Day Hike Essentials: A Packing Guide

 

Hiking is, without a doubt, the most popular form of outdoor recreation. And for good reason! Hikes exist all over the world, and all over the country, so no matter where you are you can find a trail that suits your ability level and interest.

The most basic hikes require nothing more than a sturdy pair of sneakers and the motivation to use them, but for longer trails and more technical terrain, it’s usually wise to make sure you have the right gear.

Boots

The most essential piece of gear, because you’ll use them on every step of your hike. Good hiking boots should protect your feet from trail hazards, and provide support for every step and protect your ankles on difficult terrain. Even more importantly, the grippy outsoles give you more secure footing while traversing difficult terrain.

Choosing the right boot is important, but it doesn’t have to impossible. Pick a boot that meets your need and your budget, and no matter what you’ll have a better time than you would wearing sneakers.

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Apparel

Hiking apparel doesn’t have to be ugly, but it’s important to remember that you’re worried about function more than fashion. You want stuff that’s going to allow you to move easily, even when scrambling up and over rocks or fallen trees. Plus, you’ll need something that’s you’re comfortable getting a little sweaty in, so there’s nothing wrong with wearing your regular workout clothes on the trail. But going with something hiking-specific will give you additional protection from the elements; be it rain, cold, sun, or bugs.

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Pack

How are you going to carry all of that? In your pack of course. In a pinch, you can use any old backpack you have available, but a dedicated hiking backpack is going to give you better comfort using ventilated back panels and a harness designed to carry the load comfortably. Add in hiking-specific features like tool pockets, trekking pole loops, and hydration sleeves, and getting a good pack can make a world of difference.

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And there are, of course, there’s things that don’t fall into the “gear” category. Stuff like maps, food, and proper technique for packing your pack. But we can still help you with those things as well. Just contact us here or on social, or stop by one of our convenient South Florida locations. Whether you need tips for finding a trailhead, or just want the best trail mix recipe (the secret is craisins) we’re always happy to share our expertise.