What Do You Need for a Hike in the Countryside?

hiking boots close-up. girl tourist steps on a log

A hike in the countryside can be a terrific way to enjoy nature while getting some exercise at the same time. But before you head out for a day of hiking on some nearby forest trails, there are certain things to consider when it comes to what items you should bring along with you and which ones you should not. 

What to Wear

The clothing and footwear that are suitable for a hike will all depend on the terrain you will be hiking as well as the time of year (or the climate where you live). For example, if you live in a temperate climate, you are going to need different clothing for a hike in the middle of summer than you would for a hike towards the end of fall. 

Weather-appropriate clothing is always important. For spring and fall, you should layer up so that you can remove outer layers if you get warm. Always bring a light wind and waterproof jacket to keep you comfortable should the weather change suddenly. 

In terms of footwear, sturdy hiking boots are a wise choice, and wear thick socks with them to prevent friction and rubbing. To keep your boots feeling and smelling fresh for longer, the good folk at ShoeFresh recommend a shoe stretch spray before you wear them and a shoe deodorizer to eliminate bacteria and odors. 

What Equipment to Bring?

A small lightweight backpack should be enough to house the essentials for a hike. Anything too big will weigh you down and make you uncomfortable. Look for a backpack that comes with a chest strap as this helps improve comfort when walking uphill. Speaking of hiking uphill, a good set of walking poles can really help you to keep your footing and propel you forward. 

There are certain items that are considered essential for a hike, and it is important that you have them with you. These include plenty of water, food, and a first-aid kit. If you are unfamiliar with the area that you will be hiking in, consider bringing some navigational aids. It is not a good idea to rely solely on your smartphone for this because you may not be able to always get a signal, or your battery might die. Bring a compass and a map as well, just to be on the safe side. 

If you are planning to be hiking for a good few hours, be sure to have emergency supplies with you. This can include a torch and something to light a fire with in the event that you get lost and are out longer than you expected. You need to have a way to keep warm and to see where you are going in case it gets dark. A whistle is also a good idea as this will help emergency responders to find you should you get lost. 

You should also make sure you have items that will provide protection from the sun. Many people neglect such items in the spring and fall and end up with sunstroke. Bring plenty of sunscreen as well as sunglasses and a cap to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. 

What Not to Bring? 

There are some things that are best left at home when heading out for a hike. For example, if you are only heading out for a couple of hours, you are unlikely to need a camping stove and a tent. Save these items for an overnight camping trip. Also, avoid bringing valuables such as jewelry or expensive electronics with you. They are not needed and will just weigh you down, making you uncomfortable.