Multi-day hiking trips require a lot of forward planning and preparation. You cannot head out into the wild blue yonder unprepared and without the right equipment. If you do you are putting your life – and those who may have to rescue you – at risk.
Newbie hikers are usually beset with all kinds of fears when they start planning long hiking trips. The fear of forgetting something important is a valid one. After all, realising six hours into your hike that you have forgotten to pack a sleeping bag is unlikely to be one of the highlights of the trip. Cost is another concern for many hikers, since equipment can be expensive. Luckily there are plenty of online outlets such as patrolstore.com, where you can pick up your hiking and outdoor essentials.
To help you pack for a long hiking trip, here are the clothes and accessories you need.
Clothing and Footwear
Temperatures rise and fall very fast when hiking outdoors so be prepared for changeable weather conditions. Any layers next to your skin need to be breathable. Look for light-weight technical t-shirts that wick moisture away, so you don’t get chilly. In cold weather, you will need leggings and extra layers.
Outer garments, i.e. shorts or trousers should be made from lightweight, quick-dry technical fabrics, preferably with plenty of pockets for storing accessories. A fleece is useful to keep you warm in the evenings, or while resting. You will also need a waterproof and windproof jacket to keep your upper body dry.
A hat and gloves are essential in cold weather.
Heavy-duty hiking boots will protect your feet and ankles as you hike over rough ground.
Backpacks and Daypacks
You will need a backpack to carry your gear. Try a few out for size, as it needs to be comfortable when fully laden with clothing and hiking accessories. You should also consider adding a daypack, in case you decide to set up camp and make a side trip or two.
Unless you are planning on practising your survival techniques and making a shelter out of fallen branches, you are going to need a tent. Hiking tents are small and compact whilst providing plenty of protection from the elements. Look for a good quality tent from a reputable brand – and practice erecting it before you set off.
Sleeping bags are designed to keep you warm at night, whatever the weather. Sleeping bags come in a range of different temperature ratings and pack sizes, so make sure you choose one to suit the area you are planning to hike. It is also sensible to buy a sleeping bag that takes up very little room in your pack. Sleeping pads provide extra protection and help to keep you nice and warm. You can also add a sleeping bag liner if you wish, for extra warmth.
Other essential accessories include a GPS device, cooking stove and utensils, a lighter, food, and water bladder or bottle.
Make a list and tick each item off as you pack. That way you won’t forget anything essential.