Gift Guides, Travel

9 Hiking Essentials for Every Explorer

As the dog days of summer drag on, one of the best ways to spend time is to go hiking.

Especially if you live in a big city, getting away on a nature hike can be a great way to reset. Ever have the fantasy of perfectly chilly days and beautiful fall foliage? You’re not alone, and the best way to prepare for a long hike is by making sure you have the appropriate supplies:

Conditions vary depending on the weather and the difficulty of the hike, but here are six things you should bring on every single hike:

1. Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen – the higher the SPF the better. Don’t forget, UV rays penetrate your skin on cloudy days too, so lather up. Sunscreen prevents skin cancer and accelerated aging, and protects you from a nasty sunburn. What could be better? Don’t forget to reapply!

2. Water

It seems obvious, but not bringing along water can be a disastrous decision. First of all, long stretches in the sun without hydration can be dangerous. The mind can get foggy, heat exhaustion can escalate, and fainting or worse (if enough time passes).

3. Food

There’s no need to have a five-course meal out on the trail, but it is important to keep your blood sugar stable. Trail mix is a good idea as it is generally a variety of both nuts and dried fruit, and the fat, sugar, and protein are great for sustaining you as you hike.

4. Sunglasses

Sunglasses look cool – but they also provide an important function: they block dangerous UV rays, which can eventually lead to cataracts and other eye problems. Plus, it’s tough to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes, and sunglasses are great for that. Also, if you have to squint, you won’t enjoy the vistas as much.

5. A map

Chances are your cell phone won’t have reception when hiking in a rural area. The added benefit here is that you can finally unplug from your devices and relax. So reduce the risk of getting lost, please bring an actual map. What a concept!

6. Selfie Stick

What better way to capture hiking memories than by bringing your selfie stick! Selfie sticks are a great way to get those impossible angles for your sunset hike shot.

7. Power Bank 

If you are bringing your phone or camera along to capture the beautiful scenery, having a backup battery is essential. This power bank even comes with a built-in flashlight in case you get caught in the dark.

8. Phone Armband

If you want to listen to music throughout your hike, your best bet would be to bring a phone armband so you do not have to worry about carrying your phone in your hand. You may even want to consider a portable speaker so both you and your hiking buddy can enjoy the music.

9. A Great Backpack

Where else would you plan to put all these essentials? Having a great, lightweight backpack will make your hike a lot easier.

Happy Hiking!