other options can include long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and head protection. Research your destination’s climate and plan your trip attire accordingly.
Even for frigid winter hikes, you want your hiking clothes to be lightweight, breathable, and sweat-wicking. This will keep your skin and clothes dry, preventing chafing and skin irritation. Damp clothes in the winter will only make you feel colder.
Instead, make sure all your layers are designed for athletic use or made of natural fibers. In colder weather, add more layers. Wearing multiple layers also allows you to adjust your attire mid-hike with fluctuations in temperature, altitude, and wind chill.
The Right Boots
While you may see people on the trail in all kinds of footwear, it’s best to wear a pair of good-quality hiking boots.
Sneakers lack the ankle support of hiking boots, making it easier to roll your ankle on a loose pebble. Some people choose to wear cowboy boots, which may seem like a good option at first since they offer more coverage than sneakers. However, there are many differences between hiking boots and cowboy boots. One of the most important is that cowboy boots do not have as good traction as hiking boots. This can be extremely dangerous when hiking a steep slope.
Work boots may look similar, but they’re often heavier and less flexible. This makes them more uncomfortable to wear for miles on end, and it also increases the wearer’s likelihood of blisters.
Now you know just what hiking basics to wear when you hit the trail. Have a great trek!