Certainly, you can start to conquer the outdoors in your favorite flip-flops, but the reality is much more complicated. If you have serious and prolonged plans of going into the wilds, you better take to heart the list of needed equipment. And, oh, naturally the boots are No. 1.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Why so serious? Because the “wrong” pants will bring no big harm to your trekking. And the boots can. Just thought of potential blisters and rub-ons, and this plain single notion can ruin your future pleasure of being outside.
In order to avoid this problem, do not go hiking in brand new shoes. By the way, every proficient outdoor shop has in stock not only shoes, but special installation, that imitates outdoor terrain (made of rocks, sticks and other paraphernalia). While choosing, try the boots not only in plain surface, but in volatile facilities. Turn attention to your big toes position: they should not bear against boot interior even downhill.
Photo by Lucija Ros on Unsplash
There are legends in outdoor community, that penniless, but inspired sportsmen started to climbing without any backpacks, but with the pillow cases, improved with some ropes. When you are behind this moneyless period, choose not the biggest and priciest pack. The volume of 30-40 liters will be enough for 5/7-day trek (there are no fancy parties in the wilds, where you can show your flaming style).
The main thing of appropriate backpack – are an adjustable chest and hip belts. Ask your more experienced friends or shop attendant to customize it. For the record: girl hikers should pay particular attention to tuning of chest belt by width and height because… Hmm, you know why.
Read how to pack your backpack by the link 3. Garment
As a rule, every newbie starts gaining of outdoor experience in his or her plain clothes (including old favorite jeans). Two or three trips, and trekker looks around for more technologically advanced clothes.
And then the question surfaces (that sooner or later every good outdoor enthusiast asks himself): when should I buy Gore-Tex? The answer is: when you begin to spend in the mountains at least 30 days per season. First in line should be the jacket, and as for pants, the top choice is softshell outerwear. They produce it from breathable and abrasion resistant materials; one can adjust trousers according to the height, and in critical places they are stretchy.
In any case it will be better than old jeans. Lo long, jeans, we so loved you.
4. Water bottle / Thermos
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Everybody knows, that a person should drink 2 liters of water per day at a most. The amount can be bigger outside (concluding altitude changing, solar activity and personal preference). What bottle capacity should you choose? Mountain Planet experts vote for not more than a liter. You can refill your water supplies during bivouac, and for weight decreasing, instead of metal flask you may take lite soft bottle (or choose plastic version).
In a cold weather the thermos with tea or coffee will be the better choice (you know, that in Everest a sip of hot tea literally can save the life!).
As for hydration systems, according to the experienced outdoor users, camelbacks are not so stable as traditional bottles or flasks. It is not so handy to refill it in the wilds, and in a chilly weather drinking tube may freeze.
5. Trekking poles
Photo by Asoggetti on Unsplash
Trekker’s little helpers: never confuse walking sticks for walking cane! In modern outdoors the poles can make trek much easier, they serve to equal distribution of weight bearing, can reduce the knee strain and helps to balance one on the route.
There are several variations of trekking poles: it is better to buy the adjustable pair with changing length. And to take foldable sticks as opposed to non-foldable, you can clip it to the backpack while not needed. You may select the poles with the external lever lock or with twist-lock; shock-absorbing poles, or with camera mount: only imagination will help you. And after some treks you definitely will know for sure, what is right for you.
Have a good trip and trek carefully!
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