For many people, their idea of a dream vacation is going away to a place of luxury. Everyday life can be stressful, with many responsibilities that hound us on a daily basis, leaving a lot of us longing for the chance to be waited on for a change. There are thousands upon thousands of luxury hotels, and resorts in the world built for this exact market, each offering their customer an effortlessly dreamy experience. But this type of 5-star treatment doesn’t always appeal to everyone – and in fact, it is not the only way to relax and enjoy some downtime. For many, there is nothing more rejuvenating than a stripped-back, low-key holiday, spending plenty of time in the great outdoors. A lot of people these days live in very built-up, metropolitan cities, and their busy work schedules mean they don’t have much time to get out and enjoy the nearby countryside if there is any. That’s why a hiking vacation could be just the break from reality you need, especially if you feel you would get bored simply lounging around a resort all day, every day. Hiking enables you to see some of the most beautiful places on Earth that are only accessible by foot, and there is something very grounding about living in nature, without modern conveniences. Plus, trekking with another person or as part of a group can be incredibly rewarding, and it no doubt brings you closer together as friends as well. Starting to think that a hiking trip could be on the agenda for you at some point this year? Here’s everything you’ll need to make your dream a reality.
Think your trusty pair of Vans or Converse will see you through a week of trekking? Think again. While these types of shoes might be perfect for everyday use back at home, and even for certain sports, they will wither under the lights if you try to hike in them. The soles are simply not durable enough to withstand a long period of walking on the rural ground, and the shoe itself does not lend itself to sufficiently supporting your foot. You will need to opt for a pair of shoes that offer much more padding, breathability, and support, and a good pair of walking boots usually fulfills this quota. If you are between sizes and don’t know which one to go for, always choose the larger size up. Why? Walking boots require you to wear thick socks, so you can generally get away with buying a slightly bigger pair than normal.
Despite going through all this effort to find a decent pair of shoes, you still may not be totally immune to getting the odd blister on your hike. They are often inevitable when you are walking or climbing for long periods of time, but there are plenty of ways you can ease their impact on you. A pack of blister-appropriate band aids is an absolute must – forget cheap flimsy ones, and be prepared to spend a little more cash in order to get a quality product. Take plenty of antibacterial sanitizer in case any dirt or mud comes into contact with your blister, but for the most part, leave them alone. It can be tempting to try and pop them, but this will only leave you in considerably more pain and also puts you at the risk of infection too.
Cozy sleeping kit
Even if you are trekking in a very hot country, you can almost guarantee that once the sun goes down, the temperature will immediately drop. This can make sleeping outdoors a little on the uncomfortable side, and there’s nothing worse than shivering your way into a slumber night after night. There are a few different components you will need at hand in order to ensure a great night’s sleep in the great outdoors. Firstly, you will need something to raise you off the ground, even slightly. Most tents these days come with built-in ground sheets, but they are still prone to dampness and cold from the earth. If you can fit a camp bed or a blow-up mattress inside your tent, this will keep you considerably warmer at night than just sleeping on the floor. But usually, a sleeping mat that is a few centimeters thick will do the job just as well. Some people even swear by lilos when they are camping, so don’t be afraid to use your imagination! Websites such as scoresurvival.com also offer plenty of information on the best sleeping bags and bivy sacks to take on a hike, so make sure you get something thick, double skinned and with a hood if you need it. Finally, stock up on pillows and cushions to make the interior of your tent a little more comfortable. It may seem unnecessary, but by the third night or so you’ll be grateful for it!
Food and drink
Hiking in the wild can pose a fair few challenges, but one of the most common ones is the lack of available food and drink. After all, it isn’t like you can just pop to the 7/11 when you’re twelve miles deep into Yosemite! For this reason you will need to take the bulk of your food and drink with you, along with any cooking implements you may require. Get large jerry cans to fill with water and leave at your camp, and take smaller handheld bottles with you for when you are trekking. Tinned food will become your best friend, as will anything with a high protein content (these types of food tent to keep you fuller for longer). If you’re not in any kind of rush, why not start and end the days with a cooked meal around the campfire? Simple bring some firelighters along and before you know it you’ll have a roaring fire and a hearty meal to go round for everyone involved. If that doesn’t say hiking, we don’t know what does!