Top products from r/hiking

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Top comments that mention products on r/hiking:

u/HavocReigns · 2 pointsr/hiking

Well, this got far longer than I intended. I hope you get something useful out of it, I did a brief summary at the end if you want to just skip to that.

The most important gear to have would be a way to contact someone if necessary. Assuming there is service, a cell phone suffices. I doubt you are going far enough into the wilderness for now that you will be out of cell reach. But keep an eye on the signal on your first trip on a trail, you don't want to find out you're in a dead zone after you realize you need to contact someone. An additional option would be an emergency whistle, some of them are capable of blasting over 120 decibels and are small enough to fit in a small first aid kit (see below) or wear around your neck. Three blasts are the commonly accepted signal for "Can I get some help over here please?!" Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back, so they can send out the cavalry in case you get turned around and can't make cell contact.

If you are going off pavement onto trails, take a map of the general area showing the trails in case you get turned around. Caltopo or Google maps are the most commonly used source for free, printable maps these days I believe. Just remember, typical printer paper and ink aren't waterproof, so slip them into a ziploc in case of rain. If you are going to be hiking in a managed area, contact whoever is in charge of managing it, as they probably have excellent maps available. If all else fails, there are often good maps at trailheads. Just don't get there empty-handed to hike counting on there to be a map. There are also lots of apps available like Gaia, Alltrails, Hiking Project, etc. A small (half-dollar size) pocket compass to orient yourself is handy to have, in case your cell phone dies and you don't have it to reference. Too many people act like there is no chance of them dropping or sitting on their phone or having it just decide to crap out on them. A small compass would also fit in a small emergency kit (see below).

Also important is to carry water. How much depends on the weather, distance, etc. Use you judgment and then carry a little more. A liter (maybe two?) should be enough for a couple of hours hiking. A snack or energy bar can be nice to have in a pocket in case your energy levels start to crash as well.

Another very important consideration is your footwear. If you are going to be hiking on established trails or paths, I don't personally think you need boots and would probably be better off in very comfortable walking or trekking shoes. They are far more lightweight (less fatiguing) and breath better than most boots. Speaking of breathing, waterproof anything = barely breathes. For spring, summer and fall, you'll probably be more comfortable in good breathing shoes that aren't waterproof but can dry quickly (including your sweat). Sweaty feet lead to them slipping around in the shoe, which leads to blisters. The only reason I would suggest boots is if you are going to be hiking over rough, rocky terrain or lots of roots that make for an uneven surface. In that case, good boots laced tightly can save you from twisting an ankle. Whatever you get, don't buy them at Walmart, go somewhere where the help has a clue. Don't be afraid to throw an aftermarket pair of insoles in there from the outset if they make the shoe/boot feel perfect, especially fully supporting your arch. Whatever you get, break them in slowly. Don't start with a 10 mile hike unless you like pain. If you've got a good pair of very comfortable, great fitting (no foot slippage!) and supportive walking shoes that aren't worn out right now, try them before blowing a bunch of money on something fancy.

Along with good walking shoes goes good walking socks. Cushioned merino wool hiking socks are always preferred over cotton, possibly with a sock liner if you are prone to blisters. The perennial favorite is Darn Tough Merino Wool Cushion Socks (lifetime guarantee!), but pick whatever you like. Just get something with cushioning (but not way too much that will make your foot slip around in your shoe). Don't worry about wool being hot, merino wool is some magical, physics-defying material. Just don't get winter-weight socks, you'll be fine. Merino wool socks can be hiked in for literally days and not pick up any odor, wool is naturally anti-microbial. Synthetic socks, on the other hand, can reek after a few hours and the smell will not want to come out.

Lastly on the foot front, take something like moleskin or similar blister care/prevention with you from the outset. Even sports tape or a band-aid will help in a pinch. A little first aid kit (throw it in a little ziploc baggie, no need to buy one) with some moleskin, a couple of band-aids, a safety pin (pops blisters, field repair ripped clothing/zippers/broken buttons), a couple of benadryl and advil, maybe some sting-eze along with your emergency compass will slip into any pocket. The key here is that as soon as you feel a hot spot, or rubbing on any part of your foot, STOP IMMEDIATELY, remove your shoe and sock, inspect the area and put something over the spot that is being rubbed. Check inside of your shoe, is there anything inside that might be causing the rub? Nobody ever wants to stop to mess with an annoyance in their shoe, so they soldier on. Well, it isn't going to go away, and it's just going to keep getting worse and worse until you can't walk on it. And it'll be too damn late to do anything preventative by then. So stop and take action as soon as you feel it. Sometimes just re-tying your shoe can stop the slippage. Don't ignore it. Your feet will toughen up, but if it's a recurring problem, consider sock liners, different shoes, pre-taping that spot before starting your hike, etc.

