People hike for various reasons and staying physically active is most significant among them. Hiking indeed has numerous health benefits, and researches show that people who go on hiking keep fit. Weight loss, improved mental health, reduced hypertension, prevention of heart diseases and high cholesterol level are a few health benefits of hiking. A common misconception is that after a certain age people cannot go on hiking. On the contrary, hiking does not have an age limit and those who have developed this habit at a young age most likely sustain it till their health allows them to hike.
Today the environment around us is contaminated with pollution and toxins. One of the benefits of hiking is that you get to spend time in nature and inhale fresh air. Hikers prefer going on a hike when they come across a problem as they believe hiking helps in freeing their minds from thoughts, and they can come up with a solution. Nature offers magnificent views from a height that can leave anyone dumbstruck. Breathtaking views are other reasons that keep pulling people back to hiking.
New Zealand is a country immensely blessed by nature and has some of the most jaw-dropping landscapes in the world. From kayaking, bicycle touring, sky diving and hiking, the country has so much to offer to energetic travellers. The North Island in New Zealand is famous because of metropolitan cities, volcanoes and national parks. However, people often visit only for hiking, as not only scenery is awe-inspiring it is also affordable. Hiking tours in North Island brings hikers from nearby countries.
Lately, more and people are taking up hiking after realizing its numerous benefits. However, a person cannot just wake up and go on a hike. If he is prepared and carrying out necessities chances are he will have a wonderful trip full of adventures. Questions arise that what should one carry while going on a hike. Here we are listing down a few items that any hiker must carry.
- Sun Protection
Whether you are going on pea height or just close by, wearing sunblock should be a must. People think that wearing sunscreen is not necessary when the sun is not at peak. This is a misconception and can cause severe damage to the skin. A cap to cover the head, polarized sunglasses, lip balm having sun protection factor and cotton gloves are essential for any hiking trip. Direct exposure to ultraviolet rays leads to several diseases and taking preventive measure is always a better idea than cure.
Some people are an illusion that in nature, moonlight would be enough to look around. They find themselves at a loss when it gets dark. Flashlight with a high beam or a reliable headlamp is a must for hiking, even if someone plans to return during the daytime. Losing track of time while on a hike is very common as hikers either get immersed in the beauty of nature or in their own thoughts. A flashlight with batteries does not take much space and hikers are advised to keep it handy.
- Hiking Boots/Shoes
Hiking boots are designed specifically for hiking purposes, and their sole, straps and laces provide comfort to hikers’ feet. Although it is possible to hike in a pair of good quality sneakers, they do not give the comfort of hiking boots and may leave sores on one’s foot. Hiking boots provide ankle support, protect calves and are lightweight as compare to other types of boots. Another tip is to get a pair of a hiking boot in right size because nothing hurts more than an unfitted pair of shoes and no one would want to endure sores in feet while on a hike.
- Navigating Tool
All thanks to the advancement in technology, there are several devices which have a Global Positioning System (GPS) and compass installed in them. They are usually lightweight and durable. These tools help in locating a specific location and showing directions. Navigating tools help in keeping from getting lost, and if someone gets lost, they help in finding ways. Another advantage is if someone is unable to find directions GPS help in tracking his positions and he is quickly rescued. Lately, mobile phones have applications that support both, and it is recommended that hikers also keep a power bank with them.
This is an essential thing for a hiker as carrying stuff in some other kind of bag becomes a hassle once a person sets his foot on a hike. Bag size should not be huge, and the wise thing is to carry a lightweight bag. These days hiking is incomplete without a camera, and some people think that taking a camera bag would be enough. This is a big mistake as carrying more than one bags would be troublesome, and you will not enjoy the hike. A good quality backpack, preferably waterproof, with enough space to keep necessities, is a fundamental thing for any hiker.
Staying hydrated is one thing that will keep you going while you are on a hike. Dehydration is terrible in normal circumstances, and it worsens a person’s condition if he is on a hike. Carrying enough water is a vital thing for hikers as lack of it can make anyone lose its energy and focus. It is not necessary to carry a huge water bottle as most of the trails have water spigots and other water resources where one can refill. Lightweight and reliable water bottles are hikers’ best friend.
- First Aid Supplies
Accidents happen without warning and can be disastrous. Even if someone is not planning to go far away on a hike, he should still keep a first aid box in his backpack. A comprehensive first aid kit consists of all the supplies that a person may need in an emergency. Nature does not follow a pattern and hikers often get wound, bruises and scratches on their trips. If not dealt immediately, a small insignificant can turn into a life-threatening wound. Besides, headaches, upset stomach or cramps in legs are a few minor issues that can arise anywhere at any time. Having a first aid kit handy all the time is recommended, but on a hike, it is imperative.
Hiking requires energy, and while preparing for a hike, one should make sure to bring enough nutritious items that will last for the trail. Instead of carrying various food items, granola bars are hikers’ go-to snack as they are not burdensome, do not take much space but are nutritious and healthy. Some people like to have a wholesome meal, so they prefer bringing a sandwich, bagel or burger along with nuts and fruits. Amount of food depends on the time that hikers plan to spend on a hike, but it is recommended to keep a little extra in case of emergencies.
- Bug Spray/Insect Repellant
When you go out in nature, you are never alone. Nature is home to many other species, and many of them do not like humans invading their space. Bugs are everywhere out in nature, especially in the green area. They have the potential of ruining the entire trip. It is wise to have a bug spray handy so that one can use it in time of need and carry on with the trail.
- Hygiene Products
One of the essentials for a hike is hand sanitizer. Washing hands feel like a luxury when someone is out on a hike, so sanitizer does the job. Besides sanitizer carrying wipes, toilet rolls, and menstrual products is also a good idea because maintaining hygiene is necessary for health.
- Emergency Shelter
Spending a day on a hike is an exciting way to explore nature and admire mesmerizing views. More and more people are taking up trekking as a hobby as it has positive effects on one’s mind, body and soul. It is said that a hiker always returns feeling healthy and light as hiking helps in de-cluttering of thoughts, relieving stress improving mental health. Hiking gives a pleasant escape from the real world and is a good source of the happy vitamin, which is vitamin D. People travel to other countries only to enjoy the scenic beauty of nature while they go on a hike. Australia and New Zealand host a large number of tourists who visit only to go on treks either alone or with friends.
As much as hiking is an enjoyable activity, it is necessary that hikers carry certain items and set their feet out after full preparation. A novice does not usually know what awaits him and may wear inappropriate clothes or pack unnecessary stuff. A heavy bag becomes a hurdle on a trek, and a hiker gets tired after taking a few steps. Having a backpack with essential items is a must for every hiker, and no one should begin this adventure without making sure that he is carrying all necessities.