Best Hiking Gear For Beginners

Where can you find the best hiking gear for beginners?  If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already done a little hiking, enough to know that, at least, you’d like to invest in some hiking equipment for. You’re not ready to go all in at this point, but you think you’d like to take it up as an outdoor activity you look forward to. So you’d like to get some basic gear to build on those limited experiences, and to make future hikes even more enjoyable.

Here’s a list of hiking gear to consider, you don’t have to get all of them right off the bat, but if you’re going to be trekking on a regular basis, you should begin accumulating some of these basic things:

Navigation Tools – As a beginner, even if you know  the hiking area, it’s a good idea to get a compass and a physical topo map (in resealable bag). Later on, for more remote hikes, you should also invest in a reliable GPS device with extra battery pack, and a personal locator beacon (PLB). In remote areas or emergency situations, these additional devices can save your life.

Hiking Poles – Hiking poles lets you have four points of contact thus more stability on the surface you are trekking. They help relieve stress on your knees, and are great for uneven surfaces and undulating trails.

Sun Protection – Sunglasses, sunscreen (broad spectrum SPF 3 , sun-protective clothing including hat to protect yourself from damaging UV rays. Beginners often neglect these items.

First Aid Kit – So many emergency situations could be mitigated if hikers would just carry a lightweight first aid kit. Get one and know how to use it. At the very least it should include bandages, gauze pads and dressings, tape, some kind of antiseptic, nitrile gloves (not latex), and anti-inflammatory meds, 

Headlamp – Get an LED headlamp with extra batteries. They leave your hands free and provide good light. 

Shelter – Pack lightweight emergency shelter like an inexpensive bivy ($15 online), large/jumbo plastic bag, or single use tube tent. Also get an insulated sleeping pad, which reduces heat loss while on the ground.

Knife, Tape, Multitool, Cordage – When something breaks out on a hike, you need to have the means to make repairs. You might also pack a safety pen, needle, thread and a bit of wire. These items can make the difference between whether you have a great hike or not.

Fire – For emergency campfires, pack a couple of butane lighters, and a small airtight container with matches. Also soak a few cotton balls in petroleum jelly and put them in a plastic bag. These items are priceless when you get stuck on the trail.

Extra Clothes – For winter hikes: Starting from the top  of your head, bring an extra hat or balaclava (covers neck and head, but leaves the mouth and nose exposed). Bring an extra pair of long underwear, extra wool socks, and extra mittens. You probably won’t need these items during the summer months unless you’re hiking in the high desert where it still gets cold at night.

Footwear – There’s nothing that can ruin a hike faster than ill-fitting hiking boots and inappropriate socks. Today there are many lightweight hiking boots, the days of hiking in heavy all-leather boots are past.

Extra Food – Ask yourself this question: If I get stranded out on this trail, how much food will I need to survive overnight?  You might pack an assortment of nuts,dried fruit, jerky, granola and candy Remember food equals warmth.

Extra Water – Always carry, at the very minimum, a water bottle or hydration bladder, and have the know-how to get more safe-to-drink water. This could be accomplished with a simple water filter, boiling or water chemicals. 

Seems like a lot doesn’t it? Just start by getting one or two items, and then build from there.

There’s nothing like being outdoors and hiking a trail, even if it’s a trail nearby to where you live. It brings so many benefits beyond the actual exercise. It oxygenates your heart, keeps your body calmer, enhances your creativity, makes you a happier person and a happier person to be around.. WOW! Who knew?