Planning To Start Hiking? Here’s What You Should Know
At some point in our lives, we often see posts and pictures of friends going up a beautiful mountain or displaying a nice, relaxing view of the summit. We often tell ourselves that if given a chance, we’ll try to climb a hill, take the arduous trail, and get rewarded by the overwhelming feeling of conquering our body’s limit.
However, I would like to ask you. What’s stopping you from doing this? Is it the fear of uncertainty you’ll face of being able to do it? Or, do are you unclear of the hiking accessories or equipment that you’ll be needing before heading up the mountain? Well, if that’s the case, let this article help you with that. We’ll recommend some of the trusted brands and items for hiking.
But before we go to more on the details of what you should wear and bring when hiking, there are other important factors to consider when planning to hike.
- Know the basics of the mountain’s trail, like its meter above sea level (MASL) or trail difficulty. Check if tall trees will serve as your shade or the terrain in general.
- Check the prevailing weather on your desired date. Knowing if there are weather disturbances within the area will give you a glimpse of what you’ll bring during the entire trip.
- Decide whether you’ll do a day hike or multi-day camping. Determining your duration of stay or the length it will take you to finish hiking the mountain is also important to know. Will you need a camping tent? Or you’ll just bring a day-hike bag with you?
- Secure necessary clearance that you might be needing before hiking. Sometimes, governing bodies require you to present a “hiking permit” before you are allowed to hike.
- Leave No Trace (LNT) is a famous phrase often used by nature lovers fond of hiking. This phrase means that you take back with you everything you brought in the mountain as much as possible.
Now that you know some of the basic guidelines before you hike a mountain, it is vital to understand what essential hiking gear you’ll need when trekking. These items are just the basics and can fit whatever situation you may be at.
Recommended Hiking Gear For Beginners
Some may say that you can wear any clothes you are comfortable with when it comes to hiking or trekking. This may be true; however, these are best hiking outfits that will undoubtedly help you minimize injuries and can even aid you in climbing up the mountain’s steep slope.
Hiking Shoes & Socks
Starting with the right footgear for you, hiking shoes and socks are essential hiking gear, even if you are a beginner or an experienced mountaineer. Investing in suitable hiking footwear will help you feel comfortable despite trekking for a certain amount of hours. Having a hiking shoe with a traction feature can help prevent you from slipping, and the grip that it has against the terrain will not exhaust you out. On the other hand, hiking socks provide protection from your feet to your shoe. They prevent you from getting blisters due to the extended period of hiking.
Weight: 1.13 Pounds
Package Dimension: 10 x 14 x 6 inches
Best Used At: Long hours of hiking with a river crossing
Description: Keen Men Targhee II Hiking Shoes are 100% leather with rubber sole material that enables you to enjoy extended trekking and camping outdoors. Keen Targhee II is perfect hiking footwear because of its waterproof, breathable fabric that quickly absorbs moisture and prevents water from penetrating your shoe. It is also designed to give maximum comfort, which is very crucial in hiking, through its anatomically engineered style.
- Durable, quality hiking gear that will never fail you in your adventure
- Offers great comfortability due to its cushioned collar that prevents blisters and irritation
- The sole design has an extreme traction feature that allows all-terrain use
- A bit heavy for some users, which may cause strain on the foot and legs
- Be careful on the sizing guidelines and provide an allowance for best fit
Is this hiking footwear good for you? Click HERE for more information.
Weight: 1.2 Pounds
Dimension: depending on size
Best Used At Extreme mountains with rugged trails with different terrain
Description: Timberland Men’s Flume Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is a highly reliable hiking shoe for any mountain you want to conquer. Timberland is a famous brand for doing outdoor gear that is equipped with top-of-the-line quality and outstanding durability. Timberland Men’s Flume Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is a premium full-grain waterproof leather hiking footwear with waterproof seam-sealed construction. You can also use this footwear intended for hiking for casual wear as well.
- In-sole material composed of EVA construction provided cushion for an added comfort when in use.
