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Hiking Gear

The weather is perfect, and you want to get out to see more of the world. Looking for recommendations on hiking gear that are trail-tested to help you fully enjoy your adventure?The following gear have passed the test of hiking over hundreds of miles by professional hiking guides.

Hiking Footwear

A good hiking shoe is probably the most critical gear. The following factors are important when you are picking hiking footwear:

  • Protection

  • Comfort

  • Lightweight

  • Breathable

There are different types of footwear for hiking:

  • Hiking shoes - best known for foot protection

  • Trail Runners - best known for comfort and performance in all seasons

  • Waterproof hybrids - best for hiking in cold weather

  • Hiking boots - known for maximum protection and long life (can protect you from snake bites)

The Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator is a winner because they offer good protection, have a solid grip, ventilation is excellent, and last forever. These hiking shoes are very comfortable and reliable.

A more lightweight shoe option is the Altra Lone Peak 5. They are light and comfy, the grip is great, and they are reasonably durable. It is a shoe, not a hiking boot. They probably won’t last as long as the Moab 2, but it may be the best value.

Another more aggressive hiking shoe is the La Sportiva Wildcat. The sole gives good grip off-trail, and they dry quickly.

If you choose a leather hiking boot, you will need to break it in. Gaiters are a good idea to keep dirt out of your shoes. Also, if you are hiking in icy conditions, bring a pair of micro-spikes.

Hiking Socks

Socks are available in different weights and should be chosen depending on the weather you plan to hike in. When it is hot, get thinner socks. Heavier socks can fit tighter and cause blisters from too much friction. Go a half-size up on shoe size to allow for a thicker sock. Wool socks are tough and dry quickly.

What is the best outfit to wear when hiking?

Many people just want to look good on the trail, but you should also consider the following when choosing clothing for hiking:

  • Safety

  • Comfort level

  • Versatility

The clothes you choose for hiking depend primarily on the environment and weather conditions.

In the winter, it is best to wear layers. The base layer should be wool or synthetic material. Then a removable middle layer, and lastly, a waterproof/windproof outer layer.

Wicking materials move sweat away from the body, such as merino wool, polyester, and nylon. They will keep you much more comfortable throughout your hike.

Next, try to get the best fit. Choose clothes that are a bit larger to provide flexibility and comfort while hiking.

Keep in mind that quality gear can be expensive, but it is best to choose clothes that are lightweight with sleeves that can be rolled up and secured and pants that can zip off into shorts.

Communication and navigation

Satellite communications are vital for hikers. They need a device that works where cell phones don’t. The Garmin InReach allows you to text messages back and forth to family and friends. It also has an SOS subscription built in to reach first-responders in an emergency. It also acts as a GPS, weather report and has navigation functions.

The Gaia GPS has a smartphone and tablet apps as well as an online planning tool. You can get a good GPS hiking app like Gaia GPS that supports offline maps.

The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar is another option for GPS, and it is a GPS smartwatch. They have topographic maps, a GPS, altimeter, and compass. It is similar to an Apple Watch but is built specifically for outdoor lovers and athletes. It is quite expensive, or there is a more affordable watch that is similar called the Garmin Instinct. It weighs under 3 pounds and can carry 58 liters. It is well-ventilated and very roomy, so you don’t have to jam everything in like a puzzle.

Backpacks for hiking

A backpack is the primary piece of gear for day hiking. You need one that fits well, can carry all your essentials, and is versatile. One that holds 11-20 liters of gear is great for short, simple hikes. For longer treks, you will need a bigger backpack (30 liters).

The Osprey Talon is a favorite backpack of hikers. It has just the right balance. There is no frame, so it saves weight, and the vented and padded back holds its shape. It is excellent for long-day hikes or overnighters. It has a sleeve for a hydration bladder and side pockets for Smartwater bottles. It is very durable and lasts a long time.

There is also the Osprey Exos 58, which is very popular with hikers since it is light, durable, and has lots of room. Make sure your backpack fits your body well. Many brands are adjustable and provide hip straps to stabilize your load. Reinforcements and heavier fabric help minimize damage from abrasion.

Your backpack should carry these essentials:

  • Nutrition

  • Water or other hydration

  • Warm clothing

  • Map or other navigation aid

  • First-aid kit

  • Firestarter

  • Emergency shelter

  • Sun protection

  • Communication device

  • Knife and other repair tools

  • Illumination - flashlight or headlamp

  • Emergency shelter

  • Sanitation supplies

Also consider the R72 Grab&Go Vest + Modular Bags for your adventure needs.

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