Having the correct footwear on a hike is very important. If your feet get to hurting on a hike, you can forget about enjoying yourself because every step can be excruciating. Choose a shoe that’s lightweight, comfortable, provides excellent traction and ankle support. After selecting your footwear, try a short hike first to see how they fit and if they irritate your feet at all. Then, after you have found a pair of shoes that are comfortable and reliable, you know your most important body parts for hiking (your feet) will be set to go for a longer hike.
Selecting a good cap for hiking is a must. Whether you need to keep the rain out of your eyes or the sun off your nose and ears, a good hat will protect you from the elements above. Choose a hat that is lightweight, breathable, water resistant and has a wide brim all the way around. The wide brim will protect the back of your neck and shoulders as well.
The sun beating down on you all day can cause bad burns in sensitive areas. Although a lot of hiking trails are in the forest which provides some shade, the sun still is a respectable opponent to any serious hikers. Choose a small container that won’t add a lot of extra weight or take up extra space in your pack.
Knowing where you are during a hiking or backpacking trip is a key component to your trip. If you have ever been lost before in the woods, you know the feelings is terrifying! Since most hiking trails are on public lands, contact the local land owner: BLM, National Forest Service or State or County managers, etc. Getting lost in the woods is never fun and can be tragic at worst and very scary at least.
If there is one type of creature that flourishes in the woods, it’s the insects. Ants, beetles, centipedes, spiders and the hikers most dreaded foe….the mosquito swarms. Most bugs in the woods are completely harmless, but those pesky mosquitoes can leave you itching from head to toe. Don’t give those bloodsuckers one drop of your blood. Keep your exposed skin sprayed especially when going by lakes at high elevations.
If you’ve chosen the wrong clothing, it can really weigh you down. Avoid denim and other heavy fabrics. Choosing a lightweight nylon or mesh breathable fabric is the way to go. Many sporting good stores offer hiking clothes that can help keep you warm at night and cool during the heat of the day. R.E.I, Columbia and Cabela’s stores all have great selections of outdoor clothing.
Whether you prefer an old-fashioned wooden stick or the new high-tech lightweight hiking poles, having a good walking stick is crucial to your safety and to help in case you sustain an injury along the trail. A hiking stick can help steady you on uneven trails, can be used to keep snakes away or other creditors who might get too close for comfort.
Water is heavy and although you must carry some with you, it’s helpful to carry the least amount possible and use a filter system to gather water from fresh streams or rivers along your trek. This is one item it’s very important to be high-quality. You can get sick from contaminated water, so spare no expense in buying a high-quality filter system that is lightweight, compact and receives the highest reviews.
When selecting which food you will bring along for your trip, make sure to choose foods high in calories and as light as possible. Avoid junk foods, processed foods and Heavy items such as canned goods. Cliff bars, M.R.E’s, freeze dried food, Jerky and granola bars are all great choices. Avoid foods with lots of packaging as you don’t want to have to haul garbage with you after you have eaten the food.
Having a good multi tool with you on the trail is a must. Choose a high-quality brand like Gerber or Leatherman to ensure you will have all the tools needed. Choose a tool that has a knife blade, a saw blade, a file, a can opener and a set of needle nose pliers. Emergencies can happen anywhere and you don’t want to be out in the wilderness without a tool to help. As with all items on your hiking or backpacking trip try to choose a lightweight and compact tool so you are not weighed down with a ton of gear. I hope this list will be helpful to hikers and backpackers all across the world. If anyone reading this blog is interested in hiking in Oregon, please be sure to check out Mt Hood Teleporter Shuttle. We can take you to many popular hiking destinations in Oregon including the Pacific crest Trail, Misery Ridge, China Hat and trails in Central Oregon and around the Portland area. www.mthoodteleporter.com