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How to Buy Essential Hiking Gear

When planning a hiking trip, make sure to buy the gear that you won't want to leave home without.


  • Step 1: Purchase a daypack for single-day outing. A good-size bag is between 1500 and 2000 cubic inches.
  • Step 2: Carry a flashlight or headlamp regardless of the time of day you will be hiking. And don't forget to carry extra batteries.
  • Step 3: Carry a map and compass even if you think you know the trail like the back of your hand. Be sure you know how to use the compass.
  • Step 4: Carry a first aid kit containing items for treating common trail injuries like scrapes, cuts, and blisters. Now that you've acquired all of the the essential gear, gather it up and head for the great outdoors.
  • FACT: Hiking can burn up more than 400 calories an hour.
  • Step 5: Carry toilet paper in a plastic blag. Be sure that it is biodegradable.
  • Step 6: Apply spray-on insect repellent to your clothing before you set out. Use a cream-based repellent on any exposed skin.
  • Step 7: Carry food while hiking. Eating on the trail keeps your body nutritionally balanced, and having it on hand creates a buffer in case an emergency arises.
  • Step 8: Use sunscreen while outdoors to protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation. And don't forget to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Step 9: Wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun in summer and reduce heat loss during the winter. Wear quality footwear and synthetic clothing that does not hold moisture.
  • TIP: Carry rain gear if there is any chance you will encounter rain on your hike.
  • Step 10: Purchase a water containers. Plan to carry one quart of water for every two hours you will be walking. Water is the number one item you will need on any hiking trip, so plan accordingly.

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