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What Do I Need for a Day Hike?

May 21, 2018

After living in the mountains for a while, one starts to realize that not everyone is equipped with the knowledge of hiking safety. Many people think they can simply throw on any pair of shoes and start on their merry way doing a several mile hike without preparing.  Yes, many people might be able to do that.  However, the overall experience will probably not be as enjoyable if you simply take some time to prepare ahead, and make sure you pack some essentials with you. Couple hiking through a forest in the countryside

Probably the most important piece of equipment for anyone hiking is their choice in footwear.  Depending on the length of the hike, as well as the difficulty of the hike will help you determine which shoes are best for you.  Shorter day hikes often only require a trail shoe, and some people love hiking in adventure sandals like the brand Chaco Or Teva. If you are planning on going on a much longer or more technical hike, hiking boots will offer more support and be better for your feet and body over an extended period.

Make sure to break in new foot wear before deciding to go on an extended hike.  You will thank yourself later.  Whichever shoes you do decide to wear, make sure they fit properly and that you wear good socks.   A go -to material in the hiking world is wool socks.  They come in a variety of thicknesses, so do not panic in thinking that wool socks are just itchy and hot.  Wool has come a long way, and they really do come in comfortable styles that are great for your feet staying blister free.  It sounds funny that socks are so important, but they really are.  Keep in mind length of the sock, how much cushion is comfortable in the shoes you are wearing, and once you’ve decided on the socks, try them with your shoes together to make sure it is a good fit.  Anything you can do to avoid a blister while hiking will truly make a world of difference.

The next thing you will want to address is what to bring with you.  For a day hike, some of the biggest essentials are food and water.  Bringing more than you need is never a bad idea. If you are hiking in an area unfamiliar, you might also want to bring a water purifier.Woman hiking through a forest in the countryside  Also, when hiking in the mountains, always have the idea in your head that the weather may change.  Always bring a rain jacket with you and an extra layer for warmth.  You might start your hike in the hot sun, but the summit might be very cold and raining at the top. 

Make sure to bring a map of the area, as well as a headlamp or source of light so you can see it if you end up being out later than you had planned.   Also, having some sort of knife or multitool may come in handy, as well as a first aid kit.  Finally, always remember sunscreen and sunglasses.  The sun up in the altitude is much more intense than at sea level.  Even if you are not prone to getting sunburnt, the sun high up in elevation is much more intense. 

Packing a small day pack with a camelback filled with water, some extra safety precautions, you’ll be sure to have a much more enjoyable day on the trail.  It is better to have the things with you and more than likely you will not need them than is it to be out hiking and not have something that could potentially save you or someone you are hiking with.  Hiking is a great way to discover the beauty of Park City.  By planning beforehand, it will make for a much more enjoyable experience. 

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