What to wear depends on the weather (temperatures and rain) and sun in your area. Clothing generally blocks sun better than sunscreen, but it can also make you hotter. Sunburns suck and lead to melanoma. Always wear a cap that will breath and is designed to keep the sun off of your face (a wide brim all the way around is great, if not a fashion statement). Cotton clothing is generally not pleasant once it's drenched with sweat (or rain), doubled or more in weight and sticking to you, but it is more effective at cooling you when it's wet (which is also why it can be deadly if it gets wet and the temperatures drop - and I'm not talking down to freezing). Performance synthetics are better at drying and blocking sun, but some can hold onto stink like nobody's business, even through washes. Lightweight merino is great, but they don't give that stuff away and it isn't as durable as synthetics. You can get by with whatever you've got in the closet to get started. I prefer synthetic, stretchable, hiking pants; jeans generally suck for hiking. They are restrictive, they bind when you want to raise your leg high, once they get wet they stay wet all day, so on and so forth. If all you've got is jeans or shorts, go shorts if the weather allows. Just remember, any skin you like cancer free needs to be covered with clothing or sunscreen.

Depending on the tick and mosquito intensity in your area, long pants/sleeves can help there, too. For sure, make use of bug repellent like DEET or Picaradin (hint: the "all natural" stuff doesn't really work) if you will be out in the early morning or evening for mosquitoes, or walking through grass for ticks. If you will be going off of established dirt paths and ticks are a real problem in your area, consider treating your clothes with permethrin. I'm really a believer in combining permethrin on my clothing with picaridin on my skin to prevent tick bites. If you do pick up a tick, do not pull it out with tweezers, or burn it or put oil on it or any of the other crappy old wives tales. That will likely just result in it spewing its bacterial load into your bloodstream. Use something like a Tick Key or similar that gets under the tick and pries it up out of your skin without ripping its head off still embedded in you, or squishing everything inside of it into you ala tweezers.

Lastly, and this is definitely an "after you've got some experience" item, you could consider trekking poles, even without carrying a pack. You mentioned being out of shape, trekking poles can really take some strain off of your knees, hips and ankles and spread it to your upper body. Definitely don't go out and buy them to start with, but keep them in mind if you find your lower joints really bothering you. Lots of people even brag up Walmart's and Costco's trekking poles that are pretty inexpensive. Just be sure to get the kind that have "flip-locks" instead of the "twist-locks" if you get adjustable length poles. Most people who start with twist locks quickly move on to flip locks after their twist lock poles collapse under them a few times. Watch some Youtube videos for proper technique for using poles.

All of the above will either be worn on you or fit in your pockets, with the exception of the water, which you could carry or get some sort of bladder or bottle carrier that would fit to your belt. No need for a pack - unless you want one!

So to summarize:

  • Your cell phone and emergency whistle
  • Map of the area showing the trails
  • Comfortable shoes with good socks
  • Water
  • Snack
  • Hat with brim and comfortable (preferably non-cotton) clothing
  • Small homemade pocket first aid kit w/ blister prevention and emergency compass
  • Bug spray before you hit the trail

    And go have fun! It's walking, chances are you aren't going to screw that up too badly, and the more you do, the better you'll get. You'll also figure out exactly what you want to have with you out there.
u/r_syzygy · 1 pointr/hiking

Poles are life-changing. I know they seem dumb. I would likely still think they're silly if I didn't try them out of necessity after nursing an injury. But it makes hiking so. much. faster. and much more comfortable on the down. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles are basically everyone's top pick, but they're expensive. If you're just hiking the PCT, I would go for something lighter, more like the Gossamer Gear LT4 (I have them and love them) - they're more fragile, but I've only ever broken 1 and it was definitely my fault, almost any pole would have suffered some damage. If you want a budget trekking pole to test whether you like it, I think these are what everyone recommends:

I think you can get the same ones at costco?

Anyway, I haven't done any of the PCT in OR or WA, but I live in CA and have explored bits and pieces in Northern CA, Tahoe, and the Sierra. Tahoe is my home away from home if I can call it that, so I love the trail as it goes through there and have hiked and skied parts of it many times. The high Sierra sections should be on anyone's bucket list, but can be so highly trafficked that you can easily find better hikes just one valley or ridge over. I'm also a big fan of California's deserts, but they can be a bit overwhelming to new hikers. A wonderful place to explore in the spring.

