Hiking is a great way to stay fit while also getting to see the beauty of nature. When you’re planning a long hike, preparation is key, as you want to be comfortable and won’t want to forget the essentials. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to getting ready for a long hike and the things you might need.
Choose a suitable backpack
Before you put your kit together, make sure you have the right bag to put it all in! You should make sure you find a backpack suitable for hiking, rather than using any old bag you have laying around. This is because hiking backpacks are designed with long walks in mind, so usually have a range of useful features, such as:
- Padded, adjustable straps that feel comfortable on your shoulders
- A waist strap, which keeps the pack close to your body for easy carrying
- Waterproof fabrics
- Side or front pockets for things like your water bottle and permits
The size of backpack you’ll need will depend on the kind of hike you’re doing. Day hikers won’t need a huge pack, but if you’re camping, you’ll need a larger bag that can carry overnight camping gear.
wear clothes which can protect you from the sun
If you’re hiking in a hot climate, it can be quite tempting to strip down to shorts and a t-shirt. However, the more skin you expose, the more likely you are to get a sunburn, even with skin protection. Also, exposed skin tends to rub and chafe, which can be uncomfortable after a long walk. Wearing sun protective clothing is the best option. Look for light long-sleeved and legged clothing that covers you, while also wicking away sweat and preventing chafing.
The right shoes are essential too
Another piece of kit you shouldn’t scrimp on is your hiking boots. When you’ve spent hours on your feet going over rough terrain, you’ll be glad you spent a little extra and spent time finding the perfect fit. Also, make sure that they’re properly laced up and don’t move around on your feet.
Check the weather
A lot of hikers set out, only to find themselves stuck in a rainstorm or worse. Don’t make that mistake. Check the weather before you go and avoid setting off during the hottest part of the day. Ideally, you should aim to walk in the morning, take a break and enjoy some shade during the midday sun, then walk a little more when it cools down. If you try to hike when the day is at its hottest, you’ll wear yourself out much more quickly, end up drinking your water supplies much more quickly, and may soon get fed up with the trail.
If you’re planning to push yourself and take on a longer hike, make sure you are well-prepared. Hiking is generally a safe activity, but you need to protect yourself from common issues like sunburn and blisters, and also make sure you are comfortable. That way, you can enjoy the view instead of worrying about things.