Everything You Need for Hiking: The Right Gear & Prep-Work

You will need some gear for hiking. As for training, you can do push-ups, jump squats, and hip rolls, followed by daily jogging and quick sprints. 

If you want to enjoy a great time by yourself, with your family, or with your friends, then pack your bags and go hiking. A hiking trip can be fantastic, but you need to be prepared adequately. 

There is a variety of equipment that you need for a successful hiking trip. You should also do some exercises so that your body is prepared for the hiking trip.

Gear Required for Hiking

Hiking means you will be walking huge distances. However, you cannot do it without appropriate gear or equipment. In fact, you will need some crucial gears for hiking that are-

1. A Strong, Sturdy Backpack

You cannot go on a long hiking trip without a backpack. You can put all your essential items, such as food, water, medicine, and any other accessories, in your backpack. 

These items will come in handy during your trip, so a backpack for carrying them is a must. There are many different types of backpacks. You can find all the best ones from Gear Up Hiking.

2. Comfortable Clothing

The next essential item is your clothing. You must consider the weather before choosing your attire. 

If the weather is hot and humid, wear light-colored clothes. However, if the weather is cold, then select dark, thick clothes for your trip.

3. Shoes for Hiking

Walking a long distance wearing a sandal or any regular shoes could prove to be extremely inconvenient and painful. Your feet will feel tired, and after walking a certain distance, your legs are likely to give up. 

This is why you need a pair of light hiking shoes that have cotton pads. They are perfect for walking long distances.

4. Navigation Tools

When you are out on your journey, you will be in a place you do not know well. Since hiking is generally done in the countryside, it is easy to get lost in the wide-open country roads.

This is why you must carry navigation tools while hiking, such as a map or a compass. 

5. Multi-Tool Kit

On your hiking trip, you will come across situations where you might need a knife, a scissor, a hammer, or any sort of tool. Thus, you must keep a multi-tool kit so that you can easily tackle any problem using them.

Exercises for Your Hiking Trip

Now that you have the gear sorted, you need to prepare your body. Hiking is a tiresome activity that will put a lot of strain on your muscles and joints if you have not prepared yourself adequately.

To get your physique into top shape, do the following exercises-

1. Warm-Up Routine to Rev Up Your Body

This is not really an exercise but an introduction to the exercises that are to follow. You can do some simple stretching steps to loosen up your body and improve blood circulation. 

You can walk or jog for 5 to 10 minutes. This will loosen up your muscles to prepare for the workouts that are to come.

2. Strengthen Leg Muscles with Jump Squats

Almost all workout routines have squats in them because they are such a useful exercise routine. A jumping squat takes the benefits of squats and enhances them even more by strengthening your leg muscles. 

This is perfect for hiking when you will use your legs for a long time.

To do a perfect jump squat, put your feet shoulder-width apart, and do a normal squat. Then as you are about to stand back up, instead of just standing, jump. Push your legs downwards and jump as high as you can.

As your feet touch the ground, do another squat and then jump. Repeat the process about 15-20 times.

3. Hip Roll Exercise to Strengthen Your Hips

Your hips endure a lot of pressure when you walk a long distance. 

They will be impacted by the weight of your body as well as the added weight of the backpack you will be carrying. Hip rolling is a great way to build hip strength.

To do a hip roll, first, stand on one leg. For example, let us say you stand on your right leg. Then lean forward. Your body will face forward. Lift your left leg up and push it as behind as possible, making a parallel line from your head to your left leg. 

Rotate your hip to the opposite side of your standing leg. Then put down your left leg and repeat the whole procedure again by standing on your left leg. Repeat these 10 to 15 times.

4. Band Walks for Stronger Leg Muscles

It is another great exercise to build up muscle in your legs. This can increase your legs’ endurance and let you keep a steady momentum in your hiking trip.

To do a band walk, you need a resistance band. Tie the resistance band around your legs at knee height. Place them in a way that you feel pressure in your legs as you stand at hip-width. 

Now, walk sideways and maintain the band’s pressure. This will put pressure on the thighs and help build form muscles faster.

5. Poor Man’s Leg Curls for High Endurance Hips

This is another endurance-building exercise, but it is for hips. As there is a lot of stretching, it will also help strengthen your hamstrings so that you avoid any injury on your hiking day.

A prop is required for this exercise. You need a bench that is about 10-15 inches high. Place one leg on top of the bench. Then pull the other leg as far as possible and lift your hip up as well. Do 10 reps with one leg. Then switch the legs and do 10 more.

6. Calf Raises for Stronger Ankles

Your hips may hold the weight of your upper body, but it is your ankles that face all the weight of your body. This is why ankle twists are very common among amateur hikers. 

Calf raise exercise can help strengthen your ankles so that you can prevent ankle twists and have better control of your legs on uneven terrain.

You can do this exercise perfectly on the stairs of your house. Place your feet at the edge of the bottom-most stair. Then slowly lift your body up and stand only on your toes. 

Stay like that for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your heels. Make them go lower than the edge of the step. Stay like that for 5 seconds. Then return to neutral feet height. Do this about 20 times, and your ankles will become sturdy.

When Should You Start Your Exercise?

The next important consideration is the timing. Think about when you should do the exercise to gain the most benefits.  

Well, it all depends on your body structure. If you are an athlete, you might not even need any of the exercises listed here. Just a 10-minute-long warm-up would suffice. 

However, if you are new to hiking, then you must take these exercises seriously. Most hikers suggest amateurs should do these exercises 1 week before their hiking day. One week should be enough to bring out the best results from these exercises.

Additional Things You Must Know

Well, these exercises can only prepare the muscles of your body, but you need to do some extra things so that the muscles you had been building up for 1 week can function properly. Remember the following points-

Stay Hydrated

It is usual to feel thirsty and dehydrated while hiking. In your backpack, always keep sufficient water bottles to keep your body hydrated.

This is even more vital if you are hiking with your kids. But be sure not to over-drink as your stomach will ache, and you will not feel well.

Stay Away from Heavy Food

You might think that heavy food will give you a lot of energy, but that is not true. Your body burns many calories to digest this heavy food, so you will be better off with light, nutritious food. Foods that have lean protein are the best choice, especially during winter.

Have A First Aid Kit Ready

It is not uncommon to see amateurs get injured during hiking. The most common injuries are ankle twists, muscle cramps, pain in the bone joints, etc. This is why keeping a first aid kit, including pain-relieving spray, is essential.

Final Thoughts

Hiking can be a wonderful adventure to create beautiful memories with your friends and family. The beautiful scenery, the journey itself, and your companions will make the trip memorable. To have the best out of your hiking experience, you need to prepare your body and mind. 

We hope that this article has equipped you with the necessary knowledge regarding the required gears, the exercises you must do, and some other tips to make your hiking trip a success.

Image link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-person-walking-in-mountain-1365425/