While the snow isn't on the ground in the Northeast, I have to keep myself occupied with my day hiking adventures in the mountains and out west at various National Parks. When I'm getting ready to go on day hiking trips, it's important to have the essentials with me to ensure not only my comfort, but more importantly my safety. If you are looking to take a shorter hike or a longer hike, below I have some of the essentials that I bring along with me on every trip.
If you are looking to explore new terrain and become a more experienced hiker, these are some of the best and my favorite items for you to pack for your next adventure. These are some of the products that I use, but remember to always check out 3rd-party offsite reviews for other products before you spend your money.
I love these boots. There's nothing more important than what is on your feet when you are hiking. I have a philosophy of life, there are two things you don't cheap out on, your shoes and your mattress, because anytime of the day you're on at least one of them. I've hiked almost 200 miles in my Merrell Moab Mid Boots in the last two years and they are still going strong.
The thing that really sold me on this boot is not only the handy waterproofing but the way it is designed for women. If you're like me and many other women athletes, you have knee and/or ankle weaknesses of past injuries. These boots are fantastic on your joints. With the alignment of the structure of the insert and sole of the boots are lightweight, with great sturdiness to it. As soon as I put them on I was in love and instantly felt more stable on my bad knee.
When you are putting your feet in your new hiking boots, it's important to have good socks on your feet that will keep you comfortable and keep your feet dry. Especially when it's hot and your feet are sweating it can become a problem if your socks are wet. If you have too much moisture in your boots, your feet will start to slide around and it increases your chance of blisters. These Smartwool Hiking socks are great to wick away moisture and keep your feet dry. I've used these for years and I also use the same brand for snowboarding socks, I'm a huge fan.
This is a bit on the pricey side, but this CamelBak was my favorite when I was looking for a backpack/hydration pack for hiking. Not only did I need something to keep me hydrated during the day for my longer hikes but I needed space to carry my DSLR camera, extra layers, gear, and food for the day. When you are going out for only a couple hours you may not need that much water so you can afford getting a smaller pack, but this one holds 100 ounces of water for the longer days I'm out in the mountains.
I remember growing up and ALWAYS wanting to find a cool stick to hike with. Then as I got older and I was "cool" it was silly to have a hiking stick, just hike! Now that I'm hiking more regularly, I never question whether I should bring my trekking poles. When I had my first trip to Utah in 2014 with my dad, we hiked over 55 miles in 5 days. It was the first time I used trekking poles (that I borrowed from my brother) and I knew immediately I had to get a pair of Black Diamond Trekking Poles for myself.
Not only do they assist in hiking and keep my momentum going, but they provide such a support system on my joints. It alleviates pressure on my knees especially when going downhill. Anyone that hikes, can tell you that pain you get in your knees and your toes slamming into the front of your boots when descending is not fun! These poles are perfect for giving you support while going down and also giving you some extra stability when faced with difficult terrain.
Helpful Tip: When climbing up, adjust the poles to be shorter for an easier reach. When descending make them longer to reach ahead. When you have to scramble and use your hands, it's easy to collapse them and strap them to your backpack.
These are the essentials that I have with me when I'm ready to start my next hiking adventures. If you have any questions about these items or want further tips and details, please feel free to tweet me @BueWho. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Hiking Essentials: What's In Your Pack?
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