We all need a break from the daily grind, to wind down, get a change of scenery, and reset. There are few options better for centering yourself than a hiking holiday.
If you are considering your first hiking holiday, it can be tricky working out all the traveling gear you need to bring with you. And there's more to bring if you are camping, too.
This article will give you a quick rundown on all the things you need for your first hiking holiday.
1- Walking Boots
Many would say this item is the most crucial for a walking trip. Wear the wrong shoes, and your excursion will be miserable.
Spend time finding the right walking boots, and try to get the best you can afford. Buy walking boots made for the terrain you are trekking. They will endure through harsh conditions and protect your feet from the rain.
Once you have bought them, wear them around your home to break them in, and wear them on shorter walks before you go on your holiday.
2- Hiking Poles
It is easy to turn your nose up at hiking poles, but you need to try them first. If you go on long hikes or up steep hills, they will improve your balance and endurance. Plus, when you descend, poles take the pressure off your thighs and help steady you as you walk down the hill or mountain.
Because your muscles are also working to prevent you from falling, descents can be surprisingly challenging. You might be grateful for those poles at the end of a long hike!
3- Insect Repellent
A hike can quickly worsen after a few horrible insect bites. They are annoying and itchy. Once a bug has bitten you, there's little you can do on the hike to make it better.
Bring insect repellent so that you don't have to worry about those bites. You will need it if you are hiking in spring, summer and early fall, or somewhere incredibly hot.
4- Hiking Socks
Just as hiking boots will save your feet, proper hiking socks will save your soles. You will likely wear through regular socks in no time.
Good socks will protect against blisters and cold feet, and they will give you better grip and comfort as you walk.
Even outside of summer, it is best to bring some sunscreen. Walking out in the sun all day, you risk exposure to a lot of UV. You can burn quickly without realizing, and there's little you can do about it once you have a sunburn.
6- Blister Protection
If there's anything that can derail a walking vacation, it is blisters. They are horrible and painful, and they only get worse the more you walk on them.
Prepare for the worst by bringing blister cushioning band-aids that protect your blister and enable you to continue walking. A DIY option is to put Vaseline on the inside of your shoe where you are starting to blister. It will reduce the friction between your shoe and your sock.
Don't think that just because you have broken in your walking boots that you can't get a blister.
You dehydrate quickly on a hike — and more rapidly than you think if you are hiking in cold weather, when you are less conscious about drinking.
Prepare a way to carry water before setting off on your journey. It may be a pouch or pocket on your backpack. Or, if you have a metal water flask, you can likely clip it onto your bag, so you don't have to carry it around all day.
A hiking holiday lets you experience the thrill of the outdoors, but you don't want to take it on without adequate preparation. Check these items off your list, and you'll be ready for an experience like no other. Happy hiking!