Equipment Used for Hiking
When out in wild country, the gear you have along is all you have to rely on. Until you get back to the comfort and safety of your home, it is up to you and whatever equipment you bring along to make your hike comfortable and safe. Failing to bring along the right stuff may mean a miserable experience or worse.
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Gear Up, Dude!
Anywhere on the trail, you can have a fun debate about what are the 10 most critical items to take on a hike. You may find that you absolutely must have a fingernail clipper, but other than that, this list should be a good starting point for the gear that is essential for safety and success.
In addition to the ten essentials, most folks take along a bit more. This checklist gives the more common items to take along and reasons why you should consider them.
Your feet are your vehicle while hiking. Treat them well by supporting them and protecting them with sturdy, comfortable hiking boots or shoes and your trek will be oh so much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, there are gazillions of marketing ploys for hiking gear since it is such big business. You can spend as much as you want.
Socks aren't discussed much outside of the hiking community, but they are extremely important when you are counting on your feet to convey your tired body over miles and miles of rocky terrain. You may not realize it, but there are good socks and bad socks - choose wisely, grasshopper.
Just like there are snowbunnies, there are hikebunnies. People that dress the part, but don't really walk the talk. Real hikers come to grips with the fact that no one looks good after grueling along for 6 or 7 miles in the dusty heat. The clothes we wear can make the trip more comfortable and safe if not better looking.
Day hikes don't require a lot of gear, so a small pack is just fine. Even in small packs, there are quite a few choices to make and your personal preference along with expected conditions and group size will help you pick a perfect pack.
OK, if you tired of the 10 essentials debate on your next hike, ask fellow hikers what they think about hiking sticks and poles. That's sure to be a healthy conversation for an hour or more. Hiking poles have religious believers as well as nay-sayers. They can be useful, but learn to use them correctly and don't expect miracles.
For heavy rain, or wind-driven storms, a full rainsuit provides protection. For occasional showers, better ventilation, and sun protection, consider taking an umbrella on your hikes.
Apr 06, 2015 - romel young
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