Hiking can turn out to be the greatest experience you’ve ever had, filling your batteries to the top, or it can be extremely tiring leaving you exhausted. The difference lies in the preparation, stamina, and in this case, the most important thing is the gear. Having the right equipment will make your journey easier, and you’ll be focused on discovering nature, reconnecting with the people around you along the way, instead of focusing on the challenges that you’ll face if you go unprepared.
In the following article, we’ll walk you through the preparation for a long hike in nature. We’ll be sharing some tips and tricks about the essential preparations and gear you should be familiar with.
The Importance of Good Equipment
The two most important things when going hiking, especially for a longer trip, is your gear. It is of utmost importance that you’ve chosen a quality sleeping bag and adequate tent for the season and expected temperatures. If you are still looking for the best options or you need to upgrade your gear, we recommend you choose an ultra lightweight down sleeping bag and lightweight tent. When it comes to hiking, the first thing to have in mind is that your gear should not hold you down. It should be lightweight and it should pack to a small size so you avoid the load being a hurdle on your journey. The sleeping bag should be manufactured for the temperatures expected in the spots you are planning on camping and we recommend you always choose a spacious tent. Next on the priority packing list is the type of clothes you’ll be carrying and wearing and last food and water supplies, of course. That being said, let’s go over all these in detail.
We’re talking about a long hike in this article. It might be several hours, a whole day, or maybe you plan on camping and continuing your journey. Either way, shoes are really important. You cannot go on a long hike in your regular tennis shoes. They will be really uncomfy and will bring you nothing but pain. Even if you plan on taking some pics along the way, the only thing that people will notice will be the pained expression on your face, not the sneakers.
So, wearing shoes that are right for the terrain is really important. You can opt for sneakers or boots, depending on it. If you plan on hiking in the mountains, boots are the right choice, because there is some high grass, rocks, and it is moist overall. Low boots will protect your feet, but they will also protect your ankles, so you won’t risk limping the rest of the journey.
If you’re not planning on camping, then your backpack should be light. You need only the essentials and that is food and water. Of course, small things like a basic first aid kit, lighter, and a power bank for your phone can also find their way in there. You need to have enough water especially if the place you’re visiting doesn’t have any drinkable sources. In terms of food, after walking that long, you’ll be starving, so a nice sandwich and some snacks will be a real feast for you.
Last but not least on the essentials list is the clothing. What you’ll be wearing and carrying with you is really important for a safe hike. You’ll be needing some comfortable, warm clothes for your hike, especially if the summer is gone. But, let the sun not fool you! Just because it’s hot in the crowded towns, that doesn’t mean it will be away from them. Mountains and places away from the cities tend to be colder and it might even be windy, so if you’re still thinking about bringing that sweater with you- pack it!
Tight clothes won’t do you any good. You’ll get sweaty really fast, and that will cause friction. So, in conclusion: comfortable, looser clothing, an extra pair of socks and a jumper in your backpack.
Tips and Tricks for the Long Hike Ahead of You
Learn how to make water drinkable
Even if you don’t ever end up in a situation where you must filter water and make it safe for drinking, you can be really cool in front of your friend group. There are tons of videos and articles online on how to make water safe for drinking. You should be careful anyway, and don’t do this except if it’s the only available option. Until you get the hang of it, it’s better to be safe!
Take frequent breaks
Long hikes can be exhausting and they can take a toll on your muscles and ankles. So, short but frequent breaks are a lifesaver. You can try to find places along your route where you can rest, and if the hiking trail is marked, there’ll probably be some benches on the way or plain spaces where you can sit for a while. Nature offers some great views, we just have to stop and look for them.
Enjoy the experience
Hiking is an experience like no other, offering you the opportunity to get a step closer to nature, while also reconnecting with friends and loved ones. But, solo hikes can be unforgettable as well. It will give you some time to unwind and forget about ordinary life, and soon hiking will become a regular part of it.