Cooler Autumn weather has got me in the hiking mood. Since the weather is colder I wanted to be sure I had the proper hiking gear to be able to enjoy being outdoors. I have joined a few groups to learn more about hiking and will share those with you in another post called Hiking for Beginners. I will also be sharing more about various hiking packs once I try those out.
These items should make enjoying outdoors more bearable so that you can get the fresh air and sunshine you need to stay healthy during the cooler months. Let’s start from the top and work our way down.
Hiking Gear for Your Head and Chest
You will want to keep your head covered while heading out on the trails by wearing a wool beanie or winter hat. For those who like to listen to tunes while you hike then you might want to pick up a bluetooth beanie. My kids love theirs which they got for Christmas last year! Princess opted for a chunky yarn beanie with a pom-pom on top while Eldest got a grey and black striped beanie. Both of these still work and I cannot wait to give mine a try!
If you get hot easily then maybe a lightweight fabric balaclava or buff would be your best option. I received a buff from my blog mentor which she brought back from a conference and I couldn’t figure out what it was until last week, lol.
If you plan on carrying your cellphone along for your hike then I suggest a waterproof pouch. I recently bought one for myself. I will be getting a pouch for Eldest to carry his Dexcom in to protect the receiver from getting wet as well as one for Princess if she joins me in hiking.
A good base layer that wicks away moisture will keep you more comfortable. I know that lots of people have their favorites which are usually more expensive like military silks or Merino wool. If your budget is tight then try a nice pair of Cuddl Duds like I found super cheap on Black Friday.
Staying hydrated while out on the trail is a must. When the weather turns cold the pipes at parks and trails are usually turned off to prevent from frozen pipes. You will need to bring your own water and I think that bringing a Hydration Pack is the easier way to do so. I just picked up a few different types on Amazon via a discount program called Vipon.
If you are planning to be outdoors all day then I would recommend a 20L- 25L hiking daypack so you can have extra layers of clothes and more snacks and supplies. Make sure that your pack is filled with a first aid kit, basic fire starting kit, emergency blanket and healthy snacks. You just never know how far you might go or if a trail marker is missing and you miss the short trail and end up taking the long route which would mean needing extra fuel for your hiking adventure.
Hiking Gear for Your Hands and Feet
Keeping your hands protected from the elements will keep them from getting cracked or frost-bitten. Picking up a pair of windproof water-resistant gloves will help keep them protected during cool but not frigid temps.
If you are heading out on more rugged terrain then a pair of trekking poles might be advisable. If you can borrow a pair then you should try them out before you settle on a style you like best. So far I have seen both folding trekking poles and telescoping poles but do not know which I would prefer. We actually own hiking sticks that were made for us by my father-in-law.
Next up is a good pair of socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Many hiking enthusiasts swear by a good pair of Wool socks. I have also read that some people prefer thin lining socks under a pair of thicker socks. I have not tried two pairs for hiking, yet but will let you know if I do!
Of course you will need a good pair of hiking boots BUT as a beginner check out the clearance area at local stores like Walmart. We’ve done that a few times and were able to find a pair of hiking boots for under $20 and sometimes under $10! Both Princess and I have bought men’s styles which are roomier and usually cheaper.
Do you have big plans to hike this season or possibly buy some item for a fellow hiker for Christmas? Let me know what your favorite budget friendly hiking gear is and I might just add it to my list.