Hiking should be a pleasant activity, yet travelers usually fret over what to bring before trips. To make it easier, here are three essential items that one should bring. These items apply regardless of the hiking distance and location. Hopefully the list will take some stress out of planning and make the excursion more enjoyable.
1) Insect repellent: There is a high chance that wherever one wants to go for a hike, there are mosquitoes. Hikes are often done in forests and/or near bodies of water, and this is exactly where mosquitoes prefer to be. There are not only mosquitoes, but sometimes black flies, deer flies, ticks and many other types of insects. Insect repellents often protect against all those insects, especially those made out of DEET. Ticks are becoming more prevalent in many areas in North America, and the Lyme disease that deer ticks carry can cause debilitating effects.
2) Sunscreen: One would usually not go hiking when it is not sunny. However, with the sun comes issues like UV rays. Sunscreen protects from UV radiation and potential skin cell damage. Too much UV exposure can lead to skin cancer. Sunscreen can be applied everywhere on the body and protects more than sunglasses and a hat. Of course, it is better to have all of those items around, because it may not be practical to apply sunscreen to the head nor eyes. Sunglasses are definitely important to see better under strong sunlight.
3) Hiking shoes/boots: One will evidently dress up according to the weather, however it may not be as evident to use hiking shoes as opposed to slippers, sandals or rain boots. The type of footwear may depend on the length of hiking, type of terrain and weather. However, slippers and sandals are for lucky hikers that hike on rather flat and smooth surfaces, and they may break when maneuvering around rocky areas. Rain boots are for rainy days, and can be somewhat uncomfortable and non-sturdy for long distances. The best hiking shoes/boots are waterproof, comfortable and suited for all types of terrains.
There are more items that help render a hiking trip pleasant, but the above three are crucial. Other items are generally more tailored toward personal preferences. We hope that you will have a splendid hike.