G’day Hikers. Some people think hiking is just a way to get from A to B. However, the team here at Outdoor Connection know it’s a little more than that. It is a way to connect with nature; a way to discover and explore all the world’s hidden beauties. Whether you are hiking up Mt Kosciusko, trekking through the Daintree rainforest, or even hiking the 17,000 km track around Australia, our tips and tricks will help you along the way.
Tip #1: Sort your clothes with zip-lock bags.
This was always a tricky one for me because I thought that if I just shoved clothes in hard enough, they would fit. As a result, I would struggle and wrestle with my pack until I discovered a simple trick! I organise my clothes into separate ZIP LOCK bags for shirts, pants, socks & jocks! This allows me to find all my clothes easily and quickly, thereby eliminating the daily frustration!
Tip #2: Get good footwear and an even better hiking pack.
Whether it’s your first hike or it’s your 100th, quality gear is very important. Now I know what you might be thinking. Yes, quality gear can be a little pricy but having that gear will help you further down the track in more ways than one. Quality shoes and socks are essential to support your feet when hiking. A quality pack with good support and padding is also a must to protect your back and your body. The Adventure Hiking Pack with its ergo fit harness and its adjustable padding, will support you no matter your shape or size.
Tip #3: Walk to a rhythm - play some music!
I know when I go hiking, I always like to take a small speaker. Not to blast music at 1000 decibels but to provide a steady rhythm to walk to. As you march to the beat, you forget the distance and focus on the journey. One of my favourite songs to hike to is I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers or Country Road by John Denver.
Tip #4: Bring water purification tablets (and a good sports bottle).
Needless to say, having enough water and food is imperative for a safe hike. When we hike, we would take a minimum 2-3 litres provided we could refill during the day. However, if we couldn't refill, water purification tablets allowed us to use other water sources that may not be so pristine. The best water bottles I have used are stainless steel bottles, because they are durable, environmentally friendly, and they are great insulators. That’s why I use the Outdoor Connection Sports Bottle.
Tip #5: Lighten your load with trail mixes instead of heavier food packs.
When hiking, carrying a lot of food equals a lot of weight, I recommend trail mixes and dehydrated foods. Dehydrated food is fantastic, and because it’s already made, you just have to add a little hot water and presto...food!! And for times when you can’t stop to boil water, trail mixes are the way to go. I like to make a trail mix with nuts, dried fruit sweets, and muesli to have a mix of nutrition to keep me filled and topped up with energy.
Tip #6: A pair of thermals with long pants and long sleeves for winter hiking.
I have done my fair share of hiking through the winter and having the right gear is a must. I would always pack some thermals as an underlayer and then a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Not only does this keep me warm but it also protects me against the bush scrub and the weather. I always use nylon pants because they are durable and they dry very quickly.
Tip #7: Lightweight tents are the way to go.
Your tent needs to be lightweight and easy to set up. I use the Howqua 2 hiking tent, because it can be set up in minutes, provides great protection, and its super lightweight. It’s my go-to when going on any hike.
Tip #8: Bring a bright headlight (preferably rechargeable).
I have been in many situations where I would hike to camp and it would be pitch black. In these instances, my headlight was my best friend. My Rover Rechargeable head torch makes it easy to set up camp because it’s bright and I can change the angle of light to suit my task. Plus, I don’t have to worry about batteries going flat as it is rechargeable.
So, whether you hike every weekend or you do it once a year, I hope, these tips help to make your next outdoor hiking adventure easier. You can worry less and experience more.