Every outdoor enthusiast understands the importance of personal gear when it comes to hiking, backpacking and camping. Whether you’re just taking an upcountry walk, biking on the trails, or camping on the base of a Mountain- having enough supply of the essential accessories will ensure that you’re not only comfortable but also safe. Here are the ten must-have gear for hiking and camping.
1. Navigation tools
Depending on the area you’ll be exploring, it’s important to have a map, a compass or a GPS locator – just in case you get lost in the woods. In remote places such as mountains and forests, network connection and signals can be limited. This means that digital devices can easily fail. Having a well-detailed map and even pictures of the place will help a great deal.
2. Hiking Boots/ Camp shoes
When hiking, it’s recommended to wear a tough pair of leather boots that will competently protect your feet from any harm. If you’ll be hiking in an upland area such as a mountain or hill, chances are it might rain unexpectedly. Make sure the boots are water-proof and if not, have a cobbler sew a second hem around the entire boot-sole. When camping, an extra pair or two of camp shoes will keep you warm and comfortable inside the tent.
3. Sun protection
To keep your skin in the best of conditions, make sure you wear sunscreen and have an extra package nearby. A sun-cap and sunglasses along with a good quality sunscreen will make sure that you are fully protected from the harsh rays of the sun.
4. Cold protection
If you’ll be hiking or camping in a cold area; a woolen hat, fleece vests, fleece jackets, fleece bottoms & tops are some of the warm clothing you should have in excess. Poly-pro tops & bottoms and the thin-next-to-skin pants will also help in insulating the body. For wind protection, wind jackets and wind pants will be of great use.
5. Water Purifier
Water is not only essential for a healthy lifestyle but also necessary when hiking, traveling or mountaineering. According to Forbes, it’s clear that drinking the right amount of clean water while traveling or hiking helps keep the body in check. When hiking, you’ll definitely find water sources along the way, be it in the woods or beside the mountain. It’s, therefore, necessary to refill your water bottle with clean and purified water. Pack a lightweight water purifier in your backpack and make good use of it throughout the hiking/camping session.
A light-weight flashlight or head torch are some of the must-have gear especially if you’re to spend a night in the wilderness. A traditional backpacker looking forward to spending more than a week in the jungle will need more than one type of flashlight; fully loaded and backed up. A rechargeable flashlight is often, not recommended when hiking in cold areas. This is because it easily drains the charge due to the adverse environmental changes.
7. High-quality shelter
A well-insulated tent is one of the top priorities when packing for a camping expedition. The tent should be strong enough to withstand rain, snow, and wind. Whether you’ll choose a sleeping bag or a quilt, the goal is to have a comfortable sleep at night. It’s evident that sleeping bags are still popular, however, modern quilts are also coming up to replace the heavy and restrictive sleeping bags. The minimalist design of most quilts makes it easy to fit on a roof basket with the other camping accessories.
8. Emergency spare parts
For bikers and truck campers, mechanical issues are never a surprise. When biking along the undulating trails, it is way easier to deflate the tires or even suffer a puncture. Having a good stock of relevant bike accessories will get you out of the mess. The same thing goes for car owners. An extra tire, jack lifter, and some little mechanic skills will come in handy if your car starts acting up.
9. First aid kit
While a standard first-aid kit will not have antibiotics, carrying a few painkillers will help in case of an insect sting or say a persistent headache. Foot care products and insect repellants are some of the essential items every first-aid kit should have.
10. Kitchen supplies and cookware
A camping knife, lighter, kerosene/gas stove, pans, and utensils fall under this category. The type of cookware you’ll carry depends on the outdoor setting and the number of days you are planning to spend out there. Mountain climbers will typically carry every piece you can find in a kitchen environment while those on a fishing or camping adventure will tend to carry cooking grills and other campfire accessories.
Before heading to the greater outdoors, there are a number of decisions you’ll have to make. These include; where to go camping, the number of days to spend, the size of the hiking groups, type of food to take and of course the backpacking style. Ultra-light backpackers would organize their luggage such that they can hike for long distances without straining their energy reserves. The traditional backpackers would, however, pack everything regardless of the weight and often, prefer taking occasional breaks such as camping along the way.
Rebecca has been closely studying the travel industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current travel trends and also likes to write about food and beverages, particularly wine.