I've never gone without a shelter, but have used a tarp and lightweight bug-proof bivy on trips there. Using a standard bivy is a pretty personal preference, but it's definitely an option. I think in OR and WA, I'd be more likely to bring a tent or tarp with a large living space underneath for prolonged rain. You can sleep in just a sleeping bag for weeks at a time in California, nights are usually pretty dry. You don't want to be without bug protection until later in the year.

I use an inflatable air mattress. If you can sleep comfortably on a foam mattress, I suggest getting the lightest one you can find and cutting it at the knees. Otherwise, NeoAir X Lite pads are my favorite.

Usually I'm just wishing for some food thing, or fizzy drinks or something.

I've gotten pretty good at bringing the right things for the conditions and checking everything in my pack when I get back to make sure that it was useful. I literally practice packing on smaller trips just so I don't wish for things and bring anything extra. I really can't think of any non-emergency items that don't get used at some point.

Also, I replaced the Salomon X Ultra 2 with the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor and am a huge fan. The sole is less boxy and has a really great rock plate, the rubber is softer and grippier for climbing things, it's more breathable, and it just fit my foot better. For long distances on trail, Altra shoes are very comfortable, breathable and light - worth checking them out too!

Check out /r/PacificCrestTrail - people are posting their photos/reports of their current thru hikes there

u/gottago_gottago · 2 pointsr/hiking

Sure! I started out with "Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking". He's one of the more well-known names in tracking, but also a little controversial -- he makes some claims that sound pretty outlandish and his whole background story sounds like a myth.

But overall it's a really good book! It was a good first step, and it got me to start paying attention to what was around me. From there I've spent years practicing. When I'm hiking, I have one eye in front of me and one eye on the ground, trying to spot subtle little things even in really challenging terrain (like pine needles!). Any time I come across something interesting, animal or human, I stop and take a closer look. (I totally love trail poo too.) I also make it a game to try to count the number of people that might be ahead of me on the trail and their gender -- how many different tracks there are, what size they are, how recent they are, how many go out and come back vs. just going out. It's sort of become second nature now.

When I head out on a trail and then come back, I try to find my own prints and pay attention to how they change in the conditions: how long does it take mud to try, bits of snow to melt, plants to return to their original position. And I totally blew it with this on Thursday when hiking with a friend! We crossed some snow on the way out, and on the way back I wasn't positive we were on the correct fork of the trail because I didn't see recent tracks in the snow. My buddy and I spent a few minutes debating it and taking a closer look, and it turned out that they had melted way faster than I was expecting in those conditions -- they were there, but they looked like they were days old, not hours.

I don't have any certifications or professional training at it, although I'd like to, but I recently joined my county's search and rescue team and it looks like I'm decent enough to join their tracking team. I'll find out on Tuesday evening!

u/ForrestSmith151 · 2 pointsr/hiking

First Aid Kit - you might not need it ever, but you should always have it. All kits are different but there are fundamental items that should be carried, you can check out the NOLS Kits
and either buy one or for less, make your own that is custom to your needs and desires.

Tools - First, carry a knife that can cut decent size branches, again, you might not need it but its good to have. Second, I recommend getting a water filter such as a Sawyer mini or Katadyn Be Free as they are both lightweight and will probably decrease your pack weight if you hike near water. Third, Fire can be helpful in many situations but must be used carefully and with respect. If you live somewhere that allows it, a wood burning camp stove will be worth some warmth and also allow you to cook if you bring along a mess set. I personally use an MSR Pocket Rocket. As a day hiker, you might not use a stove often but it's not bad to have if you do longer hikes or are far from civilization so if that's the case, look into tablet stoves. generally, you should have a lighter or two just in case. You may also consider carrying a survival blanket just in case (as goes for most these objects).

The Front Pouch - So the idea behind having this pouch is to have things that you want quick access too on the trail, the most important of which is your map. Navigation is important when hiking so if you're not familiar with an area buy a map and bring a compass. I personally don't use a compass but I've learned how to navigate without one, however you should always have a map. You may also need to have a permit for some hiking areas and it's nice to have within reach, usually with your map. you may also like to have TP and a camp trowel in there so that it is not hard to find at the wrong moment. along with that, a trash bag of any kind should be carried. Finally, carry snacks in there so that you don't have to dig around to find them.

