Today I was thinking about what should be on a hiking gear checklist for hikers just starting out.
With that in mind, I created the list below as a general guide to what to look to acquire when putting together your hiking gear for a day hike.
Hiking pants or hiking shorts
The right hiking pants are a must. Water resistant is always a good idea. I like the ones with air vents that can be opened to allow better air circulation and keep my legs dry, as sweat can be absorbed from the skin. I also like mountain pants with a detachable bottom so they can easily double as shorts.
A must for colder temperatures. A good hiking fleece will keep you warm and dry under the right waterproof hiking jacket.
You need to make sure you have proper undercoats. The first base layer is next to your skin, so like your hiking pants, you want breathability so sweat can evaporate comfortably. The colder it is, the more layers you need. It’s always good to bring an extra one or two just in case.
If you are going to walk through marshes, water, snow, etc. Gaiters are really useful in helping to keep your feet and boots drier.
If it’s cold when you’re out on a hike, a nice woolen hat is a great addition. Worn under the hood of your waterproof jacket, it will keep your head nice and warm. Alternatively, if it’s scorching hot and the sun is down, a baseball cap or beach-style hiking cap will protect you from harmful rays.
These should be waterproof, wind resistant and ideally leaving you with some mobility in your hands to grab, open, etc.
Good socks are just as important as good boots. It is worth getting some good hiking socks to complement your hiking boots or shoes to ensure maximum comfort and avoid the dreaded blister!
Day or technical package
Of course, you need something to carry your extra gear and some basic supplies, so carrying a comfortable backpack on your back is a must.
Hiking Boots and Footwear
Of key importance when hiking. You need the right boots or shoes for the weather and climate you are walking in. It should fit well and your boot or shoe should be well seated. It is a good idea to arrange them in your home or around the block before using them on a hike. Always wear your hiking socks when breaking a hiking boot!
Waterproof hiking jacket
It really depends on what weather you are walking in, but it will invariably rain at some point, so you must have the right waterproof jacket for walking. There are many options to choose from, many of which have removable layers and can therefore be adapted for year-round use.
Additional hiking clothing
Extra clothing is a must if you are moving in and out of different temperatures and weather, which can happen very easily as you climb a mountain. It’s always good to have a little more than less, I think.
This list is not exhaustive, but it does list some of the key things to take with you on your daily walk. Being as prepared as possible will ensure that you have as comfortable and enjoyable a hike as possible.