1. A small backpack a.k.a day-pack. A messenger bag or one of those drawstring bags is NOT the best thing to use. I recommend a backpack with a hip belt (which takes the weight of your shoulders), but it is not required. Or you could invest in a "camel back" which combines your water supply with a small backpack. I would recommend one that holds at least 70 ounces of water.
2. Hiking pants made from Hi-Tech polyester. (This is not your mother's polyester we're talking about lol) Many people enjoy the ones that allow you to remove part of the pant legs with a zipper. Jeans re not as good as they will stay wet once they get wet.
3. A good shirt.-Anything other than cotton
4. Hiking shoes with a good tread. (If buying new they should feel comfortable right out of the box!)
5.Good socks Again NO cotton-Definitely wool for cooler weather hiking.
6. Always at least half a gallon=2 liters=2quarts of water. 3 liters for long hikes or warm days.
7. Food, e.g. sandwich, power bar, banana, other fruits, trail-mix, can of tuna
8. Rain gear. A Pancho or a raincoat is usually sufficient.
9. Bug Spray for both tics and mosquitoes.
3. Sock-liners help to prevent blisters.
4. Hiking map of the area in case you get lost or want to split off from the group.
5. Trekking poles add training for your arms, make you burn more calories and give you more stability or you could use a walking stick too.
More Details on Equipment Mentioned Above:
Ad 1) Of almost equal importance is a comfortable backpack. Keep i mind that you will be carrying it for a few hours. Once a rew hours. once you know you want to continue hiking, you should invest in a backpack with a decent hip belt/ waist belt. the effect of such a belt is that you will carry your backpack on your hips instead of your shoulders, talking strain off your back, shoulders, and arms and making you alot more mobile.
Ad 2 & 3) Your pants and shirt should be made from a high-tee fiber like polyester or nylon. Clothing made from cotton, for example jeans, are not a good idea, because once they get wet they never dry, which is particularly unpleasant after getting soaked in the rain.
Ad 4.) One of the most important pieces of equipment is a decent pair of shoes. A good tread is of utmost importance. Specialized hiking shoes are much more better and safer, then sneakers as they have thicker soles to cushion you from rocks thicker sides to protect you from branches. Sandals are absolute no-no.
Ad. 6)Staying Hydrated is a vital importance, so you need water bottles or a camelbak.
A camelbak is basically a high-tech plastic bag that you insert into your backpack and it has a tube from which you can drink without having to stop walking. Of course you should always have a lunch with you and a couple of snacks. If you require medication or might require medication, you need to bring that of course, for example asthma spray, insulin, or an epipen if you are allergic to bees. Our hike leader also carry aspirin and a first-aid kit.
Ad 8) Every hiker should own a poncho. They cost almost nothing and you can get them not just in outdoor stores, but in almost every department store as well. Their $1.00 in Walmart. So there is no excuse for not owning one. If you don't have one, buy one tomorrow.
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