Spring is finally here! And that means spring-time hikers are breaking out their gear for another great season of sightseeing. Experienced hikers who have been hitting the trails year after year know what they need and probably have a set checklist of spring hiking essentials at this point.
But for those who are just starting to embark on their hiking passion, here are some key items you’ll need to have during hikes in the spring.
Walk Stick: A nice wooden walking stick can make all the difference when hiking. Walking sticks and hiking sticks are great for wilderness treks and can help improve your balance and mobility, not to mention they take a ton of stress off of your back and joints. When shopping around for hiking sticks, be sure to choose one that is well-made so that it is durable enough to handle to trails you’re hiking on and won’t break while you’re using it.
Appropriate Footwear: Appropriate hiking footwear doesn’t just include a good pair of hiking boots, although that is part of the equation. Good hiking socks are also essential for spring time hiking. You want to make sure your feet stay dry during hikes and a good pair of hiking socks should be breathable, yet insulating. Make sure you choose a pair of hiking boots that are comfortable for your foot. Otherwise, you could develop blisters or foot pain from hiking.
Water Bottle: As the temperatures start to rise in the spring, so does the need to stay hydrated. Having an insulated water bottle in your hiking kit is important so that you can have cold water to drink throughout your hike. Nothing is worst that cramping up mid-hike and that can be prevented by keeping yourself hydrated throughout.
Navigation: Packing some form of navigation such as a map, compass, or GPS system is always a wise choice when hiking. Being able to navigate where you’re going is essential, especially when you’re in new territory that you’ve never hiked before. Having multiple navigation tools in case one fails is not a bad idea as well.
Multi-Tool: Multi-tools can be very useful on hikes by providing various tools that can enable you to cut things, fix things, or remove things. Some of the tools you’ll typically find are screwdrivers, knives, and can openers.
Sun Screen/Glasses: There could be some residual snow left over from the winter, especially when hiking at high altitudes, so it’s important to prevent snow blindness by packing sunglasses. (Of course, these help on sunny days, as well.) Warmer days can produce a stronger sun and also require the use of sunscreen. It doesn’t have to be summer to get a sunburn – sunscreen is recommended year-round.
First Aid Kit: Safety always comes first, especially when hiking. Having a first-aid kit packed and first-aid knowledge is essential for any hiker at any time.
Backpack: And of course, you’ll need a reliable backpack to carry all of these items in. Pick one that is sturdy and has enough compartments to hold each of your hiking items. Don’t over pack, though, and end up carrying too much weight.