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Essential Gear For Beginner Hikers

Essential Gear For Beginner Hikers

Hiking is a perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors while getting fit at the same time. If you want to fully enjoy your hiking experience, it is important to be prepared. In this article, we will list several items you should consider buying when going on your first hike. These products are essential when it comes to tackling difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions.

First aid kit

You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of a hike with an injury. As such, every hiker needs to bring a first aid kit with their walking gear. You can usually buy a pre-made first aid kit with everything you will need for as little as $10 from your local drugstore. Any decent first aid kit will include the following items: bandages of various shapes and sizes, medical tape, scissors, tweezers, eye wash, antibacterial wipes for the skin, and an emergency foil blanket.

Map and compass

A map and compass is an essential piece of kit, especially if you plan on exploring a new location. But why do you need a map and compass if you have GPS on your cell phone? Well, electronic devices have a habit of running out of battery when you need them the most. Also, depending on your location, you may not be able to get a signal.

Make sure your map is up to date and easy to read. The best compass we have found is the Suunto MC-2 Mirror Compass. This product is shock, water, and dirt resistant, and it comes with a ruler, clinometer, sighting mirror, and magnifying lens. The compass is also built with luminescent indicators, so you can use it in low light. The Suunto MC-2 Mirror Compass costs around $55-60 but is well worth every cent.

Trekking poles

Trekking poles redistribute weight and reduce fatigue. They are the perfect accessory for any hiker who injures themselves or needs to build a makeshift shelter. Some trekking poles will be better suited to men or women, depending on the size.

One of the best trekking poles for men is the MSR Dynalock Ascent Carbon. This item has an excellent grip, a compact size, and great swing weight. You’ll have to pay $150 if you want to purchase one, but these poles outperform much of the competition.

For women, we suggest the Leki Women’s Micro Vario Carbon. This pole is lightweight, easy to adjust, and very versatile. However, it is also priced on the high side, usually costing around $200.

If you're looking to stick to a tighter budget, consider the BAFX Trekking Poles. These are suitable for anybody up 6’4” in height. BAFX Trekking Poles are lightweight and offer decent support. They're available for under $25, making them perfect for a beginner hiker.

Ice cleat

If you want to hike during the winter, it is wise to purchase a pair of ice cleats. These contraptions attach to a shoe or boot and feature small pikes designed to dig into surfaces with little grip. As such, they prevent you from slipping on the ice. The best ice cleats available for a decent price are the Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats; at under $20, they're also extremely affordable.


A hiking daypack will support your body when carrying more weight. Similar to a backpack they are well-suited to long journeys and lower the chance of back injury or pain.


For your first hike, you will also want to take a bottle of water, as well as some light lunch and snacks. We suggest buying complete meal bars, or nuts and seeds. These food items are high in calories without adding too much weight to your daypack. If you get stuck or lost somewhere, the right food can keep you going until help arrives.

Go forth and enjoy your first great adventure!

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