Important Gear to Bring On Your Hike.
If you’re just getting started, I’m going to guess you won’t beclimbing to the top of a mountain in Alaska, but rather going on an introductory hike that will help build your confidence and get you rolling.
Here’s what I’d recommend you bring with you on your adventure:
Sunscreen – If it’s sunny outside and you’re hiking through the woods or up a mountain with a cool breeze in your face, you probably won’t be able to tell that your ears and face are getting absolutely torched. Get yourself some waterproof sweatproof sunscreen (SPF 30 minimum) to cover up those ears, cheeks, and back of your neck.
Bug spray – especially if it’s “that time of the year” in your area where bugs are out in full force. Nothing worse than coming home to arms and legs covered in bug bites.
First aid kit – Having some first aid stuff with you is a good idea: band-aids and moleskin for blisters and cuts, Neosporin or some type of disinfectant for cuts/scrapes, and maybe a bandage or two just in case. Outdoor stores sell travel first aid kits, but I’d advise you to make your own (you should have these things in your medicine cabinet anyways – and then you’ll know exactly where everything is!).
Pocket knife – Not essential if you’re in a park, but a good thing to have with you out in the woods so you’re prepared for anything.
Sunglasses – No need to go blind while out on the trail. You probably already have sunglasses floating around your house.
Cellphone – a phone can help bail you out in case of emergency, and if you have a smart phone it can multitask as your compass, distance tracker, mapper, and so on. Even if you have a cellphone, bringing a compass or GPS system isn’t a bad idea (unless it’s bright and sunny and you’re good at orienting yourself).
If you’re going on a longer hike, bringing a lightweight phone charger that you can use to charge your phone up quickly is usually pretty easy.