Summary - This is all advice from a Backpacker so there will be many things you don't need on every hike but could save your life if you get caught in a bad situation, many of the objects I recommend are the same. If I'm close to home or not going out too far on a day hike, I usually carry a Knife, Be Free Filter, Lighter/Stove (depending on mileage) an extra coat, and extra food, but each hike and hiker are different. You will eventually find a system that works well for you, but it's always good to carry things that make life on the trail easier and can get you through a night in the wild. With thought on my comment, you should also check out the Ten Essentials as they will almost always be worth their weight.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/hiking

I can't think of a brand that I wouldn't buy. Rather, it more depends on what model shoes are available at the time when I need a new pair. I got several years from a pair of Danner EXO Edge GTX that I picked up when they were discontinued, and I just bought a pair of North Face Ultra 109 GTX that I'm excited about.

Recently, the North Face Hedgehog and Topo ST have been highly reviewed. But they're also two very different shoes. My personal preference would be to try the Hedgehog but instead go for Topo's MT. In May, Topo will also be releasing their Oterro light hiking shoe. Merrell, Salomon, and Keen are all solid manufacturers that lean toward more boot-style footwear. Adidas and La Sportiva lean more toward trail runner types. I've even seen a few New Balance shoes that I wouldn't mind trying.

Your best bet is to just hit a bunch of outfitters and sporting goods stores and try on whatever appeals to you - I usually make my initial decisions based on the outsole treads and the weight of the shoe. I'm also a big fan of a Gortex layer (anything labelled GTX has one) to provide some protection from water. It also decreases ventilation in the shoe, so it's not for everyone. The more shoes you try, the better feel you'll get what you find comfortable.

In general, you want your ankle held firmly but not tightly in place. You should be able to wiggle your toes in the toe box. Tap the toe box on the ground or against a wall - your toes should have enough extra space and your ankle should be firmly enough held that your toes won't be crammed painfully into the front of the shoe. The best shoe selection info I've read was in Andrew Skurka's book, which you can often pick up in public libraries. Also check out the REI guides on running shoes, walking shoes, trail runners, hiking boots, etc. While you can usually find their same items online for less, the staff at REI is fantastic at helping you find the gear appropriate for your needs.

u/catville · 1 pointr/hiking

I echo the trekking poles suggestion (they're a lifesaver for me), and I'd say that practice will help you build confidence. I'm not sure where you are, but if scrambling is what you're interested, there might be courses that give you instruction and techniques to better move over rock and snow. I took my alpine scrambling course through the Mountaineers in Washington state, and it did wonders for my confidence on snow (I already felt pretty good on rock). A lot of the material covered is in the Freedom of the Hills book, which might be an interesting read, though it goes into alpine climbing and more advanced subjects as well.

u/non4prophet · 1 pointr/hiking

Yeah, I've been to the Lewis and Clark trail a few times. Lots of great hiking in Missouri. If you live in the region and don't already have it, I'd recommend this book that covers hikes close to St. Louis (in MO and IL):

I've done at least 3/4 of the hikes in the book and it's a good way to explore new areas. It is sorted by region, but also includes indexes for other trail considerations such as length, difficulty, remoteness/foot traffic, and terrain. One of my favorite trails is Lower Rock Creek (near Fredericktown, Missouri). There's almost never anyone there, one or two cars at the trailhead at most. The road in is a little rugged and it can be pretty snakey and ticky, but it's still one of my favorites. Also, the smooth rock surface along the creek is extremely slick.

The Buffalo River is also an easy recommendation. We dumped a couple of times, but overall, the stretch that we did was easy. There are lots of nice spots where the water is deep and the rock ledges are accessible, if cliff jumping is your thing. :) Also, several small waterfalls, springs, and small caves to enjoy.

Aaaannnnnnd... I wish I was there now.

u/L0gix · 1 pointr/hiking

Can you be more specific as to the particular stove(s) you're looking at on amazon?

A few months ago, I was looking for a cheap backpacking stove and stumbled upon this one on amazon.

Seems to have pretty favorable reviews, and I was going to order it, until I realized that it would be shipping from Hong Kong. If I'd had the time to wait for shipping, I would have purchased it, but I needed something right away.

That being said, I ended up just going to my local REI and picking up the MSR pocket rocket and have been extremely impressed with the performance. It also feels extremely durable, I'd highly recommend it.

Also....that one on amazon has an electronic ignition. It's nice, but the other components will probably outlive it. Plus you're already carrying matches/lighter so it's not like the lack of ignition on the MSR is extra weight.

