Hiking is a long, strenuous walk in the countryside, usually on trails or footpaths. Europeans began to walk for pleasure during the eighteenth century. Despite the fact that they have existed for much longer, religious pilgrimages involve long-distance walking based on a spiritual purpose related to specific faiths. In Canada and the United States, hiking is preferred; “walking” is used for shorter walks, particularly in urban areas. The word “walking” is used to describe all forms of walking in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, whether it is a stroll in the park or backpacking in the Alps. As well as hiking, rambling, hillwalking, and fell walking (mainly used in the northern part of England) are also used in the UK. Sydney Bush Walkers club adopted the term bushwalking in 1927 and it has been endemic to Australia ever since. The term tramping refers to long, vigorous hiking or walking in New Zealand. Numerous hiking organizations around the world promote this activity, and studies indicate that walking has many health benefits. The term ”Trekking” is used for hiking for longer days in Nepal, India, Pakistan, North America, South America, Iran, and some African countries.
It is always better to prepare the Hiking Gear Checklist and to carry enough Hiking Gears for any kind of Hiking trip. In our article ‘Basic Hiking Gear for Beginners’, we tried to provide all the information regarding essential hiking gear. Here is the list of 17 essential hiking gears for beginners.
Hiking Gears for Beginners
Always prepare a rucksack or backpack where you can carry around 15 kilos of your stuff and if you are trekking in a group with the help of trekking agencies then pack only 12.5 kilos in a backpack. Because Porter will carry two backpacks and not more than 25 kilos at all.
Bring a high-quality rubber sole boot (must not be expensive only) with midsole cushioning and ankle support (Medium or high ankle). Wear for at least 2 weeks to get used to the shoe. Otherwise, you may get sores or blisters when you are on the mountain. Personally, I don’t recommend sport shoes for high-altitude Himalayan treks.
03. T-shirt (Base layer while you are hiking)
Take at least one Dry fit/Quick dry type which can ventilate sweat/moisture wicking. These are made of synthetic materials. Cotton T-shirts are NOT advised and avoided especially when you walk.
04. Warm Jacket (Mid layer clothing for warmth)
A warm Fleece/Synthetic Jacket or Down feather Jacket is recommended during your stay at the campsite. While trekking you will not require this unless you are hiking in cold conditions.
Outer layer clothing for protection from wind, rain, and snowfall. Hooded one made of water-resistant/repellent material is highly advised. Use this along with Baselayer (t-shirt). Wear this especially if the weather is windy while hiking or at the campsite.
06. Trekking pant
Quick-dry trek pant is highly advised. Water repellent/proof quality is a plus. For altitude around or above 5000 m/16400 ft, you should use windproof and waterproof trek pants.
07. Hat or Cap
For protection against the sun while you hike.
08. Hiking Socks –
Use full-length socks (Don’t use tennis socks). 100% Cotton socks are NOT recommended as these absorb sweat and dry slowly. A pair of woolen socks in winter treks (mostly for using at a campsite but not while you walk).
One of the most important hiking gear, Nice to have one, it will reduce the pressure on your knees and give you balance especially while descending.
I personally highly recommend you to take a water bottle. You might not get to buy mineral water because of environmental issues.
11. Knee cap
Makes a difference especially if you had knee injuries/problems. If you don’t have any problem as well it’s comfortable while you use it for descending.
This is the most necessary hiking gear for all the hiking routes and winter treks. Polarised/Anti-glare is always a better option in the snow with UV400 (UV A & B) protection. Hikers using spectacle can order custom make powered sunglasses. I have seen some people having snow blind due to not using sunglasses.
13. Torch/Head Lamp with extra batteries
You might have to start the hike very early in the morning or you might get late coming back due to some problem on the way, so the headlamp is recommended for any of the hiking trips.
14. Sunscreen lotion
Depends on your skin, If you think it necessary, bring the one with 50 SPF or more.
15. Camera with extra cells (Optional)
There might be no charging possibilities in your hiking trip and you might lose the moment to capture in your camera due to the problem of a drained battery of your unit. Carry some spare batteries/pack or power bank (mobile phone, camera user)
16. Dry food items
Carry some dry fruits, chocolate/energy/protein bars
17. Medical Kit
a) General medicines for headache, fever, vomiting, stomach upset, and pain killer (Volini gel/spray)
b) Anti Diarrhoearal
c) Antibiotics – ( choose broad-spectrum antibiotics for treating a variety of infections – carry a course of each)
d) Mild analgesics – (Aspirin/Paracetamol, etc but DON’T take Codeine-based painkillers).
e) Strong analgesics (Co- Proxamol/Ponstan/Temgesic, use with care, Anti-inflammatory (Nurofen or diclofenac sodium).
f) Bandage, Plasters, knives, etc.