Health,  pastimes

Hiking Gear – What You Need To Get & Know Before Hitting The Trail

Comfortable Apparel
Hiking requires wearing clothing that allows your body to move freely without restricting it. Your base layer should be made of breathable fabrics like nylon or polyester; cotton absorbs and retains moisture which can lead to discomfort in both cold and warm temperatures.

Hiking apparel should also be durable as it will likely come into contact with rough surfaces and elements found outdoors, such as hiking pants and boots that may come into contact with rocks, trees and other hikers. Lightweight apparel will reduce how much weight must be carried while on longer hikes.

At the end of your hike, be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Many hikers opt for UPF 50+ certified hats as an extra safeguard against their harmful rays. It is particularly important that your eyes receive adequate protection; prolonged sun exposure may result in permanent eye damage – possibly leading to cataracts.

Sturdy Footwear

No matter if it’s for an afternoon hike in the park or backpacking trips of several weeks, having sturdy footwear is crucial to your safety and comfort. Wearing proper hiking boots will prevent blisters, bruised heels and busted toenails so you can focus on enjoying nature without worry.

Hiking shoes should be durable, breathable and offer superior traction for the trail conditions they will encounter. Lower-cut trail shoes or trainers are great for shorter trips while longer hikers should consider investing in waterproof mountaineering boots that protect from rolling ankles and other potential injuries.

What you need before a ride doesn’t stop at clothes. Water purification is another important hiking gear item to ensure clean drinking water at all times on the trail. A straightforward solution for water purification is anything which can remove harmful bacteria, viruses and cysts with just a single squeeze – saving you from having to carry around a cumbersome filter/pump setup while still providing access to clean drinking water while out on your adventure.

Emergency Bivvy

An emergency bivvy is an invaluable piece of gear to bring on outdoor adventures, particularly hiking trips. This essential shelter can save your life if you become lost or isolated without enough time to set up a tent or tarp in time and also provides protection from wind, rain and snowfall.

Bivvy bags are lightweight plastic sheets with reflective interior surfaces to trap body heat, suitable for one or two people. Each bivvy features a waterproof seal and drawstring to start fires quickly; it may serve as a signaling device letting others know where you are located.

Bivvies may not be cheap, but they could save your life in extreme wilderness conditions. Unfortunately, however, some may find them too claustrophobic for long-term comfort – this may make the best option less suitable if undertaking multi-day survival trips as condensation could quickly went through your sleeping bag and render it useless.

Trekking Poles

Grips made of different materials can dramatically impact both comfort and performance of poles. Cork grips are most comfortable, as they resist moisture from sweaty hands while decreasing vibration and conforming to your hand shape. Foam is often considered second best; rubber usually falls third due to being less comfortable yet still absorbs moisture and vibrates when sweaty; foam tends to be softer than rubber but retains durability better than either material.

Look for poles with ergonomically-angled grips (lower price poles often feature straight grips). An ergonomic grip ( enables your wrists to rest more naturally when the pole is planted behind you; some manufacturers even make specific grips for both right and left hands that help avoid pronation of wrists which can lead to painful pronation of wrists and overuse syndrome.

Traction Devices

Traction devices like ice grips and micro spikes add extra traction for hiking over snowy and icy trails, making your boots more useful and providing additional traction on snow- and ice-covered paths. Lighter and more flexible than crampons, traction devices may save lives in slippery trail conditions.

When selecting traction devices like these, a number of factors need to be taken into account. If you plan on using your device across various terrains, look for devices with evenly spaced spikes or studs so there are no gaps in traction. The number of spikes could affect how much weight they add; some devices like Black Diamond Access Spikes contain fewer spikes but provide more comfort for walking on soft snow and ice surfaces.

Traction devices should not be worn regularly on hard surfaces as this will put too much strain on their spikes and wear them down more rapidly. Instead, for daily use consider more budget-friendly options, like the Yaktrax Walk or Kahtoola NANOspikes which feature coils, studs or very shallow spikes – ideal for urban walks and winter hikes over moderate terrain – plus are easily carried in your backpack should an unexpected icy patch arise during your trek.

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