You’re gearing up for a big trip on the hiking trails to catch up on some much-needed adventure. You’ve been receiving tips left and right, but you are not sure which are actually helpful, and which will leave you with regrets.
Despite a treasure trove of information available, hikers, particularly newbies, may find themselves overwhelmed. Let’s sort t outsome common misconceptions.
You don’t need trail maps because you have a GPS
Truth: The thing about hiking trails is that there is a substantial lack of electricity for charging devices, which means that your GPS can go away once your phone dies. A GPS is no match for an updated trail map and compass in terms of reliability.
A two-person tent will comfortably fit in two people
Truth: This is probably what the guy at the outdoors gear store told you. You may fit in with another person in your two-person tent, but “comfortably” is stretching the truth. Most two-person tents are just not spacious enough. Two 7-year-olds may fit in, but two adults will find that there’s insufficient space for sleeping bags, pads and other belongings.
It’s warmer to sleep naked in a sleeping bag
Truth: Like most internet trivia, this one is quite absurd. Sleeping bags are designed to act as insulation, trapping your body heat inside. Think of it like a well-insulated house for a hike. Now, you wouldn’t walk around without clothes in your actual well-insulated home, would you?
A basic first-aid kit will cover all injuries
Truth: Most pre-packaged first-aid kids do not have sufficient items for hikers. A smart move is to put together a DIY first-aid kit. Take a look at Washington Trails Association’s supply checklist to make sure you are ready for your trip.
Hiking boots are necessary for hiking
Truth: This advice is conditional. While proper hiking boots are necessary to protect your feet when you are going mountaineering, or hiking in cold/rainy/swampy locations, these are not necessary for every hike. A short day hike on well-groomed trails mayonly call for comfortable athletic or walking shoes. .
Any kind of backpack works for hiking
Truth: No.. Backpacks are probably the most important part of your hiking gear. The type of backpack you choose determines the number of items you carry. Moreover, your hiking backpack will be carried by you for miles, and its quality will affect your stamina. Make sure that you are buying a pack specially designed for the kind of hike you are planning.
You need a backpack rain cover to protect your gear
Truth: Backpack rain covers can be problematic.. They tear up fast and create trash for you to handle. The ideal move is to buy a waterproof backpack, and line the inside with plastic sheets, a practice adopted by experienced hikers to save time and money.
Want more advice on hiking gear? As one of the leading suppliers of ultralight backpacking gear, we understand what hikers need on their trips. Check out our blog!