Until quite recently I was a hiking newbie, even though I was guided on what to expect, what to carry and the kind of food / snack to carry along I ended up packing a bit too much, I guess you can never be too prepared.
1. Hiking boots.
Number one rule never ever wear gym shoes on a hike! I did this with my first hike and totally regretted it, I kept loosing my grip on the loose gravel not to mention falling a couple of times in addition to that you will not be able to keep up with the pace.
Invest in a good pair of hiking boots and you don’t have to break the bank for this, there are very affordable second hand boots in local markets. In Kenya the most preferable place to find these shoes would be at gikomba at an average of Kshs. 2000.
Make sure the boots you buy are waterproof, in addition to that if your summiting a mountain ensure to carry heavy woolen socks for extra warmth, if its just a hill ordinary socks would do.
2. Appropriate clothing.
I would recommend getting thermo wear for hikes, again these are available in the local markets at reasonable prices. If you do not have such readily available a good pair of cargo pants (as shown here) will do just fine. The key to this is to ensure the clothes you wear can withstand the rough nature of hikes. You would not want to bring along something that can get easily torn by the shrubs and thorns along the way.
Gents thermal wear.
One could wear a baseball cap to shield away from the sun or a hat such as below.
Always carry an extra top.
Water proof jacket.
Water proof gloves. Quite handy in very cold temperatures.
Windshield trekking mask.
2. Trekking poles.
Quite handy for that extra support. One can improvise this with a sturdy stick. These can be purchased in a sports house, if I am not wrong Nakumatt stores are also stocking these.
3. First Aid Kit
I found out due to changes in altitude I would often get a headache. This prompted me to always carry a pair or two of painkillers, however as you get used to hiking, as well as drinking adequate water, the headaches are bound to go away eventually.
Apart from the headaches you might get yourself bruised by shrubs along the way, take it from me there’s a day I walked right into a a tree like vegetation full of thorns! The plant was almost my height how I didnt see it is a tale for another day. Needless to say I grazed my skin just a little bit, nothing serious though. That episode taught me to always be ready for accidents that might happen along the way. You can easily make a simple and easy enough to carry first aid kit. I’ll be sure to upload a video showing you how to do this.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate.
I cant stress that enough. You are required to carry at least 3 litters of water on a day hike. Failure to drink enough water could lead to persistent headaches, dizziness and in worst case scenarios passing out!
5. What to eat and when to eat.
The hike will normally start in the morning hours, depending on the distance expected to be covered you might start as early as 4am.
It is advisable to have a proper breakfast as you will not come into contact with real food anytime soon, nevertheless one can carry snacks to eat along the way.
I always ensure to carry some glucose with me, orange juice and bananas for extra energy.
6. Last but not least carry a camera.
Invest in a good quality camera to capture the memories.
I am currently using a Nikon L830 its a bridge camera, for those looking to venture into professional cameras this is a good place to start. I find it very user friendly!
You can have a look at some of the photos taken with it over here.
That’s all for today dear readers, I hope you found this useful!