4 Essentials for Every Hiker
When you first start something new (or re-start it again), it can be temping to rush out and get all the latest gear. Then – hundreds and hundreds of dollars later – you’re good to go.
BUT I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do that. Hiking / bushwalking is essentially a free thing to do (travel costs and National Park fees aside…) – so don’t let it become something that you spend an endless pit of money on. Or stop you from even starting at all.
So – what are my top 4 things that I couldn’t live without?
- The right shoes: Many trails are ok for you to wear your regular everyday runners. But many aren’t. And it’s super important for you to have good support – if you’re wearing your runners all over the place (and for other activities) are they really offering you all the support you need? (or are they past their prime?). I have a trusty pair of runners (I just keep buying the new model in the same brand cos I love them that much), and a good pair of hiking shoes. The hiking shoes I bought on sale for less than $150 and they offer comfort, support, are water resistant, and have good grip. I also have some supportive innersoles from the podiatrist (for my pesky plantar fasciitis).
- Backpack: You can take your ‘been-around-forever’ backpack, or grab one of the kids bags you find in the middle of their bedroom floor, but half an hour in you’ll be regretting your decision. It may look OK, but hiking specific backpacks are made to fit the contours of your body and carry the weight of your hiking essentials in true comfort. Trust me – once you hit the longer trails you’ll be glad you made the effort. I hit the boxing day sales and got a great pack that’s made for women specifically (shorter in the body and contoured in the waist), has heaps of pockets to keep my stuff organised, and perfectly fits my water bladder (with a spot for the tube to come out).
- Water Bladder. OK, so maybe you can do without this, but especially on the longer hikes it is so much more convenient as it saves you having to stop and take your drink bottle out. I find that I drink more too as I don’t even have to think about it. My latest is the best yet (once again, bought in the sales) – it has a HUGE opening so I can not only get in there and clean it, but it’s so easy to dry out. I’ve always worried about not being able to clean and dry my water bladders properly, so this is perfect.
- A camera. It’s my dream to have a beautiful camera – and more importantly – learn how to use it properly. BUT, for the time being I’m pretty damn happy with my iPhone 6plus. Together with an editing app, and continual learning, there’s no reason I can’t get some beautiful photos (and videos) while I’m out hiking.
There you go….that’s it! My essentials for hiking. It really doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby (and the bright pink hat is optional 🙂 ) – just get the right essentials, look after them, and you’re good to go!
Bio: Sam is a daydreamer, storyteller, and hiker. She loves getting outside, and you’ll often find her on the bushwalking trails close to her hometown of Geelong. You can follow along with her on Facebook and Instagram.