Preparing for a hiking trip
Whether it’s a quiet country walk or an expedition to the Highlands, hiking can be one of the most rewarding ways to enjoy beautiful natural scenery.
But there’s more to a good hike than simply strapping on a pair of walking shoes and donning a mac. Whether you’re a serious hiker or a novice, it’s important to prepare for a trek carefully to make sure you have all the essential equipment and clothing you need.
The Ten Essentials
When enthusiastic hikers talk about the Ten Essentials, they’re referring to a list of must-have equipment put together in the 1930s by a Seattle-based climbing group called The Mountaineers. The original Ten Essentials were: A map A compass Sunglasses and sunscreen Extra food Water Extra clothing A headlamp or a torch Matches, or another kind of fire starter A first aid kit A knife Despite being 90 years old, this list still largely holds true today and it’s important that your hiking kit bag contains all of these essentials. While many people in the 21st century depend on their smartphones for map directions, it’s crucial that you pack a map in paper form as electronic devices will eventually use up their battery life. Packing a few extra batteries also means that your torch will always have a power supply too: just make sure you choose the right battery size. Extra food is something you can’t do without on a hike. Small but energy-giving foods like cereal bars, oatcakes, bananas and apples are easy to pack and consume on the go. However, some specialist outdoors shops now sell self-heating meals, the same kind sometimes used by the police and the armed forces. All you need to activate the heating mechanism is a little water or the press of a button – so if you’re going camping or on a long trek, these meals are ideal. When packing your first aid kit, make sure that you have enough plasters, antiseptic wipes, anti-histamines and antiseptic cream, particularly if you dipped into your supplies on your last hiking trip. And don’t forget to throw a few modern additions into your hiking essentials bag too: for instance, an old pre-pay mobile phone (i.e. not a smartphone) loaded with a few essential numbers may be a lifesaver if you get lost or stranded. But make sure you save it for emergencies to conserve its battery life
Invaluable hiking clothing
Having the right clothing is essential to staying warm and keeping cool during a hike – particularly in the UK, where it’s not uncommon for hikers to see four seasons in a day. The key to dressing successfully for hiking is layers: make sure you wear a base layer, for instance a t-shirt or a vest, followed by another warm but breathable layer of clothing. On top of this goes your outerwear – like a waterproof jacket or mac – but ensure that you pack an extra jumper, a hat and gloves in your backpack in case of sudden temperature drops. Walking trousers are also very handy as they can keep you dry. Some hiking trousers also zip-off at the knee to turn into shorts, making them perfect for summer expeditions. Perhaps most important of all is having the right footwear. Walking boots are absolutely essential for hikers. While many people make do with trainers, walking boots will better protect your feet and minimise the damage caused by a long walk. They should also keep your feet dry, but make sure you pack an extra pair of socks too, in case of accidental splashes. For more information on the best hiking gear, blogs like Live for the Outdoors review equipment and clothing, to help you decide what to buy. Magazines like Men’s Health assess gear often too.
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Win £150 to spend on men’s clothing at Joseph Turner! - August 21, 2018
- Join David and Helene in an adventure around the world - August 18, 2018
- Looking for volunteers for Make-a-Wish - August 17, 2018
- Stair Lifts versus Home Elevators - August 17, 2018
- Autumn must-haves - August 16, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!