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Many of us have spent a lot more time indoors than usual over these past few months. If you’re itching to get out and see some nature, you’re not the only one!
Luckily, hiking is a pretty accessible sporting activity at the moment – and it’s good for you. There’s nothing like a day’s hiking trip to refresh and reboot.
If you’re planning on going on a day hike soon, read on for 6 tips on how best to prepare!
Phone GPS is great – when there’s signal. When out hiking, it’s best to have reliable backup methods to help you find your way. A map and compass will really help you out. Do make sure you know how to use them before heading out, though - here's a great guide to learn how.
Also, think safety. Before heading out (especially if you’re heading out alone), make sure to inform someone of where you’re going, which route you’re taking and when you’re planning on getting back. It’s always best to have someone back home looking out for you.
“If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.” ~The Houghton Line
Anyone who has ever worn too tight shoes will be able to relate to this. Things can get very painful after a while! Make sure to bump up half a shoe size when looking for your hiking shoes, as feet tend to swell during long days of walking.
Apart from that, you don’t need necessarily need highly specialised hiking boots for your day trip. Cleverhiker.com recommends wearing trail running shoes, which are comfortable, lightweight, quick to dry and have good traction.
Always prepare for rain, even if the forecast looks clear! With the right waterproof gear, a bit of rain won’t cause too much trouble. We’d recommend a lightweight raincoat (Decathlon has a wide variety of trusty Quechua waterproof jackets).
For when the weather is really not that great, consider getting a rain poncho and waterproof over-trousers. These hiking essentials can be real lifesavers in the event of a downpour!
For keeping your valuables safe and dry, we’d recommend our Gentlemen's Hardware 10L Waterproof Dry Bag. Simply pop them inside the bag, close securely and slip into your backpack. That way, you won't have to worry about water damage to your phone and other precious items.
It’s always good to bring a few tools on your hikes, so that you’re well prepared to face any situation. Cleverhiker.com recommends always taking a torch, multi-tool knife and duct tape (for quick repairs) on your hikes.
It can be hard to remember to pack everything each time though, so you may find it easier to get a complete set of multi-tools for when you’re on-the-go.
Our Gentlemen’s Hardware Survival Multi-Tool Kit combines three Multi-Tools that’ll have you set for pretty much any outdoor adventure (you’ll get a knife, bottle opener, torch, screwdriver, butterfly wrench, file and more!).
For your skin: Remember to pack sun protection, even if it looks cloudy. Kit yourself out with strong sun cream, sunglasses and a brimmed sunhat.
Blisters: We highly recommend Compeed blister pads (a modern type of plaster for the effective protection and treatment of blisters). You should be able find them in any pharmacy.
Hydration: It’s essential to stay hydrated on your hike, so make sure you have enough water on you (without overloading yourself). For a 24-hour water supply, one gallon (or 4 litres) is recommended per person, so adapt that to however long your hike will be.
If you're planning on doing some overnight camping, we recommend taking our stylish & practical Gentlemen's Hardware's Glow in the Dark Water Bottle along with you.
Nutrition: Make sure to pack food with enough calories to sustain your energy. Snack bars are great, as are dried fruits and nuts. Bring a substantial lunch with you as well. Sandwiches, bagels or tortillas are all easy to take along with you and quick to eat.
If you want to treat yourself to a hot, morning coffee with a view, consider taking a flask filled with home-brewed coffee. Our Gentlemen’s Hardware Flask will make that morning sunrise extra special!
Most importantly – don’t forget to have fun. This may seem like a lot of prep, but once you’re all kitted out, you’ll be prepared for many, many hikes to come!
If you want to make your day hike really count, take our Gentlemen’s Hardware Travel Hammock with you and stretch out as you admire the view…
Fancy a bike ride next? Check out our blog post on 5 Top Tips for your Bike Rides this Summer.