Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Useful Equipment for the Inexperienced Hiker

There are a number of popular motives that prompt people to go hiking.  Some people simply want to stay active while others want to experience the bliss and beauty of nature.  In addition, some people decide to go hiking to capture photos, see wild animals or clear their mind.

Regardless of motive, there are some essential pieces of equipment every hiker should have when first starting out.  You'll benefit most from this breakdown equipment if you're a beginner, but experienced hikers may take something away from this too. 

If you're experienced, you probably already have a system developed.  For instance, you know what to take with you, what to look for and what to take away from the experience.  Beginners – since they have limited hiking experience – don't have a system constructed yet and, therefore, don't know what to bring besides themself.  That's why we're going to give you – our adored beginner hikers – a breakdown of equipment to have so you open yourself up to all possibilities 

Small Camera

Even if you're not an avid picture taker, you should bring a camera to every new hiking destination.

Bringing something small is ideal.  A smartphone camera with 8 megapixels or more works perfectly.  Just put your phone on airplane mode so you'll remain undisturbed from the outside world.  If you have a phone like the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, you're set.  They afford great picture quality while remaining un-burdensome during your hiking experience.  

Whether you're taking a trip to the Blue Mountains or Grand Canyon, there's always going to be something worthy of remembrance.  Whether you decide to take a photo with your mind, camera, or both is for you to decide. 

Having a small camera ensures that you have the availability to take a picture if you have the urge.  Even if you're not fond of taking pictures in general, you never know what internal desires nature will spur.  During your hike, you may want that camera after all.  So bring it just in case.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes with a strong and lightweight build are ideal for hiking any type of terrain.  Hiking boots are too heavy while tennis shoes are too light, in terms of both weight and foot protection. 

In addition to keeping you comfortable, hiking shoes also allow you to scale rocky and steep terrain with ease.  The heaviness of hiking boots holds you down while tennis shoes cause slippage.  Hiking shoes offer just the right amount of grip and weight.  The weight-scalability and usefulness-comfort ratios are often superior to with hiking shoes than boots.

As you start going on more hiking adventures, you'll discover what kind of shoe you like.  Hiking shoes are just a great starting block to finding what you do like.  As you hike more and more, you'll discover whether they're too light or heavy.  From there, you can experiment with other footwear.

A Journal

Just like everything else listed here, a journal isn't necessary for a great hiking experience.  However, it's a good thing to take with you on your initial hiking trips.  Since hiking is a very personal and natural experience, you're contemplative mind opens up.  Your mind is open to clear thinking and new ideas.  This is why bringing a journal is appropriate.

For some, escaping into nature is a retreat from society as much as an offer of objective insight into society.  When your mind is quieted by nature and beauty, you look at things in a different light.  Ideas are products of calm contemplation instead of anticipation and worry.

Bring a journal the first time.  Like a small camera, it's a good thing to have just in case.