This post is sponsored by Groove Life. However, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
Hiking Must Haves for Beginners
This summer we went on our first hike and realized half-way through that we were not prepared for the adventure that awaited us. From our lack of reading up on the trail to supplies, we knew that we had to be better prepared for our next hike. To help make sure that we are ready next time, we quickly created a list of Hiking Must Haves and want to share the list so that even beginner hikers can be prepared before they set off on their adventure.
Before we dive into the must have equipment and supplies, it is important to note that some preparation needs to be taken before hand to understand the trail you will be hiking. This information can usually be found on national park websites, state information guides, and even guide books. Where ever you turn to for information it is important to find out the following information:
- The length of the trail
- The difficulty of the trail
- The weather forecast for the day of the hike
- Directions to the location
- Whether pets are allowed (if you plan to bring your four legged friend)
- Trail Features including water resources
- Trail Conditions
Knowing these facts about the trail you are planning to hike will help you prepare and will play a factor in your Hiking Must Haves. Once you have that information you are ready to start gathering supplies and getting packed.
Hiking Must Haves
- Hiking Footwear – It is important to note that most hikes are going to require more than your summer sandals or casual tennis shoes in order to provide a secure footing. The trail you are hiking will play a big role in what type of shoes you will need. If you are doing a hike on a well-maintained trail with no obstacles, a lightweight shoe with traction may be sufficient. However, if you are hiking a rugged trail with obstacles including rocks, tree roots, and streams; you will want to consider a hiking boot or a shoe designed for trails. Make sure that these shoes are broken in before your hike to avoid painful blisters and sores that will hinder your hike.
- Hiking Backpack – This backpack will hold any extra clothing, essentials, food, water, and anything else that you bring along with you. Make sure your backpack can fit everything and is comfortable to wear or it will cause a hindrance on your hike. Remember the longer the hike the more food and water you will need to bring so make sure that your backpack is large enough for all your needs.
- Proper Clothing – The weather and elevation will play a large part in what types of clothes you need to wear. If you are starting in the earlier part of the day when it is cooler and it will warm up during the day make sure to dress in lightweight layers that will allow you to remove outer layers as you warm up. Choose materials that are quick-drying and wick the moisture away to prevent chafing and irritation. It is generally suggested that you avoid cotton materials that hold in moisture. If you are hiking in colder temperatures make sure you include warm layers including gloves, hat, and a jacket.
- Food and Water – Even if you are going on a short hike, it is important to make sure you pack plenty of water for yourself and your family. Not all trails have access to fresh water and you don’t want to get dehydrated on your hike. A good estimate is 2-3 liters of water per person per day. The amount of food you need to bring will depend on the length of the hike. If you are doing a short hike, packing only snacks may be sufficient. However, if you anticipate a longer hike you will want to plan to stop for lunch. Some good snack options include beef jerkey, trail mix, energy bars/protein bars, nuts, granola bars, dehydrated fruit/freeze-dried fruit, and peanut butter crackers.
- Essentials Kit – Use a make-up or small toiletry bag to hold smaller essential items in your backpack for every hike or outdoor adventure. Inside this bag you will want to include first aid supplies (bandages, foot care, insect repellent, etc.), sun protection, matches (or a way to start to a fire), a knife, headlamp (or flashlight), navigation (a compass, GPS, or similar device), small trash bag (to store your garbage and any you might pick up on the trail), poop bags (if you plan to hike with your pup), and a source of shelter (a tarp or similar in case of a change in weather).
- Hiking Poles or Sticks – These are not always necessary on easier trails but are a great way to add stability on uneven terrain and when climbing over obstacles. Some people choose to use a walking/hiking stick while others like the stability of hiking poles. Try out a few different options in your local outdoors store and find what works best for you. Make sure whatever option you choose that it is the correct height for you so you don’t put added pressure on your back by leaning forward to use it.
- Groove Life Silicone Rings – It is important when you are hiking to avoid wearing excessive jewelry including rings which can get caught on plant life and other obstacles you encounter on your hike. For those that can’t go without wearing jewelry (like me), swap out your normal jewelry for a silicone ring by Groove Life. These rings are not only great for the outdoors but are also safe for a variety of jobs that don’t allow a traditional ring.
Groove Life Silicone Rings are made of medical grade silicone and have a two part construction; a soft outer band and a firm inner band. The inner band is designed with grooves to allow the air to flow through avoiding moisture build-up and irritation where the ring sits on your finger.
Groove Life rings are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs for both men and women. Their wide selection of silicone rings start at only $29.95 which means that you can purchase a few rings to coordinate with your outfits. Those that live an active lifestyle no longer have to give up wearing their wedding band or fashion rings due to safety thanks to the Groove Life Silicone Rings.
Groove Life is so sure that their silicone rings will stand up to anything that they offer a 94 year NO BS warranty. This warranty promises that they will replace your ring if it gets damaged, cut, stretched, or even LOST. With a warranty like this there is no reason you are not shopping for your new silicone ring today.
Shop the full line of Silicone Rings online at Groove Life and enjoy the outdoors in style.
This list of hiking must haves has been created after extensive research and from our personal observations during the hike. We would love to hear your thoughts on the list and also what products and research you find helpful for your hikes. Leave a comment below letting us know your Hiking Must Haves for Beginners and Experience Hikers.