Planning your first hiking trip can be both exhilarating and intimidating. There is a lot you need to know to prepare for a hiking trip, including navigational tools, light-weight food, and survival essentials that will help you no matter where you plan to go.
If there’s one thing you need to get right to make sure you enjoy your hiking trip, it’s what you’re going to wear. That can make the difference between an incredible experience soaking up amazing scenery and a cold, dreary experience soaking wet. Here’s a quick guide to some of the essential gear and outerwear you need for a hiking trip.
#1 Waterproof Socks
Before you go on your next camping or hiking trip, make sure you pick up women’s waterproof socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Even in the summer, nights can get cool and rain can quickly turn a hiking trail into a quagmire of puddles and mud.
Waterproof socks should have an outer layer that protects from abrasion, a middle layer that allows perspiration to pass through while preventing water from reaching your skin. An inner layer provides comfort, wicks away sweat, and has been intensely brushed for softness. The inner layer should also provide warmth and temperature control. Thermal waterproof socks trap body heat close to your skin and can be used in any weather. Heavy bulk yarn makes an excellent thermal sock.
#2 Good Hiking Boots
Break in your hiking boots. You can also wear thick hiking socks on top of your thermals to help prevent blisters, though there are some quality thermal socks made from heavy bulk wool that should absorb most of the abrasiveness of wearing boots. Make sure your hiking boots are comfortable.
#3 Pants or Shorts that Won’t Clinch Your Waist
You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and moving around. The last thing you need is to be wearing pants or shorts that are going to feel tight on the waist. Move around in them when you try them on. They need to be stretchy enough that they won’t hurt as you clamber over rocks. Also, depending on where you’re going, pants are probably a better bet than shorts, as they protect you from ticks, which are spreading quickly across North America into regions where they never used to be such a threat.
#4 Wicking Shirt
When you’re hiking through the wilds, you’re going to work up a sweat. That sweat can soak your shirt and leave you sopping wet unless you wear the right kind of wicking shirt – a shirt that’s breathable and will let sweat evaporate. Plenty of thermal shirts fit the bill for a wicking shirt when you’re cold-weather hiking.
This always depends on the temperature and the location. If you’re hiking in Hawaii, a good, wicking tank top is probably your best bet, but if you’re hiking in more northern locations, even in the summer nights can get quite cold. Layering will help you adjust to the change in temperature throughout the day.
Hiking is an exciting way to see the world. Explore the forests, hills, and mountains of the world on your own two feet. Just make sure you show up prepared.