- Traction of this hiking boot is perfect and can be used in different kinds of terrain.
- Leather materials are sourced responsibly.
- Mainly composed of leather materials that might cause blisters and irritation if not worn properly
- Waterproof capabilities may not be enough with river-crossing trails and heavy rainfall
Check out more information on Timberland’s Hiking Boot HERE.
Weight: 2 Pounds
Package Dimension: 12.9 x 8.8 x 4.8 inches
Best Used At: Quick, comfortable day hike with your trail running shoe
Description: If you want a less conventional, stylish, and modern hiking shoe, the Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Eastrail Hiking Boot is for you. It is a sporty, trendy hiking shoe that can provide you with utmost comfortability due to its synthetic-and-mesh design. The breathable material construction adds value to this hiking shoe, making it suitable for long walks or trekking.
- Secures your ankle tightly, preventing you from getting a sprain or other related injuries.
- Additional comfortability with the help of cushion and traction for rugger trail types
- Reliable, durable quality that won’t let you down.
- Some may find the lace closure slightly off in securing your foot inside
- Do check your sizing guide diligently to avoid inconvenience.
To know more about the Adidas Terrex Hiking Boot, click HERE.
Materials Used: 80% Merino Wool, 15% Polyester, 4% Nylon, 1% Spandex
Fits: Both Gender
Best Used At: Quick, comfortable day hike
Description: These warm, thermal wool socks are the perfect tandem for your hiking shoes during the winter season. With an outstanding product composition to give you a comfy trek experience, the breathable, cozy boot socks should be your go-to shoe undergarment if you want to have peace of mind while taking a walk to the summit. It has advanced fiber materials that prevent unwanted moisture from building up. This pair of socks also propels you to have a comfortable hike with its arched compression support and additional cushion footbed.
- Perfect for the winter season because of the thick but breathable wool blend material that regulates temperature.
- Sock’s length goes up to the mid of your shin, with angled ankle support for stability
- Comfortable to wear
- These socks come in sizes, so be sure to check the guide before purchasing
- If you aren’t fond of long socks, this pair is not for you.
Click this LINK to know more about these comfortable boot socks.
Materials Used: 96% Polyester, 2% Spandex, 2% Nylon
Best Used At: Hiking on rainy weather or if there are bodies of water to conquer
Description: The Dickies Socks specialize in keeping away moisture from your feet while hiking. The Dickies Dri-tech Moisture Control Crew Socks Multipack offers a quick-drying technology through its moisture-wicking fibers and quality airflow circulation while wearing it. Wearing this for your next scheduled hike will provide you not just only comfort but additional stability and support through its carefully engineered arch compression. These hiking socks are available for both MEN and WOMEN.
- There are plenty of designs available to match your style
- Keeps your feet dry, eliminating the risk of bacteria buildup and unwanted smell
- Easy to maintain fabric
- Some say that the thickness of the sock isn’t comfortable to wear on a shoe
- The fitting of the hose may vary depending on the user’s built
The use of hiking pants is essential as well in hiking. This does not only protect you from the intense amount of sunlight you may experience but also prevents you from scratches from different plants that you may come into contact with, or other species that you may encounter residing in the wild, such as snakes, bugs, or leeches. Having reliable trekking pants also gives you an advantage in hiking effortlessly by consuming less energy because of their lightweight materials.
BALEAF Women’s Fleece Lined Leggings Water Resistant Winter Hiking Pants Cold Weather Thermal Running Tights High Waisted
Materials Used: 87% Polyester, 13% Spandex
Package Dimensions : 3.94 x 3.94 x 1.97 inches
Weight: 12.63 Ounces
Best Used At: Long hike with difficult terrains such as rock scrambling or rappelling
Description: BALEAF Women’s Fleece Lined Leggings might be the best hiking pants for women because they can adapt to whichever outdoor activity you are doing. Its expandable cloth materials give you the freedom to do activities such as trekking for extended hours, trail running, cycling, skiing, or even for yoga. The style of these hiking pants is also fit for casual use. It is water-proof and weather-resistant that keeps you warm perfect up to 40° F. The presence of a yoga-style waistband and high stretchy fabric provides better compression for your body and gives warmth up to your belly.
