Trail Hiking Helper
Trail Hiking Helper
D. McCall 3/06
Good socks and shoes. These are the most important part of your dress if you are distance hiking. Socks should be wool or synthetic, not cotton. Two pairs are better than one! (Thin liner socks under thicker Smartwools). Shoes need to be broken-in, never brand new. They should be closed—no open areas (like sandals have). Hiking boots are an excellent idea, but trail shoes, similar to running shoes, can work also. If you are carrying weight, like backpacking weight, boots are better, and with cushion. Always keep some duct tape and/or moleskin handy in case “hot spots” (on feet--pre-blisters) develop (for blister prevention).
Zip-off quick-drying pants with pockets. It’s so nice to have the ability to zip off the bottom half of your pants if you become overheated. Extra pockets are always great to stick things in.
Shirt made of synthetic wicking material. Not a necessity, but great to have, because sweat dries faster than with cotton shirt, and they are really light-weight.
Hat. Any kind of hat would be great. Hoods are good too for colder weather.
Jacket. A jacket that is small enough to throw into a little backpack is really a good idea. Weather can change with little notice! A waterproof one is even better! Being drenched on a hike feels lousy and can lead to hypothermia!
Pack. A day-pack is very necessary to keep snacks, extra clothes and compass in. A water-resistant one may cost a bit more, but worth it! Make sure it fits and is comfortable to wear over a long period of time (hike time). Before you hike, adjust all straps so the pack is sitting properly on your back.
Water containers. I use the term ‘container’ because some hikers like to carry water in bottles, and other like to wear their water either around their waist or on their back (usually in a pack). Whatever you prefer, just remember to clean out any reusable containers with soap and hot water! Let them dry before storing.
Sunblock, mosquito lotion or spray (small container)
Water, water, water, water! And healthy snacks!
Mini-first aid kit, emergency whistle
Compass (good one: fluid-filled)
Trail map or topo map