So you wanna hike? (And top 5 pieces of gear!)

If you are looking for a way to get in touch with nature, clear your head, relieve stress, or lose weight, then outdoor hiking is definitely worth a try. Additionally, it is also a cost-effective way to get these health benefits while keeping active.  Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" gave me the camping itch early on.

Turning a hiking trip into a camping trip can also be a lot of fun. In our store, we sell dust for only a few dollars for spicing up your campfire with color.  When camping along the Blue Ridge, I've had some of the most memorable moments of my life - amazing memories made out of something so simple.

You should, however, research your planned trail beforehand.  Hiking trails are typically rated based on intensity so make sure you start at the appropriate level.


Hiking is a particularly good activity for a warm summer day. Hiking during summer means you can get to enjoy a full day, with long daylight hours, and sunny, blue skies on a breathtaking hiking trail. If you are not going hiking with anyone else make sure you come up with a contingency plan and that you have told someone where you will be hiking and when you should be expected back.

Make sure you pack well for the hike, carrying all the essentials you need.  Here are the top 5 items your need in your hiking kit:

1)  A hiking shoe with a good grip

Make sure you wear appropriate hiking or trail footwear that can allow you to navigate rough terrain and carry heavy loads without too much trouble.  Having a good hiking shoe with a good grip, helps you stay balanced irrespective of what the ground looks like.

Unlike regular boots, a shoe designed for hiking provides you required support and traction, particularly helpful when hiking alongside cliffs or other drop-offs.  Assuming you can find a shoe with all of the other prerequisites, a lighter weight shoe is more ergonomic and, therefore, preferable.


 2) A directional compass

Especially if you’re going on a long distance hike, it is important to always have a directional compass that you’ll attach to your wrist or somewhere you can easily make use of it.  This is particularly important if you are bushwhacking, but still important on a trail in case you get separated.  Your surroundings will often not be immediately distinguishable, so the best way to know if you’re still on course is to consult your compass from time to time.


3) Protective, weather appropriate clothing

When hiking outdoors, you may experience sudden temperature and weather changes while on the hiking trail. You should get to know the ideal fabrics to wear during such occasions and dress up in layers in preparation for the weather changes.  Additionally, as you go up higher above sea level, the atmosphere tends to get colder than usual.  Ideally, it is advisable to use clothing that covers most of your body, so that there are little to no exposed parts.

Athletic wear made using synthetic fabrics like Lycra, spandex, polyester, or nylon will hug your body to enable easier movement. These clothes can also pull sweat from the skin allowing it to evaporate and keep you dry and cool. If you will be hiking outdoors during cooler seasons, the best fabrics to wear are those made from tightly woven fleece to give you ultimate wind protection and warmth. Alternatively, you can go for wool which also has moisture-wicking properties, amazing heat retention, and softness.

4) Flashlight

Many people don’t think it’s necessary to take a flashlight with them when they go hiking. Truly, you may leave this out if you’re not going on a long serious hike, but it is most important that you buy one for a long hike.  It is also a valuable preparation in case you separated from the trail and have trouble finding your way back.

5) Hiking ropes and fasteners (if necessary)

Although not all hiking trips require hiking ropes and fasteners, don’t be too sure you won't be needing one. Some terrains may have unexpected spots where you may need ropes and fasteners to successfully move through.

It is important to include at least one strong hiking rope and fasteners in your backpack, so you don’t get unnecessarily stranded when you need one.

Feel free to contact us on social media if you have any further questions about camping or hiking!