Greetings and Intro
I hope you are well. I am doing fantastic and I’ve missed posting here. Of late, my articles gravitate towards hiking in the outdoors and I figured, why not share some knowledge with you on the same.
It’s been an interesting learning curve for me since I begun hiking. Severally, I have hiked in sport shoes, sweatpants and a hoodie. A beginner hiker’s outfit. I have dressed wrongly for the weather a few times and it cost me. One time I dressed and packed too light for a camping and hiking experience to Nyambene Forest. I remember being angry for most of the hike due to the pinching cold. I recall hiking Sleeping Warrior Hill, which has no shade, without a proper sunhat. I got heat exhaustion and puked on my way home. I have also been late severally, and yes, I was left behind. Good thing the hike location Ngong Hills, was not very far from Nairobi Kenya.
Nowadays, I do my best to keep time and to dress and pack accordingly. I take both weather conditions into consideration. I would rather over pack (all necessary items) than under pack.
A Few Things to Note ahead of any Hike
- Hiking needs as much mental energy as physical energy. Trails are unpredictable. That’s why I love hiking. It gives you a chance to observe yourself in new situations. Elephant Hill, Rurimeria and Mt Kenya tested me beyond my limits.
- Exercise before the hike will definitely make your experience easier. Focus on strengthening your legs and improving your breathing.
- Keeping time on the day of the hike is very important. Keeping time means respecting other people’s time and sticking to the day’s activities schedule.
What to wear on a Hike Day
Gear can make or break your experience. I’m sure you’ve heard this line somewhere. To have a comfortable and successful hike experience, get the right gear. Of course the successful hike experience part is affected by many more factors.
Long sleeved gym wear/hiking outfit are the most preferable to protect your skin from shrubs. If you don’t have those, then sweatpants, t-shirts and hoodies are okay too for a start. While dressing and packing, put both hot and cold weather into consideration. Try not to wear jeans because of the friction caused by walking for long.
Hiking boots are the most preferred. This is because they have a good grip. Something that is crucial for a comfortable hike experience. If you don’t have those, sports shoes work for a start. Just make sure they have a good grip.
Cutting short your toenails is also advised. This is because you might hit rocks while walking and your toes tend to squeeze forward during descent.
What to Carry in Your Bag
It is important to shop for necessary items the day(s) before the hike. It is also important to pack the day(s) before the hike.
Here is a list of necessary hiking luggage
- A minimum of 2 Litres of Water. It is advisable to carry it in a recyclable water bottle. I would advise one to get a hydration bladder as it is more convenient.
- Light lunch; sandwich or burger.
- Snacks; lucozade, energy bar(s) and nuts.
- Fruits; bananas and oranges are highly recommended.
- Raincoat or poncho and gaiters in case it rains.
- Gloves, balaclava and marvin in case it gets cold.
- Hiking pole. It helps support the knees especially during descent.
- A change of clothes and shoes (open) which usually are left in the car during the hike. This is in case you want or need to change after the hike.
- Sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Camera /phone to document memories.
And most importantly, the spirit of adventure.
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