Most Common Questions About Hiking
Maybe you’re looking to get into hiking or maybe you’re an experienced hiker – whatever it is, I’m sure there are questions you have about hiking.
After all, life is about learning and there’s always something new to learn.
And in this article, we’ll be covering various topics and questions on hiking.
If there’s something you’re looking to learn about hiking, this article is right for you!
What Do I Need For Hiking?
The basics for hiking are simple – hiking shoes, a backpack, a water bottle, layers, some food, first aid supplies and sun protection.
If you’re going out for a short day hike, that’s more than enough.
However, if it’s a longer, multi-day hike, you might need more equipment.
You’ll definitely need camping equipment like tents, sleeping bags and cooking equipment.
How Important Are Hiking Shoes? And What Kind Should I Get?
Hiking shoes are definitely important if you’re planning to hike frequently.
Hiking shoes are built specifically for hiking and have added padding and or stability for your safety and comfort.
However, there are different types of hiking shoes too. Some are lightweight hiking shoes that are more suited to day hikes.
These are great because your backpack wouldn’t be too heavy.
Therefore, your feet wouldn’t need as much cushioning.
Others are full or mid-cut boots with thicker cushioning and better stability support.
This will help stabilise your ankles and prevent you from twisting them whilst hiking.
If your hike is going to be an intense one, you might even want to get ones that are waterproof.
This will ensure your feet remain dry during your hike.
They also have thick cushioning to protect your feet from the rough and uneven ground.
What Should I Wear To Hike?
Depending on the weather, you’ll have to accordingly adjust your clothing.
However, the essential idea is to dress in layers.
This ensures that you can add or remove layers to ensure you feel most comfortable.
If you’re in warm weather, you’d want to find sweat-wicking outfits to ensure that you stay as dry as possible.
It might sound counterintuitive but long sleeves and pants are great as they would protect you from the sun too.
Remember to pack some extra layers too as the weather may change as you hike.
If you’re in cool weather, you’d want to have a warm, thermal layer.
Materials such as Merino Wool make for a great thermal layer as it is lightweight but warm.
On top of that, you’d want a waterproof layer to protect you from wind, rain or snow.
If you need additional layers for keeping warm, you can add extra layers.
Just ensure that you are comfortable enough to hike in them.
How Can I Prevent Myself From Getting Blisters?
Blisters can greatly affect your hiking experience and ability.
It’s also much easier to prevent blisters from happening as opposed to treating them.
Therefore, preventing blisters is extremely important.
One important way to prevent blisters from forming is by making sure that you’ve broken in your hiking shoes before hiking.
Don’t wear new hiking shoes to hike as that’s a surefire way to get a blister.
Another great way is by applying vaseline on your feet before wearing your socks.
This acts as a great layer to prevent your skin and socks from rubbing together.
Are Socks Specially Made For Hiking Necessary?
To put it simply, no, they aren’t necessary.
If they’re out of your budget or you’re just starting to hike, you might want to hold off on getting special hiking socks.
However, these socks are great for hiking as they are padded and made specially to ensure ventilation for your feet.
Therefore, they can help improve your hiking experience by quite a bit.
If blisters are a problem for you, these socks can also greatly help prevent them as the material is usually softer.
The ventilation also helps to keep your feet dry and cushioned and this prevents you from getting blisters!
So, hiking socks aren’t necessary but they are a great investment!
Are Hiking Poles Necessary?
Like the socks, hiking poles aren’t necessary.
But, they are helpful as they can help you keep your balance as you hike steep inclines.
If you have a heavy backpack, they can also help to support some of that weight.
Not everyone likes hiking poles. Some people find hiking poles useless.
Therefore, hiking poles are completely up to personal choice.
However, you should definitely borrow a pair from a friend to try before investing in them.
What Kind Of Backpack Should I Get?
Hiking backpacks are used to carry all your supplies.
Therefore, you should find one that comes with back support.
This can help distribute the weight of your pack equally across your shoulders.
It will thus be more comfortable for you.
Aside from that, packs come in several different capacities.
You should choose a backpack with the capacity that best suits your needs.
If you plan to only hike day trips, you should get one that’s 35 to 50 litres.
This is bigger than you’ll need and you can use it for trips up to three days.
If you’re someone who hikes three to five days, you’ll one to get one that is 50 to 80 litres.
If you hike even longer than 5 days, you’ll have to go for a pack that’s at least 70 litres.
Only sizes bigger than this would be enough for your needs!
Hiking Gear Is Out Of My Budget, What Can I Do?
Investing in hiking gear is worth it.
But sometimes, your budget might just be unable to do so.
Therefore, there are several different options that you can consider.
Firstly, you can always look for friends who have the necessary gear.
You can then borrow it from them or ask to hike with them.
They’d then be able to share the gear with you.
This is particularly for gear such as tents and cooking equipment.
Secondly, you can rely on different trails’ huts and lodges.
These places can serve as shelter and might even have food readily available.
You’d then not need to get tents or cooking equipment.
Lastly, you can also rent gear online or from local stores.
These stores are prepared for hikers like you and would be able to help you.
What Kind Of Meals Should I Prepare For Hiking?
Hiking is a tiring task and keeping yourself energised is necessary.
Therefore, you’d need to have meals along your hike.
This, however, adds to the weight of your pack and can be pretty annoying.
Aside from that, you might even be wondering what you can eat whilst hiking.
Well, the easiest and best option is preparing freeze-dried food.
This requires little cooking equipment as you can have it ready simply by pouring boiling water in.
However, it is expensive and terrible for people on a budget.
Aside from that, there are also simple plans for various meals.
For breakfast, oatmeal, fruits, granola bars, and bread are always a good idea.
For lunch, a simple salad would do.
Finally, for dinner, you might want to get instant foods such as instant rice or potatoes.
These are all easy to assemble and won’t stress you out.
We have a complete guide to what food to take when hiking which you should read. Food is crucial to having an enjoyable hike. Too little or you will be hungry and not enjoying it, taking too much and you will have unnecessary weight in your bag.
We hope these answers most of your questions on hiking.
Hiking is truly a great activity and we hope you enjoy it!
If there is a question we have missed, ask away below and we will answer them for you.
Hi, I am Amy I have two loves in my life camping and writing. When I am not writing for The Expert Camper, I am usually camping. Lake District is one of my favourite spots, but really anywhere in the UK under canvas I am happy.