The most important aspect for hiking is mental and physical fitness ( A topic for another post) . Besides that, one requires the following:
Footwear is the most important piece of gear you take on the trail. Comfortable boots that fit your feet are the key to blissful hiking. Hiking boots are the best as compared to low-cut shoes
The hiking boots should be well padded, 5-7 inches high and rugged sole designed to provide stability and support for feet and ankles on rough terrain.
The boots should be accompanied with heavy socks for extra comfort, shock absorption and keeping the feet cool and dry. Wear socks that won’t give you blisters or make your feet all sweaty and gross
Test the shoes thoroughly before hiking to ensure they fit well and are comfortable. Non fitting shoes can harm your feet. Try kicking the floor. Your toes should not feel the impact. Always remember Comfort is king when it comes to footwear.
2) Drinking Water
‘When you’re thirsty it’s too late to dig a well.’ – Japanese proverb. When planning a trip, water-needs should always be high on the agenda and the first item on the list. If you are not sure how much water you are going to need, be sure you to overestimate your needs to avoid shortages. Remaining adequately hydrated must always remain the top priority.
Insufficient intake of water could lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even heart stroke. The Warning signs of dehydration include: thirst, dark coloured urine, dizziness, fatigue, or a nagging headache.
To prevent dehydration, make a habit of drinking at least a litre of water, slowly, over the hour or two before you start hiking. Please note, beware of drinking too much water, which can result to a condition called Hyponatremia, which can also be fatal. Remember not to go overboard with the water intake.
3) Rainy Wear.
Rain is always a possibility in some mountains. It can be very unpredictable at times. With that in mind, go for ponchos with hood attached. They are good because they are loose fitting and provide some air conditioning. Knee-high ponchos are advisable; if too long, you could step on them and tumble. Nylon ponchos are preferred to vinyl ponchos which easily tear if caught up in thorns or branches. They are portable and also enough to block the wind to keep you warm when it’s chilly.
4) Back Pack
It is advisable to void carrying stuff with hands as it is cumbersome and tiring. A back pack comes in handy.
A good back pack should fit Lunch, water, rainwear, extra clothing and other accessories like cameras, bug spray, sun screen, sunglasses and other stuff you might require during the hike.
A water-proof back pack is advisable but if not possible, you can line the inside of the backpack with a polythene bag before inserting your items.
5) First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit with you is a good idea.
It should at least include bandages, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, elastic bandage and pain killers. Also Moleskin/ mole foam for blisters and cuts and Neosporin or some type of disinfectant for cuts/scrapes.
6) Dress Code
Stilettos, your favorite mini skirt, and a fishnet halter top are a No go zone. Wear comfortable clothing for an enjoyable hike.
Hiking attire should keep you warm, comfortable and protected at all times. The best recommendation is Cargo pants, training or sports tights, track suits and shorts. The clothing can be selected depending on topography and vegetation cover of the hike.
7) Fully Charged Cell phone
Make sure your cellphone is fully charged and ready to go. 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 and mapper.