My Favorite Hiking Gear

Scott Asner favorite hiking gear

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!

4. Whistle

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.

6. Sunglasses

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.

10. Camera

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.

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Best Hiking Trails In and Around Kansas City

scott asner hiking

Hi all, Scott Asner here. As many of you know, I’m a big fan of everything related to nature – whether it’s green workplace initiatives or all the greenery in and around Kansas City. I love being outside in the great outdoors.

I recently went on a hike. I find the best way to clear my mind and get some exercise is making my way through our beautiful landscape. It occurred to me how fortunate I am to live in Kansas City and have access to such spectacular hiking trails. As a way to remember my past adventures more vividly, I thought I’d write about my favorite hiking trails in and around Kansas City.

These are my top five favorite places to hike:

White Tail Trail at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary

This mesmerizing White Tail Trail at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary spans a 3-mile loop. It features a waterfall and truly has an urban forest-type of feel to it. As you know, Kansas City is famous for its waterfalls and this trail has a reputation to keep. I greatly enjoy this trail though I rarely have it to myself. The waterfall lures locals and travelers from far and wide. While it’s a relatively short trail and you will likely complete it in less than an hour and a half. Still, the bench conveniently situated by the waterfall makes it an ideal place to sit in awe at the beauty that abounds. I love that it’s open year-round.

Maple Woods Natural Area Trail at Maple Woods Nature Preserve

Moss-lined paths and towering maple wood trees are in full splendor at the Maple Woods Natural Area Trail at the Maple Woods Nature Preserve. This 1-mile loop is dog-friendly, though dogs must be leashed. It’s also well-traveled and can be completed during your lunch break since it’s about a 30-minute hike. I like how quickly it’s as if you’re transported to a different world and the humbling feel one finds beside the tall, tall, trees. Sometimes I’ll hike this path twice in a row and I never tire of its beauty.

Larry Mattenon Memorial Trail at South Prairie Lee Park

Depending on what my morning looks like, the 4.8-mile Larry Mattenon Memorial Trail loop at South Prairie Lee Park can be my very first stop. It’s incredible if you get there early enough to see the sunrise through the leaves. I have one particular trail I like, but there are a few to choose from and all have their special glory. Check your phone from time to time and if you’re lucky enough to find your next meeting is rescheduled, stay a little longer and explore some more.

Buckeye Creek Trail at Buckeye Greenway

Buckeye Creek Trail at Buckeye Greenway is less than 2-miles but it’s mighty cute and offers quite the change in scenery, particularly considering its size.  This hike features a picturesque bridge and ample views of wildlife. The trail itself is easy to traverse but finding it might be another matter. Some people think finding the trail is part of the adventure. If it’s your first time, you’ll want to bring a trail buddy. It’s not as popular as some of the other trails but I’m still rather fond of it.

Orange, Violet, and Red Trail at Shawnee Mission Park

There are many varied paths to explore at Shawnee Mission Park and many are paved and accessible by most everyone. This is a go-to for team building activities and family outings. The Orange, Violet, and Red Trail is a good workout at 7-miles around a moderately challenging loop. You’ll see a lake, horseback riders, and mountain bikers along the way too. This trail is best to visit April through October.

I hope if you visit one or more of these trails after reading this, you enjoy every moment. Kansas City and the surrounding areas have much beauty and grandeur. There really is nothing quite like the great outdoors – especially here.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

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