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Essential Gear to Bring on a Hike

Getting out into nature is a great way to spend any vacation, regardless of destination. It doesn’t matter if you’re teaching for a year in South Korea, relaxing by the sea in the Cinque Terre or just going away for a weekend camping a few hours from home, going for a long walk can do wonders for your health and your head.

Some people may tackle a hike the same way they go for any other walk and while the two share many similarities, a little more preparation needs to go into hiking than walking. Generally the distance is greater on a hike and the terrain is more challenging, necessitating a few basic provisions that should be accounted for to ensure you have the best possible time. Simply put, you’re going to need a bag.

Below are some suggestions on things to bring for a hike – be sure to check them out if you plan on venturing out into the great outdoors!

Good Shoes – This is pretty obvious but you’d be surprised the number of people that head out walking in terrible footwear – women in particular. Hiking is not a fashionable activity, so leave your heels at home. Look for something with good support and traction, can tie up tight and will make walking on all sorts of terrain feel like nothing at all.

Water – If you’re walking for more than 30 minutes you should be replenishing your fluids and water is a great, affordable solution. Some people will go for energy drinks and while it is up to you, if you plan on covering moderate to great distances, they could cause your saliva to develop a syrupy quality. Grab a reusable bottle from home and use the free stuff – it’s a better deal.

Snacks – You want to stick to those of the healthy variety, like an apple, some nuts or light sandwiches. Avoid chips and candy or other greasy, sugary food that will leave you as quick as they come in. The whole point is to refuel when you take a break or munch on something as you’re walking – not so much that you’ll feel tired after but enough so that you’ll get energy. Make some protein balls out of peanut butter, whey, raisins and oats – they go down great and don’t take up much space!

Dress in Layers – As you move you may get warm, so be sure to have a way to take care of that so you are comfortable. Likewise, if you get cool on the descent or at the top (if you’re climbing a great ways) you want to have a cover up of some sort.

Bring Spares – I’m not saying bring a spare of everything, but if you know you are going to get sweaty, bring extra socks or a shirt. If you may go in the water, bring a change of whatever may get wet so you don’t hate the rest of your trip.

Flashlight/Cell Phone/Tell Someone Where You Are – If you’re planning on being out late, have a way to see in the dark. Also, if there’s coverage, bring your phone for emergencies. Most of all though, tell people where you are going – don’t just strike it out on your own, because you never know what might happen.

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