Taking a trip into nature is one of the most physically and mentally beneficial things you can do. The great outdoors is certainly a calming and freeing place to be, and creating time to escape here from our daily stresses is often liberating.
With anxiety on the rise for various reasons, including the current pandemic, hiking is one of many hobbies that you can try while still maintaining social distancing and you also get the benefit of being outdoors. Another hobby is learning to cook. You can even hire your own private chef. If that sounds appealing I recommend Foodfireknives.com.
If you need some more inspiration of possible hobbies to try during the pandemic, check out this article from Northernmat.ca.
Hiking is one of my favorite activities to do. I love the peace of being in the woods. The key to a successful hike is being prepared. It may be slightly overwhelming trying to decide which essentials to take with you on your expedition into the countryside, especially if you don’t often spend much time away from your creature comforts. The list below covers the key items to pack in your bag to ensure your trip runs as smoothly and enjoyably as possible.
Even if your weather app promises no rain before your outdoor venture, do yourself a favour and pack your waterproofs anyway. Getting caught in the rain is bad enough without your clothes being soaked through for the remainder of your trip. A light windbreaker should fit easily into your backpack, and will most likely come in handy at one point or another.
Plenty of thermals
Considering your climate before heading out is vital as well. If the time of year is cool and cloudy, being wise enough to pack a good selection of spare thermals is a very good idea. This especially applies if you’re camping overnight, when temperatures can dip to the lows, even at the height of summer.
Of course, the beauty of nature is far more appreciated through the eye, but taking some photographic evidence with you back home will help bring back happy memories of your trip into the wild. Opt for a compact camera, or simply use the one on your phone- no clunky DSLRs if you’re planning on hiking anywhere.
Portable phone charger
It might sound contradictory, taking your phone into the great outdoors, but the reality is, we can’t live without them- at least 94% of adults now own one. Even if you don’t plan to use your phone on your trip, it’s always handy for emergencies, which is where a portable charger may come in useful.
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in nature than to have a good ol’ Famous Five-style meal under the stars. If you don’t fancy lighting up a fire, there are plenty of portable stoves on sale that are relatively lightweight and should not take up too much of your bag space.
A decent pair of walking boots
There is no greater pain than hiking in a pair of ill-fitting, rubbing shoes. Save yourself the blisters and make sure to invest in a good pair of trainers designed especially for the job before your trip. Another word of advice: make sure you wear your way into them beforehand, to make sure your feet are ultra-comfortable by the time your trip comes around.
Lantern or flashlight
If you’re camping overnight, don’t resort to relying on the light of your phone screen to be able to find your way to the nearest toilet block. A lantern or flashlight can create a more comfortable night-time atmosphere, especially if you’re camping with children, and can help make your nightly trips to the toilet that little bit more manageable.
Other possibilities for longer hiking expeditions
If you plan on hiking and camping over several days then other items need to be added to your list of essentials. Such as a tent, sleeping bag, backpack and while you may be able to carry some food and water, consideration will need to be given to other sources of food (such as foraging, and/or hunting and fishing). If you are considering some new hunting gear, such as Hunting Crossbows from TenPoint Crossbow Technologies, always make sure you have the proper training/knowledge before using them. And also check what is and is not allowed where ever you will be hiking and camping and if you need specific permits.
Stay safe and have fun!