If you are a beginner at hiking or taking long distance walks, the main thing is to have a well-equipped backpack. It is the essential thing you cannot start your journey without.
What you will put inside is completely up to you, but some things are universal. Here is advice from experienced adventurers that will help you get the most out of your walk.
Clothes and boots
Make sure you have adequate clothes according to the weather. Always pack one clean set of clothes so you can change if you get sweaty. You don’t want to catch a cold. Experienced hikers recommend a tree layer system.
The first layer should always be underwear that sends the sweat away from the body and does not retain it. It is also called the base layer and it is essential in keeping your skin dry.
The second layer is usually a fleece material that keeps a body warm and transports the moisture to the third layer. The final layer keeps the body protected from wind, snow, and rain.
A raincoat is also a good idea in case the rain starts pouring down and you don’t have a place to hide. It will protect you from getting wet, but also your equipment. In case you always have your camera with you to document the wonderful things you see, it will stay completely dry under it.
Quality boots are an absolute must when it comes to long distance walks. Protect your feet and invest a little extra money, you will be glad you did. Imagine walking with blisters. Not so good image, right? Besides, the goal is to enjoy the sight and not be concerned about pain.
Hiking socks are a smart investment. They will help you to be comfortable, keep your feet dry and at the same time – protect your feet from friction. If you are a beginner, you are probably not used to spending all day in boots, so any additional protection is welcome.
You might think that you can buy food anywhere, so you don’t have to burden your back with it, but take my word for it – you need to pack some with you.
There will be parts of your route without stores, supermarkets or even houses for that matter. Here are few recommendations, but of course, it will depend on your preferences:
- Dried fruit
- Canned meals
- High protein bars
- Powdered milk
All these things don’t require big preparation and are available right away. You can never know when you’ll get hungry.
High protein bar and a strong coffee will help you get your strength and focus back necessary to keep going. Eat small portions often and don’t worry about the calories. During this physically challenging period, it is better to eat more than usual.
Clean water is hard to find in some areas, so it is important to always have some with you. Remember to fill your bottle whenever you get the chance and you are sure that it is safe for drinking. Keep yourself hydrated, don’t wait to get thirsty.
On the other hand, if you want to fully enjoy the nature during your walk, you may want to pack a tent, so you can rest during the night. You will also need:
- Sleeping bag – Synthetic sleeping bag dries faster, it is warmer and it is hypoallergenic.
- A small pillow – It will keep your head in the right position so you can rest well and proceed with your journey energized.
- Knife – Handy in all kinds of situations.
- Matches – Light a fire easily. They cannot have a malfunction like lighters.
- Flashlight – If you find yourself in a wood, it will truly help you find a nice place to spend the night.
- Compass – It will get you right on track in case you get lost.
These things are absolutely necessary. What is a camping without a nice fire? With a nice, quality knife you will easily cut off small branches that will light up fast. Make your experience memorable.
Before you start your journey you may not want to think about less pleasant things along the way, but better safe than sorry.
Take a first aid kit with you and pack medications that may come handy: something for pain relief, broad antibiotic and bandaids.
You will avoid muscle sore if you stretch often and never go to sleep without few exercises. Eating chocolate will help you recover since sugar is essential because of the energy it releases.
Besides all the things mentioned, you need to pack your documents so you can always have them with you. Pack them in a safe inner pocket of your backpack.
Always have some cash in case you are far away from the city and no one accepts a credit card. Don’t forget a cell phone charger. Charge your phone every time you get the chance since you never know when you’ll need it.
Sun protection cream will not take too much space but will mean the world. Even though the weather is cold, protect your skin. You don’t want to get sunburned but go back home with a nice suntan.
Make sure you take pictures whenever you have the time, it will make your journey eternal. You will always have pictures to remember the wonderful things you have experienced. At the end of the journey, you will probably forget lots of things, but nice pictures will help you remember and enjoy those times once again in your mind.
At the end, don’t forget a smile. You are starting your big adventure! Make sure you enjoy it to the fullest.