Hiking Buyers' Guide: Don't Forget the Essentials
Summer’s here, and it’s a great time to go hiking. But before setting out on your journey, make sure you’re ready for anything. Here are some suggestions for being just that!
If you’re a newbie hiker, you may not be aware of the value trekking poles provide beyond the fact that they make you look like you mean business. More seasoned hikers, however, are aware that trekking poles can provide much support in redistributing some weight to the arms for uphill climbs. A good set of these come pretty cheap at around $30, but depending on where you buy from, they can scale to much greater heights. Starting out, you might want to keep things affordable until you’re sure this is a hobby you want to pursue.
Food is often a concern for new hikers. Ideally you are with someone experienced during the first few times, so you can rely on each other in case of any significant emergencies. If you are with an experienced hiker, you’ll probably notice they come prepared with meal packs. At first, these may not seem appetizing, but if you get in to a jam or you just want to save time, they are life savers. You can get all kinds of ingredients ready for speedy consumption. Samples include Colorado omelets, mixed veggies, Jamaican jerk rice with chicken, and more than we have time to list. Samples here.
Jackets and Hoodies
When you plan on spending some serious time in the wild, you can’t simply go on what the weather is telling you at present. You need some foresight regarding what’s coming up in the forecast, and you also need to be mindful of weather threats at varying altitudes. As such, a jacket, preferably with hood, is always a good idea. Gore-Tex remains one of the most popular materials, but there are others. You’ll just need to shop around and make a decision based on size, materials, waterproofing, and color preference. Prices can vary as with all of the items on this list — some are under $100 and some much higher. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get quality.
When choosing the right footwear, you will want to focus on qualities like comfort, durability, and waterproof construction. You never know what Mother Nature may have in store for you, and keeping your feet warm and dry can be a valuable step in riding out storms and getting you where you need to go without feeling the negative effects for days. A good pair of hiking boots with these qualities can run anywhere from $170 to $200 or more, but it’s worth every penny. Also, don’t forget to go with a thick pair of socks (or two) with great elastic, thickness, and an overall snug fit.
Check out some footwear examples here.
Again, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do your homework and look in to your location, weather, and terrain, before setting out. You should also invest in some base and mid-layer clothing as well as beanies, knives, drinking items (i.e. mugs, bottles, etc.), and an emergency radio. Hiking should be fun, but it should also be an occasion where you come prepared for anything. Good luck out there, and when buying internationally, consider some of these PuntoMio partners!