Hiking Gear: Trail, Camping & Hiker Equipment

Hiking . . . Have You Got The “Right Stuff” to Take a Hike

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods; There is rapture on the lonely shore; There is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.” -Lord Byron


Hiker Certain Styles

Many “hardcore hikers” won’t want to admit to this, what with their “men/women of the woods” and “at one with nature” mentality, but hikers do have a certain style! If you want to fit in with this eclectic bunch of walkers, talkers, hikers and ramblers then you’ve got to have the right type of hiking gear. Even if you’re just planning on a leisurely stroll up a mountain trail for a couple of hours (that’s how they all start but the “hiking bug” can strike at any time) then you’re going to need a few essential items of hiking gear. Nothing shouts out “townie”, “newbie” or “only here to please new partner” more than a hiker who doesn’t have the right gear . . . you’ve got to wear it, use it and carry it the right way.

The Right Hiking Gear

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking fashion here, a couple of days on the trail without a hot shower and the last thing you’re going to be worrying about is whether you’re wearing odd socks, your hiking equipment doesn’t need to cost the earth, have the right label or be in this seasons color, what we’re talking about is PRACTICALITY. They’re a real practical bunch these hikers, and that’s the state of mind you need to be in if you ever want to be accepted. Take a look at the photo . . . do you see strappy sandals and flip-flops (yes, your feet will get hot but you need to wear proper hiking boots), wow, I’ve just realized, I’ve used a photo of headless hikers!

Yikes, maybe that’s got something to do with their trail names (trail names are also an important accessory for the real serious through hikers, and be warned, if you don’t choose your own and make it stick, then somebody else will be only too happy to choose one for you. You will earn your trail name whether you like it or not . . . just ask “Fartburg” who used to wonder why no-one would let him share their tent, and always fancied himself as more of a “Big Bear” . . . sorry mate, too late, what did I tell ya?)

There, you didn’t believe me did you?

Types of Hiking Gear

Hiking gear can be separated into different categories, and even if you’re just going on a day hike you do need to have lots of this stuff with you . . . it’ll help to keep you safe, healthy and comfortable.

Hiking clothing – hiking boots are probably the most important (yep, flip-flops are a definite no no), weather appropriate hiking clothes (you can’t always find good shelter in a storm), hiking head gear etc.

Backpacks – you’ll need a good back pack to carry your other hiking equipment. Backpacks do come in many different sizes and styles, depending on how long you’ll be hiking for and how much hiking equipment you’ll need to carry. Even if you’re only going out for the afternoon you’ll still need somewhere to carry your sandwiches, water bottle, sun cream etc.

Wow, these guys have thought of everything. I used to think that some back packs were for women because they were pink or lilac with a place to keep your lipstick, but no, these hiking back packs are designed to fit the women’s shape . . . boobs and waist is what they’re talking about. Ingenious . . .

Essential hiking equipment – which is carried in your back pack. First aid kit, walkers whistle (some of them can be heard a mile away and can be real life-savers in an emergency situation), other emergency supplies etc. Let’s not forget tents or hiking shelters, sleeping bags, bivy bags, camping stoves etc. You might need a BIG backpack if you’re going to carry loads of essential hiking equipment if you plan on taking a hike for a few days.

Food and Drink – if you’re just going out for an afternoons hike around the local park then a cheese sandwich and a bottle of water might suffice, but the real hardcore through hikers (you remember Fartburg etc) might have to carry enough food and drink to last them for a few days . . . that can get real heavy man . . . so there’s lots of freeze dried meals available these days especially designed for hikers, walkers and backpackers, just add water and enjoy a delicious dinner . . . yum yum!

How many times did she mention Pop Tarts??? No, don’t bother counting, I don’t really want to know, but aren’t you supposed to “pop” Pop Tarts into a toaster? Don’t be tempted to pop your toaster into your backpack, you’re very unlikely to be able to find a power supply along the hiking trail. I should stick with the energy bars if I were you, I think she might be getting a few bucks for product placement do you? Sneaky little minx . . . .

Hiking furniture – prepare to be very surprised at the innovative methods these hikers (and hiking stores) have of making sure that everyone can be as comfortable as possible . . . even in the middle of the woods or halfway up a mountain trail . . . chairs, hammocks, seat pads . . . yes, they are all designed to be lightweight and fit into your backpack . . . it’s amazing.

Just watch that again . . . right, tell me this, how on earth does that guy not end up flat on his back with his legs in the air like a flailing tortoise? That must be one well designed hiking chair, that’s all I can say . . . .

“Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.”