- There are two zipper pockets present on this pants, perfect for your personal stuff to be placed securely.
- Supports your lower extrremeties by proving a great fit and stability to your legs. There’s a zippered ankle design that gives room for either a much tighter fit or breathability.
- Fleece inner lining provides comfort and extra warmth during cold weather
- This is a compression leggings, where its fit is somewhat tight.
- Sizing can be tricky depending on the user’s preference.
Know more about the BALEAF Women’s Leggings HERE.
Jessie Kidden Mens Hiking Pants Convertible Quick Dry Lightweight Zip Off Outdoor Fishing Travel Safari Pants
Materials Used: 100% Nylon
Package Dimension: 12.1 x 7.9 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 12 Ounces
Best Used At: Hardcore mountaineering and overnight camping
Description: Jessie Kidden Men’s Hiking Pants provide quality comfort and maximum durability especially during outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, or camping. This hiking apparel gives an Omni-shade UPF maximum protection against the UVA and UVB sun rays; It also offers a quick-dry feature that quickly absorbs moisture to keep you cool and dry. On casual events and other outdoor activities, you can also wear this more than hiking attire, the Jessie Kidden Hiking pants.
- Convertible Hiking Pants. You can remove the lower part for a fresher, breathable hiking experience
- Multiple Pockets that can be used to store your stuff and gear
- Comes with a belt for a more stylish, more excellent fit cargo pants
- As with other hiking apparel, sizing can be tricky.
- The fabric isn’t insulated, so there’s little to no protection in winter season
To know more about the Jessie Kidden Hiking Pants, click this LINK.
Carrying a jacket depends on whether or not you have overnight camping or there’s a weather disturbance that may cause torrential rain and heavy wind. Hiking jackets are optional, especially when you aim for a lighter, compact camping load. As we all know, few hiking jackets provide great comfort and shield against cold temperature while being lighter in weight. But it is still essential to have this hiking accessory, ready just in case you’ll be needing them depending on the prevailing weather conditions.
Materials Used: 100% Nylon
Package Dimension: 14.6 x 13.1 x 1.9 inches
Weight: 11.2 Ounces
Best Used When: A looming raincloud is visible while hiking
Description: The Columbia Men’s EvaPOURation Jacket is more a rain jacket than a cold-weather jacket. This hiking jacket provides you with extreme protection against rainfall while you are trekking. It is made of the Omni-tech feature that prevents water from penetrating your jacket; at the same time, it quickly dries them and keeps you warm. It is pretty popular as a primary outdoor necessity against rainfall because of its outstanding features.
- A lightweight and not bulky jacket that you can store on its own pocket
- Plenty of vents that keep the air flowing
- Perfectly adjustable to your body built
- Not for the winter season
- Prolonged use under heavy and non-stop rain might not protect you from getting wet.
Want to own a Columbia EvaPOURation Jacket? Click this LINK to know more.
Materials Used: Mesh,Nylon,Polyester,Polyurethane,Taffeta,Tricot,Twill
Package Dimension: 25 x 17 x 3 inches
Weight: 1 Pound
Best Used When: You are out for a multi-day camping trip with cold-weather prevailing
Description: One of The North Face Hiking Jackets is extremely popular because of the protection it gives you while on a hike. The North Face Men’s Resolve Waterproof Jacket is an outstanding hiking jacket that gives you a secured shelter against rainfall and windy conditions. It has a DryVent Performance technology that gives breathability when worn. It also comes with a hood that stows inside the collar for your head to stay dry as well.
- The brand’s name is your guarantee
- Lasts long on continuous heavy usage
- Gives you a relaxed, secure fit with a covered hand pocket
- Not for the winter season or cold freezing temperature
- No mesh is found on the sleeves so it becomes sweaty on that particular part
Check out the other information for The North Face Resolve Jacket HERE.
