Being in nature no matter what is an enjoyable experience for most people, but having the right items with you when hiking can make or break your outdoor experience. Here are the basic essentials every hiker should have with them.
- Water – Always bring more water than you need. How much water you take will depend on how long you plan to hike and how long it will take you to complete your hike. From personal experience, I would suggest a liter of water as the minimum to pack, and would recommend those who are serious hikers invest in a backpack equipped with a hydration bladder; not only can you carry more water, but this hands-free method of hydration allows you to stay hydrated when you’re resting or moving.
- Snacks – Bringing a snack like a trail mix, snack, fruit or sandwich is a must on long hikes. Not only do you need food to keep your energy up to complete and enjoy your hike, but pausing for a snack gives you time to enjoy the scenery, and especially some of the great views that hiking in the county has to offer. from Boulder. The best snacks for hiking are those that contain protein and/or good fats, as well as carbohydrates; proteins or fats help you stay full longer and maintain your energy (keep your blood sugar levels stable), while carbohydrates are needed to quickly provide energy to your body, as well as for brain function.
- Solar cream – Due to Boulder County’s elevation, all hikers, regardless of skin type, should wear at least some sunscreen to avoid sunburn which can not only have long term consequences, but also lead to sun poisoning. Sunscreen, lip balm with sun protection, sunglasses, are essential for hiking; hats, bandanas and long sleeves can also be helpful.
- Shoes – Shoes can really make or break a hike. Shoes recommended for hiking in Boulder County depend on the trail, but any athletic shoe will generally work; hiking shoes or hiking boots are the best option. Not only do you need shoes that will protect your feet from rocks, bugs, weeds, etc., but they will also protect your ankles and knees from injury. Having shoes with good traction can mean the difference between a minor fall and a possible major injury.
- Pack – Every hiker should have a backpack because hiking with a backpack is also a safety measure. Hikers need their hands to stabilize and catch themselves to avoid hurting themselves and others. Most rucksacks and duffle bags work like backpacks, but for those who plan to hike frequently, having a backpack that protects their back is essential. Many hikers’ favorite brands are Osprey and Camelback, both of which come in a variety of sizes and usually provide a hydration pack.
These are the basics every hiker should have with them. Other items that may be useful are tissues, toilet paper, utility knife, basic first aid items, whistle, pepper spray, space blanket, extra medicine, disposable poncho and, of course, extra water.
Good adventure !