Hi all! Scott Asner here. You may already know how much I love the outdoors, especially hiking. Beginners may not know what they need for the trail, and even seasoned hikers overlook useful items on their packing list sometimes. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite hiking gear or hiking equipment, so you’ll be prepared on your next hike.
1. Insulated Water Bottle
Everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated, especially on a long walk or hike. If you normally use a plastic or single-walled bottle, try a double-walled metal bottle. Using an insulated bottle to keep water cold makes a big difference. It’s amazing how a cold drink of water can feel so refreshing!
2. Hiking Socks
High quality hiking socks make a world of difference when I go on a hike. Make sure your socks are long enough to protect your ankles from being rubbed by your boots. Thick socks can prevent blisters, and these days, most hiking socks wick away sweat and moisture.
3. Hiking Boots
I think most people will agree that a good pair of shoes or boots is the most important gear you can have for a hike. Anyone who has been on a hike knows that good footwear can make or break your experience. Always remember to break in your boots before wearing them on the trail!
It’s important to bring adequate safety gear, especially on rocky or unfamiliar trails. Even if you are in a familiar location, you could get turned around or injured. It takes no effort to pack something as small as a whistle, but if you end up needing one, you’ll be glad to have it with you.
5. Sun Hat
I always bring a hat to a hike. Even on a cloudy day, UV rays can give you a sunburn, so it’s a good idea to wear some sun protection. Hats are great for keeping the sun and sweat out of your eyes.
When you’re out in the elements, it’s important to protect your eyes as well. Make sure your sunglasses have polarized lenses to keep out UV rays. Wearing cheap sunglasses can damage your eyes, so it’s good to invest in a good pair and take care of them. Your eyes will thank you!
7. Walking Sticks
A pair of walking sticks is great for keeping your balance on a trail. Also called hiking sticks or trekking sticks, they help you on uneven terrain and steep hills. Walking sticks are not necessary on every trail, but they can be a great addition to your hiking gear collection.
8. Cotton Bandana
A cotton bandana is great for the hiking trail, or anywhere. You can dab your face with it in hot weather or tie it around your head. If you pack a picnic lunch for the trail, a bandana can be your napkin.
9. First Aid Kit
It’s a good idea to bring a small first aid kit on any hike. A simple pack of bandages, wipes, and antibiotic ointment will help you keep small cuts, scrapes, and blisters clean.
A camera may not seem like essential hiking gear, but it’s great to bring one on the trail, and to take pictures of the wildlife, and the views. When you’re hiking with friends and family, snap a few shots of them as well! It is fun to make memories with loved ones while enjoying the outdoors and fresh air.
I hope this list helps you step up your hiking experience, so you’ll enjoy the outdoors as much as I do!
~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.