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Hiking Must-Haves

Staying active and healthy is at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. After all, we’re now living through a once-in-a-lifetime health crisis for a disease that’s going to be part of our lives, well, for the rest of our lives. So, being in our best physical shape and having our immune system in the best state it can be is a priority for pretty much everyone. One easy way to stay in tip-top shape is hiking. No matter where you are in the country, there are beautiful hikes that offer stunning views of nature’s majesty. Another perk about hiking? It’s totally free! Additionally, hikes are worth it year-round; it’s not an outdoor activity that you need warm weather for, making it the perfect way to stay in shape and explore the world around you. 

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But, like all things, having the right tools makes all the difference. While it’s worth advising to go on a few hikes to see if the activity is, in fact, for you, if you want to stick with hiking, there are some “must-haves” to make the exploration more manageable and more enjoyable. Let’s take a look at some of the gear you may want to consider investing in.

Fancy Footwork 

The reality is, while hiking, you’re going to come across lovely forests and mountain views as well as lakes and rivers. You may find yourself in a position or two where you have to implement some fancy footwork to cross some streams. That’s why you want to invest in quality footwear that will get you to and from your hike not only comfortably but safely. 

While there are tons of hiking boots to choose from, you’re not limited by boots alone. You can also consider Reebok steel toe work shoes, hiking sneakers, or even high-quality walking shoes. What you’re looking for is lots of support, soles that grip, and most importantly, that offer protection to your feet and ankles. So, ditch the flimsy footwear or cheaper sneakers and invest in a pair of safe hiking shoes if you’re committing to the activity. 

It’s In The Bag!

A good bag is essential if you’re committing to being a hiker. There are, however, some variables that need to be considered when choosing the bag that will work best for you. If you’re solo hiking or hiking with another adult partner, a belt bag (fannypack if you will) is an easy solution as it allows you to fit just the essential items you’d want with you in an emergency – water, keys, phone/camera and maybe some cash or a credit card if you’re going to be hiking with your children that can be another ballgame entirely. 

Hiking with children, while fun, is something where safety is paramount. If your child is very young, you can opt to carry them on your back in a carrier specifically designed for that. Those types of carriers have compartments for the exact “needs” that a belt bag would have. If you’re hiking with children a little bit older, you should consider a backpack that can fit your essentials as well as theirs. And, you should include things like a small first aid kit and extras that your kid may need, like inhalers or allergy medication. 

All The Essentials 

Piggybacking on what you should pack in your bags, there are some essentials that you don’t want to be left without while hiking, especially if it’s a long trail or you have made a little road trip to a nearby city for their trails. You’re going to want to make sure you have SPF, a raincoat, a tent if there’s the potential to camp overnight. You also want to include maps and a compass or GPS, a knife or multi-tool, and food with your essentials. Food can be tricky, so bars or dried snacks are most straightforward if a day hike. Lastly and most importantly, you want safety items. Safety items are things like light, a whistle, and fire (matches or a lighter). 

Hiking, as mentioned earlier, is an excellent form of exercise and an exciting and free way to see parts of nature you never knew you were missing. It does take some getting used to as it’s an endurance activity, but it’s equally rewarding. Hopefully, this list will help you get started in finding and enjoying a new hobby to keep you healthy year-round. Happy Trails!

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