Top Backpack for a Hike
Hiking is a fun activity that almost anyone can enjoy. It can be enjoyed by the single bachelor, the family with 3 kids, or the retiree looking for something to do in their golden years. It is a great was to stay fit or to begin a fitness journey towards better health. It is one of the easiest out door activities to enter because all you need is a good pair of shoes and the ability to walk. Above all, it is a great way to disconnect from technology and experience nature.In this post we are going to cover briefly what you need to consider before going on your first hike.
Before you begin your journey you must first think about your ability and what you can accomplish. Does 2 miles sound like a long distance to walk? What about 2 miles on difficult terrain? Trails come in many different variants so it is important to pick a trail that you can complete. Don’t overestimate what you can hike because the walk back to the car is going to be dreadful. A good trail to start out on would be a city park trail. They are typically paved and don’t have much of an elevation change.
Don’t wear jeans!! While jeans are durable and are perfect for nearly any occasion, jeans do not work very well while hiking. Jeans do not breath well and often cause chaffing and can feel cumbersome after a few miles.Instead, you should wear lightweight clothing that breathes well. Try to think about what the terrain and the weather is going to be like. For Exampe, If you are planning to hiking in warm climate but through large open fields with tall grass, expect to wear pants to protect your legs from ticks and anything that might be hiding in the bushes(think cacti, plants with thorns, etc). For a shirt you want something that will breath well but has long sleeves because its going to be sunny. Cotton works well in most conditions. My go to trail clothing is a Columbia long sleeve shirt and a pair of cargo shorts.
Your Terrain chooses your shoe. Generally speaking, you want to have a comfortable pair of shoes that are worn in a little bit. You’ll want to wear a ‘sports’ shoe meant for walking or running, you don’t necessarily need hiking boots. Taking brand new shoes on the trail is guaranteed blisters on your foot. If you are hiking paved park paths, then consider wearing a tennis-shoe. If you are hiking trails with a more aggressive terrain, then consider going for a hiking boot with an aggressive sole and high tops.I prefer boots made by Vasque. I’ve had several pairs and they all have lasted many many miles and have traveled the world with me.
You never know what is going to happen on the trail. Depending on the distance you plan on hiking, you could be miles from help. A basic first aid kit with knowledge to use it is always a good thing to have on hand. A basic first aid kit will handle most issues that come up on the trail.Some common trail injuries are :Blisters Cuts & Scrapes twisted ankles Sunburn Heat exhaustion Dehydration
Make sure you have a good hiking watch. A good hiking watch will have a compass plus many other gadgets that can help you. You should know why you need a good hiking watch as you want to get the best one that you can.
If you are going on a long hike, consider taking snacks!! Some great trail snacks are beef jerky, granola, trail mix, dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit w/peel.When snacking on the trail you want to take something that is going to stay well in your bag. Remember, you typically are not carrying a refrigerator or cooler while hiking. Dried and dehydrated foods make the best trail foods since they are calorie dense and don’t spoil easily.
Always take a hat!!! Hats are invaluable on the trail!! In warm sunny weather they protect your face and head from the sun and harmful UV rays. In the winter they insulate your head and help to keep you warm. I prefer to wear a Buff band instead of a hat. They can be worn many different ways and dry quickly on the trial.
Out of all the items you need to bring with you on a hike, water is probably the most important item. When out on the trail it is easy for your body to get dehydrated, especially if you are not used to hiking. How much water should you take on a hike? That depends largely on where you are going and how far you are going to hike. A rule of thumb I use is if I am hiking the entire day, then I need at least 1 gallon of water per day per person in nice weather. For water transportation I usually take a few Nalgene bottles or a Platypus bladder in a day-pack Day-pack Now that you have all this gear, you need something to carry it in.
There are plenty of choices on the market for backpacks. You can choose to use a simple book-bag to start out with or you can invest in a bag meant for hiking. I prefer to use an Osprey Mantra. It is a lightweight bag that has plenty of room for everything that you need on the trail. Plus, it has a dedicated pocket for a water bladder. Another good brand for bags is Camelbak. Whatever your choice, make sure that it is lightweight and fits you well.Now that you have some basics, go out and enjoy the advantages of hiking