Backpacks for Hiking
Now that we are done talking about the proper hiking attire, it is time to discuss another essential hiking equipment that will surely make your long, arduous trek easier. Having a reliable, aerodynamic hiking bag should be thought well carefully. These backpacks are key to less strenuous hiking if you find the most suited hiking backpack for you.
What are the factors you should consider in having a quality backpack?
- Your hiking bag has to have a suitable weight capacity for your biometrics. Having this thought out prevents future injuries that might affect you with prolonged use.
- You need to determine the specific use of this backpack and what you will put inside. Determining this allows you to plan and pack lightly and ensure an enjoyable hike
- The backpack should have a multiple pocket system, including easy-access storage and a water bottle compartment.
This is my unsolicited advice for those who want to start hiking about your travel backpack: Remember that what you’ll be bringing up will be the same thing you’ll be having when you are done with your adventure. Your hiking backpack will be with you most of the time. Why bring something that will only make you suffer?
Package Dimension: 20.08 x 9.84 x 7.87 inches
Weight: 1.98 pounds
For: Men, but for women too!
Best Used At: Chill mountain climb with a refreshing swim
Description: Osprey Talon 11 Hiking Backpack is suitable for your outdoor adventure. It has all the features you need for your day-hike with its multi-pocket system and spacious storage. There are plenty of compartments that you can find, such as a zippered belt system which you can have easy access to your GPS, snacks, or other essentials. It can also accept a hydration pack separately, preventing your stuff from getting wet in case of spillage. Overall, you can put a total of 11L inside this hiking bag, perfect capacity for your extra hiking shirt and stuff you’ll need for a short, day-hike.
- Compression straps that make your stuff compact
- The backpack itself is lightweight, so you’ll have more things to put into achieving your load limit.
- Made from durable and quality materials suitable for the outdoors
- May not withstand heavy rainfall
- Not an overnight camping bag, it might be too small to fit a tent
Interested on getting the Osprey Talon 11L? Click HERE.
Package Dimension: 18 x 12.38 x 8.8 inches
Weight: 1 pound
Best Used At: Working from the mountain while having a camping trip
Description: The 26L Columbia Atlas Explorer Hiking Backpack can accommodate plenty of hiking accessories that you might need when trekking up a mountain. This hiking bag can carry your gear comfortably with its contoured padded straps for your shoulder, preventing any strain and sores. It has multiple pockets inside and outside for easy organization and easy access. It has a laptop sleeve that perfectly protects your equipment if you need to bring them with you.
- With water bottle pockets on the side for easy storage and access
- Versatile backpack that you can use other than hiking
- Durable and heavy-duty materials used, with a high-quality stitching technique
- Lacks waist support for prolonged outdoor use
- Shoulder straps aren’t adjustable
Do you think that the Columbia Atlas Explorer Hiking Bag is for you? Click HERE.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
Our technology right now is far more advanced than in previous years. Even on our smartphones, the inclusion of GPS is beneficial, especially when you plan an extremely adventurous outdoor trip. However, our mobile devices shouldn’t bear that responsibility. That’s why I have purchased a different gear that can track GPS signals. This hiking gear is essential for survival and preventing you from trekking onto misleading trails. Invest in an outstanding GPS device for you not to get lost.
Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch, Features Music, Body Energy Monitoring, Animated Workouts, Pulse Ox Sensors, and More, Black
Package Dimension: 1.78 x 1.78 x 0.5 inches
Weight: 1.27 ounces
Best Used When: You want easy navigation, and you are afraid to get lost
Description: Garmin Vivoactive 4 GPS Smartwatch is more than a GPS tracking device. It is an overall hiking accessory that provides basic information on your health, especially when hiking. It has a pulse monitoring mechanism and oxygen-level sensors to monitor your body status. Aside from these sensors, it features music integration and smartphone pairing for notifications. Having the Garmin Vivoactive 4 with you makes your life easier for navigation. It has a safety and tracking feature that automatically sends your recent location to your contacts.
