Basic Trail Hiking Gear (for Hong Kong and Beyond)
Having the right trail hiking gear with you before you hit the trails will keep you both comfortable and safe. Hiking in Hong Kong or anywhere can be done on very easy trails that are good for beginners and families, and getting outside for fresh air and exercise is more important than ever. But there are still risks and considerations so it’s important to invest in the right accessories and gear.
There are lots of equipment options and new gear coming out all the time. But getting your hiking gear basics covered is easy, whether you are a budget-minded beginner or an experienced hiker.
How To Prepare For a Day Hike?
If you are wondering how to prepare for hiking, the right gear bundle depends on what type of hiking you plan to do. Different types of hiking trails and hiking conditions create different difficulty levels. But there are some hiking gear basics that everyone should consider. These meet three general goals: hiking safety, comfort, and getting the most from your experience.
The list below should help you figure out what hiking gear you need.
Hiking Equipment Essentials
I am still a beginner hiker but whether you are new to hiking or an experienced trekker, the accessories and equipment below are all worth considering.
Hiking Safety Equipment
There are some simple safety steps you can take right from the start. Plan and familiarize yourself with the route, and make sure your fitness level and capabilities are a good match. Check the weather conditions before heading out. And once you are hiking, pay attention to the signs and always stay on the path. Here is some safety gear to consider.
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If you are using your phone for the trail map, then save it for offline access (as you may not have mobile service/GPS), and bring an extra (ideally solar powered) power bank as well. If you get your bearings before heading out, a compass can be extremely helpful in case you lose the trail. Along those same lines, a headlamp (like a flashlight on your head) is also essential if there’s any chance of getting stuck on the trails after dark. Another simple but useful addition is a whistle, which will help get attention in an emergency situation. The last hiking safety basic is to have a simple first-aid kit.
Hiking Gear to Keep you Comfortable
The right hiking shoes and good compression socks are a must. Even easy hikes become hard without the right shoes. Also, a sun hat is important as is rain protection. A light backpack with water and some food, such as energy bars is also part of the basic bundle, and you should bring more than you think you need. Biodegradable wipes can keep things clean and comfy, especially when hiking with kids.
If the weather turns it can get cold so it’s better to wear an extra layer and bring a space blanket just in case. Consider bringing lip balm and insect repellent as well. Some hikers would never hit the trails without their walking or hiking poles. On uneven trails this can really help you keep your balance and is useful in other ways.
Better Hiking Experiences
A camera is a must-have for hiking and trekking, and a great way to capture memories to share later. Unfortunately, doing selfies on the hiking trail can be very dangerous and people have been severely injured or died as a result. So please be careful!!
Having said that, the smartphone in your pocket has a great camera for taking hiking shots and a simple clip-on macro lens can make them even better. If you want to take video as you hike and climb then try a mini video camera mounted in glasses.
While a camera can capture pictures, you can only really appreciate the experience by being present and aware. A simple notebook to capture your thoughts and inspiration is good to bring. And if you are getting serious about hiking, consider getting a hiking journal as well, to track the trails you have gone on.
The most important thing you can bring hiking might be your five senses and awareness. We hike to enjoy the outdoors and see the beauty of the world. So, be safe and comfortable but look and listen to the great outdoors to enjoy is the best part of hiking.
BONUS TIP: TrailWatch is a useful app for trail lovers, to enable you to plan and track your hikes. Find new routes, share your hikes and connect with fellow walkers. Download the free app here. https://www.trailwatch.hk/