Hiking is an excellent way to enjoy nature and to escape the city or suburban life. But it isn’t all about trails and trees; hiking is good for your health. An excellent cardio workout, hiking builds your strength, lowers blood pressure and reduces body weight. The fresh air doesn’t hurt either. To get the most benefit from your hiking adventures, investing in quality hiking gear is essential.
If you’re in the market for new hiking gear, 2017 is the year to update your supplies. Depending on the terrain of the trails you’ll be hiking, the weather you’ll face and the length of your treks, the kind of gear and attire required will be unique to you.
Choosing the right gear can be difficult because the options are endless. However, there are some basics every hiker needs, whether you’re a novice or a pro.
A comfortable, lightweight backpack that holds all your supplies without becoming unnecessarily bulky is a must. There’s no doubt you need good boots to keep your feet safe and free from blisters on those longer treks. Staying hydrated isn’t negotiable, so a solid water bottle that keeps liquids cold in the hot sun is a worthy investment.
Even mild weather can turn on you, so you should always pack a comfortable rain jacket and a light, yet sturdy tent.
To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best gear money can buy in 2017. We’ve stuck to the basics here because the basics are what make the difference between being prepared and being unprepared. The rest is up to you, and it’s just gravy.
We can’t say enough good things about Osprey. They’ve been around for a long time and are a favorite staple for hikers. The Talon 22 is light and comfortable but with plenty of room to hold extra supplies needed on longer hikes. It provides easy access with a front flap that gives excellent visibility of your gear. You’ll never have to dig around.
Water Bottle – Yeti Rambler
Available in a few different sizes, the Yeti Ramblers keep your cold beverages cold and your hot beverages hot. This is perfect for cold water, hot soup or coffee and any other food or drink you’d like.
Hiking Poles – Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles
These basic poles are all you’ll ever need. They are known for their reliability and durability on even the longest and most strenuous trails. Seasoned hikers rely on these poles rather than investing in some of the fancier (and more expensive) poles that don’t have the lasting power these do.
Tent – Kelty Tn2
With poles cut slightly shorter than normal, the Kelty Tn2 makes pitching a simple affair, even for the solo hiker. Weighing in at 4.8 pounds, it’s not the lightest tent for the trail, but it’s also not the heaviest. If you want something less substantial or are less concerned about the elements, you can find other tents that will take up less room. But if you want to house more than one person and you’d like to know you’re protected from the weather, the Kelty is the best.
Boots (Men) – Vasque Men’s Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot
These Vasque hiking boots are a great all-around hiking boot option. They are specifically designed for long hikes and are very lightweight when compared to others. They are made of both waterproof and breathable material while the inside lining aims to keep your feet from becoming sweaty and moist. The large tongue keeps debris out, and the arc tilts your foot slightly forward to aid your momentum on the trail. You really can’t go wrong with this boot.
Boots (Women) – Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hiking Boot
Because Hoka has spent years developing running shoes, when it came time to develop a hiking boot, they knew how to create the most comfortable hiking boot available. Lightweight and supportive, these boots are water-resistant and provide traction to keep your feet secure on the path.
Rain Jacket – Marmot Minimalist
This rain jacket is designed to keep out both wind and rain, unlike some others that only wick the water away. You can even wear it in driving rain. It’s also designed to fit over an additional layer for extra warmth.
Tech for the Trail
These days, the use of devices and apps on the trail isn’t nearly as controversial as it once was. Still, it’s an area that is constantly changing and developing.
One of the most tested and most exciting areas of development is in solar products. Solar development has impacted simple things such as solar lanterns to the more complex such as the Meet Earl Survival Tablet. This tablet offers a GPS, weather sensor, barometer, thermometer, compass, AM/FM/SW/LW radio, solar charging, Bluetooth 4.0, a built-in walkie-talkie that works up to 20 miles and Android 4.1 displayed on an e-ink screen for low battery consumption.
The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower allows you to enjoy warm (if left in the sun) showers, and the Camelbak All Clear Bottle lets you quickly drink clean water just by shaking it for 60 seconds.
Whether you’re old school and just want to enjoy the outdoors without the hype of the latest tech or you’ve totally embraced the innovation the hiking industry has employed, 2017 is sure to be a great year full of hiking adventures.
Enjoy stocking up on gear, but remember, supplies are a means to the all important end— time in nature, lowered stress and increased health.
Now that we’ve given our recommendations, it’s your turn. What are your favorite hiking supplies? Have you found gear hacks that make your treks even more enjoyable? Let us know!