Top 10 Essentials for Hiking
Seriously, I feel there is no such list exist in the universe. Still there are some basic things one must have before planning for a Hiking. The first and the last one should have is common sense, without this don’t plan any hiking trip. The second one is flexibility to adjust in any situations. The Third one is very important, love for nature, that leads someone to close to the mother nature. I have created a list for me and love to share with you. Before preparing the list, I have kept in mind that list is inclined to high altitude hiking. But this list is not meant for so-called Pro Hikers.
Before my first hiking I was completely unsure what to carry and what not. But I searched extensively in google and didn’t get any proper list. Yes, I have found some essentials like Altimeter, Barometer, Anemometer, Hygrometer, Avalanche Beacon & Probes, Snow Shovel, Travel Medical Insurance Bla Bla Bla. Honestly speaking I prepared the list on basic level so that one can trek as he /she wish. Some items here I included in the list that I really own and some are in my future list.
Most popular and trusted brands for Adventure Sports goods are Quechua, The North Face, Black Diamond, Borreal, Lafuma, Colombia, Merrel and there are many more.
1. Footwear :- Shoe plays a major role in Hiking because of the extensive walk. For extensive walk, one must have a good pair of shoe. The housing, Balance, Outer, Weight, Durability are the major factors should be under consideration while purchasing a shoe for trekking. In high altitude trekking I use Quechua Forclaz 500 and if your budget is tight then go for Quechua Forclaz 50 but I recommend you to buy Quechua Forclaz 500(don’t buy Woodland shoes as it is not meant for trekking). If you are trekking in summer or Winter this is the best choice, even it will be right the choice for any weather condition. After a long day of walking, need to give your feet a rest and for that you need to keep a good flip-flop or a river shoe with you.
2. Jacket:- A good Jacket is also should be under consideration especially if you are trekking in winter or under heavy snow. While buying a jacket, lightweight, easy to carry, windshield and the lowest temperature it will provide the warmth that should be in consideration. My recommendation is instead of buying a heavy jacket buy a feather jacket. I use The North Face wind Shield jacket for trekking in winter.
3. Fleece Jacket:- Wherever you go a fleece jacket is must to carry. This is a lightweight jacket made of polyester synthetic and it is not wind and rain proof. In moderate temperature or when you can’t put on a heavy jacket for such situation, it is required. Just to keep the body warmth intact it is very essential.
4. Rucksack:- A good well-balanced bag is very much important. First thing need to consider is the capacity of the bag, either go for 50 L or 70 L bag. But my recommendation is go for 70L bag because it will be helpful for long days trail. If you purchase 55 L that will be a problem for long days hiking because of low capacity. Balance is the key factor of the bag for load carry, especially for high altitude trekking. Keep in mind a well-balanced bag won’t hurt your shoulder. If your bag is not well balanced that can lead to Backpack Palsy, is a Brachial plexus injury related to carrying a heavy backpack. I have 2 sacks one is 50L of The North Face and another is 70L of CLine.
5. Head Lamp:- Torch is OK but not a good choice for hiking because it will engage your one hand completely. So Instead of using torch it will be wiser to buy a headlamp. During hiking it is normal to stay in a home stay, Trekkers hut, or maximum chances is in Tent. You may find those places out of electricity at night especially in outhouse/bathroom. So it is an absolutely necessary item if you are camping. I use Petzl Tikka2 headlamp because of longer duration of battery life and I recommend you to buy a Petzl Headlamp.
6. Knapsack:- A small bag is required for a day hiking. Keep your stuff in a backpack at the base and carry important goods in a knapsack for a day trail.You can purchase any knapsack but consider the portability because you have to carry the knapsack in your Rucksack. So it should not take much place in your sack. I use Quechua F15L knapsack.
7. Sleeping Mat:- Sleeping mat is too some extent is a must. Unless it is provided by your hiking operator/club. But I recommend you to buy a good sleeping mat. It does not only provide you a place to sleep but also saves you from earth surface. So a good quality Mattress is a must.
8. Walking Stick:- Walking stick will provide you stability to walk in all types of terrain. This will enhance your stability and can reduce force on your knees while hiking. You have to keep in mind during purchasing a stick like adjustable,shock-absorbing, ultra light and if you are a carrying camera in that case look for camera mount option in walking stick. These days most of the walking sticks come with a built-in camera mount.
9. Water Bottle:- Yes, a water bottle is a must to carry extra water. A good water bottle or Water bottle with water purifier is very much important. A good bottle with purification system is little costly and that’s the reason I included this in the list. As we all know water plays a major role even in leisure trip and for hiking it is very important to have a good bottle with at least a capacity of 0.75L.
10. Sun Cap/Sun Glass:- It’s may sound like foolish to you that’s why I am included sun cap/sunglass in this list. The nature of Temperature fluctuation on high altitude is very typical and also a difference between min and the maximum temperature is too high. Sun is very hard for eyes and can give you headaches. To protect yourself from UV ray it is really mandatory to carry a good UV protected cap. Also, you must carry a UV protected sunglass and it will also save your precious eyes. My fabs are Glacier glasses coz it’s very useful and looks cool.
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