- It has advanced technology that fits all your needed health-related functions into one device
- Workouts are available in case you don’t use them outdoors, helping you to maintain your body in good shape
- Perfect fit with plenty of straps to match your style
- Quite expensive
- Battery-operated and relies on internet and phone connectivity for full features to work
Interested in having this cool GPS smartwatch? Click this LINK.
First Aid Kit (FAK)
Last but often, the most neglected hiking accessory is the First Aid Kit. We don’t need to expound further on why we need these first aid kits when we go hiking. This kit is an essential part when hiking up a mountain. Lucky you if you already climbed a mountain and things go smooth-sailing. But, what if something happened to you or your friend? These incidents are where the FAKs come in.
Package Dimension: 9.45 x 7.05 x 2.87 inches
Weight: 1.5 Pounds
Best Used When: You value safety and security.
Description: DaveMed First Aid Kits, or FAKs, has an extensive list of medical supplies you might need when encountering accidents outdoors. The DaveMed FAKs has over 230 pieces of well-organized, durable, and sterile medical items fitted to its carrying vessel. It is made with multiple compartments with lightweight and scratch-resistant durable fabric materials. This First Aid Kit’s priority is your safety during your outdoor adventures.
- Wide-variety of medical supplies to choose from; bandaids, gauze pads, compass, gloves, etc.
- Its portability and lightweight design are outstanding. Space-saver and easy to pack in your hiking bag
- There’s a big First Aid Kit where everything is placed and a smaller bag to put the essentials
- Tweezers and scissors are quite dull; please sharpen them before using
- Lacks whistle that is used in emergencies
Get your FAKs HERE.
The Importance of Responsible Hiking
So we have learned everything there is to know about hiking as a beginner. You already know which items are needed to start your hiking experience, the hiking tools, gear, and equipment you’ll need before starting on your journey, and my recommendations of them. Now let’s talk about responsible hiking.
As mentioned above, the LNT principle is often followed by hikers and mountaineers when they visit a mountain. As much as possible, they climb a mountain without a trace of their adventure. What you bring up must be brought back down, especially your trash and wastes. This is to preserve the beauty of the mountain and prevent spoiling them. The whole “Leave No Trace” quotation comes from this phrase:
“Leave Nothing But Footprints, Take Nothing But Memories, Kill Nothing But Time.”
These words remind us to be responsible for whatever we do up in the mountain or whatever nature adventure we go on. Clean as you go and experience the beauty of it, without destroying our nature.
Summing It Up
As an enthusiastic beginner that excitedly wants to climb a mountain so eagerly, there are still factors to remember before going up. Scaling the mountain and preparing yourself physically and mentally is essential. After then, you decide your duration of stay, whether you’ll be challenging yourself and finish the entire trail on a single day, or you’ll be needing multiple days to complete the course, you decide.
Next on the list that you’ll need is your hiking things. These are the essential and primary hiking apparel you need to wear, no it’s not compulsory, but these things are recommended. A good pair of hiking pants, comfortable dry-fit clothes, reliable hiking footwear with socks, of course, and a jacket to keep you warm or protect you from the sun’s heat, are some of the hiking attire that you might need.
Also, invest in heavy-duty and reliable hiking accessories that will easily help you get through the mountain’s obstacles. Get a lightweight but spacious hiking backpack that can accommodate all your gear and stuff. Maybe get a trekking pole to assist you in your long strenuous trek, a bright flashlight to illuminate your path while it’s dark, or a tent if you need one. Invest in an advanced GPS smartwatch like I did to prevent getting lost. But please, don’t forget to bring a FAK with you. First Aid Kits can define whether or not you’ll survive or not.
Just be careful, enjoy the journey even though it is exhausting. And when you reach the mountain top, you’ll realize everything is definitely worth it.
What are your thoughts? Share your hiking experience below and comment on your most unforgettable camping trip.