So, you’re looking to get started with the weird and wonderful world of hiking and walking, but you’re not sure what equipment and gear you’re going to need. Well, luckily for you, I’ve got your back. In this blog, I’m going to cover a few pieces of gear that everyone should have before setting out on a hike.
While some people might argue that hiking poles or a walking stick aren’t necessary unless you’re a true hobbyist, I couldn’t disagree more! A stick can be incredibly useful when you’re out on the trail for a number of reasons. First of all, there is the obvious benefit of the support they offer you when you’re walking (especially up and down slopes), this support can help to prevent pain and long-term damage to your knees.
Sticks and poles are also particularly useful when you’re hiking in Australia (or anywhere else with snake), because it helps to announce your presence to any nearby snakes, reducing the chance of you startling or stepping on them – which I can promise you, they will not like.
It’s important that when you head out for a hike that you’re going equipped for your climate and any adverse weather conditions. Putting it more simply, that means taking waterproofs if it’s wet, wrapping up if it’s cold and wearing breathable clothes if it’s very hot. You should also consider things like mosquito spray or a net hat to keep those bloody Aussie flies out of your nose.
First Aid Kit
Whenever you’re heading out and away from civilisation you should take a first aid kit with you as a precaution. While first aid kits might be ideal for helping you to deal with any pesky scrapes and cuts while you’re out on your hike, they can also be the difference between life and death if anything goes really wrong. Make sure that your first aid kit is fully stocked and replace anything that you use as soon as you can.
When you’re out on a hike you might just find that you’re, surprisingly, spending a lot of time on your feet. If you’re wearing bad quality or inappropriate shoes/boots, believe me, after a couple of miles of walking you’re going to notice. Find some boots that are appropriate for the type of walking you’re going to be doing (waterproof or breathable) and go for a good stroll around the shop before deciding which pair to buy. While a high-quality pair might be on the pricey side, you won’t regret the cost.
Something that even experienced hikers still manage to do, is that they forget to make sure that their non-specialised clothes and gear are comfortable. There is no point in spending hundreds of dollars on top of the range hiking gear if you’re wearing an itchy jumper and a pair of pants that seal in all the heat. I’d recommend that you wear the clothes that you would usually find comfortable and appropriate for the climate that you’re going our in. Sportswear is usually a great choice for this, and if you’re looking for savings you can find plenty of deals on sportswear at Groupon.
Last, but not least, you’ll be wanting a backpack to carry all your bits and pieces for your hike. There is no such thing as a perfect universal backpack, so have a good look around to find one that suits your needs and uses. Have a good old think about how much gear you’ll be carrying (remember that you want to carry as little as possible), how far you’ll be walking and how much weight you can carry. Backpacks will also come in lots of different sizes and configurations, so try and find one that fits your body type well.
And, there we go, you should now have all the basic bits and pieces that you need to get started on your new hiking hobby. There are lots of pieces of more specialised gear and things like compasses and GPSs that you should consider, so have a look out there for any guides that are tailored to the type of hikes you want to do. If you prepare properly then every hike you do should be a breeze, and most importantly, fun!