As with all hobbies, there is some initial outlay required in getting started with hiking. The array of products on offer can appear bewildering to a beginner, so here is a list to help sift the essentials from the luxuries.
A map and compass will help you remain en route. If you are using paper maps, take a waterproof map case for them. Berghaus and Sea To Summit both make excellent map cases which allow you to use your map in the rain without the map becoming damaged. For the modern hiker, a Satmap Active 10 Plus World Map GPS handset is a sturdy and lightweight alternative.
Sun protection: Sunscreen, a good hat such as the North Face Horizon, and UPF-treated clothing such as the Berghaus Pacific shirt combine to protect you from the elements.
A torch or headlamp: The Petzl Tikka 2 allows you to move hands-free, and the powerful light from the Lifesystems Intensity 210 VF LED torch will help you to attract help if you encounter any difficulty.
A First Aid Kit: Lifesystems and Adventure Medical Kits both produce excellent, ready-prepared kits. At the bare minimum we would recommend either the Lifesystems Explorer or Adventure Medical Kits Light and Fast Personal First Aid Kit, but if you will be gone for several days consider a larger, more diverse kit such as the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Weekender First Aid Kit.
Other safety equipment: Matches or a lighter, and some Light My Fire Tinder Sticks. A good knife or multitool such as the Victorinox Huntsman or Leatherman Squirt.
Additional food, water, and clothing. Pack plenty of water above all else.
Health and Comfort
Good hiking boots will support your ankles, absorb shock, provide grip, and help maintain your posture. The Berghaus Explorer Trek GTX Walking Boot is perfect for general hiking on most surfaces and contains GoreTex to keep your feet dry even in the rain. If you are venturing into hilly or mountainous terrain, however, you need a firmer boot. We recommend the Berghaus Explorer Ridge Walking Boot. Boots should be approximately one full size larger than your shoes.
Walking socks are thicker and more durable than regular wear socks and will make sure that your foot is cushioned and fits your boot snugly. With regular socks the danger of slipping inside your boots is high, which could lead to an accident or even an injury. Select socks which suit the weather – from the SmartWool Light Crew Sock for summer through to the SmartWool Heavy Crew Sock for winter.
A rucksack is essential for carrying everything you wish to take with you. For light trekking, we suggest the Berghaus Freeflow 25 Rucksack, but if you are also carrying camping gear then you will need a larger bag. Try the Berghaus C7 Pro 70 Plus 10 Rucksack, ergonomically designed and with excellent weight distribution measures built in.
A pair of Vango Deluxe Walking Poles will help you remain balanced, keep your spine protected, and absorb shock from your travels to keep you hiking all day.