Just my thoughts!

u/DSettahr · 1 pointr/hiking

Nols offers a whole line of books on outdoors skills, most of which are pretty decent.

Also, it's probably a bit advanced for someone who is just getting into hiking, but at some point you're going to want to invest in Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, published by Mountaineers Books. It's more or less the mountaineer's bible...

And finally, since you live in the Northeast, I highly recommend Forest and Crag, which is a history of hiking and recreation management NY and New England. Very informative and interesting read.

u/MissingGravitas · 2 pointsr/hiking

Where's the trip? I'm curious about the need for that much water, but could see it in a desert. The pack should be fine, if a tad heavy, but if you end up having to carry bulky items it may be too small. (Worry about that later though.)

Aside from /r/Ultralight, Skurka's blog has good content both his book and this other one are good to look through.

One other suggestion I'd make is to adjust the gear list people get, otherwise you could end up with a bunch of inexperienced people with 60lb packs and all the fun that brings. There are a number of threads (on BPL, in /r/ultralight, and elsewhere) that list ultralight setups that try to stay under a given dollar amount. You can use those give people lists that include both common lightweight items and their budget alternatives. Remember, if they pack too much, you might end up having to carry it.

u/mistawac · 1 pointr/hiking

Day One I'll have about 35 lbs (15.45 kg) of weight. This is my first time so there are probably several items in there I'll never take with me again, but I'd like to try 'em out once; I also have a shit sleeping bag that desperately needs upgraded. If you want specs, just ask and I'll happily share my spreadsheet!

Edit: The List

The Gear

u/doh_tee_horne · 2 pointsr/hiking

Buy this book and read it before you spend any money. This will give you a great idea of how to squeeze a lot of enjoyment out of hiking & backpacking (IMO). It might not all appeal to you, but there are some real great tips and philosophies in here that will help a new hiker.

ultralight backpackin’ tips

u/Rothbard · 2 pointsr/hiking

Anything MSR cooking is aweaome, and then for a cheap pocket stove, check this out:

It's a great great value. If you buy that and the MSR skillet with a gas canister, you're good to go for a while.

u/superjentendo · 2 pointsr/hiking

We are in the St. Louis area!
My favorite book at the moment
60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: St. Louis: Including Sullivan, Potosi, and Farmington - (

Hope that helps ya some!

u/Fritzzzz · 1 pointr/hiking

Lake Georgetown is good for hiking, and close to Austin.

Other tips:

  1. spray your cloths with

  2. Use Deet around ankles, waist neckline and arm outlets.

  3. have gps, and a compass, and a small map. Know how to use all three.

    granted most hikes you don't really need to a map / gps since the trails are obvious but might as well get in the habit of using them while its easy.
u/BassCausality · 2 pointsr/hiking

The first thing you should buy is 'Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills'. It is an excellent resource that will guide you through every step of the way.

u/realoldfatguy · 2 pointsr/hiking

I picked up copy of this [book] ( which I found quite interesting and contains lots of information on the trail and areas.

I am hoping to do a similar trip this summer and will be interested to read what you find out.

When are you going?

u/muddledremarks · 1 pointr/hiking

In spring the last couple years Costco has been stocking a set of Cascade Mountain carbon fiber poles. Work great, and I don't mind being rough on them.

Looks like they're on amazon now too:

u/pixelneer · 7 pointsr/hiking

As the others mentioned.. Ruffwear

I have the one I linked for my Jack Russell.. GREAT pack!

u/allORnothingCLIMBER · 1 pointr/hiking

Looks to be the Ruffwear Approach. I have the same pack for my Golden and it's great.

u/video_descriptionbot · 1 pointr/hiking

Title | SMOKY MOUNTAINS | Section hiking the Appalachian Trail Episode 1
Description | We set out to hike a small section of the AT. Mom, Dad, and I had an amazing time! There's so much life out on the AT. Make sure to check out Episode 2! Episode 2: FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: Gear List: Camera Gear: Gitup Git2p - Note 5 - Nikon D3400 - Hiking Gear: Icetek Sports Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove - Ohuhu17...
Length | 0:01:49


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u/pretentiousRatt · 3 pointsr/hiking

This might be a little too technical and not really what you are looking for but this book is a must-have for anyone interested in mountaineering or even wilderness survival in general.

It has absolutely everything you will need to know about anything in the outdoors. I call it my bible.

u/phobos2deimos · 6 pointsr/hiking

How about this? Why jump straight to $100 stoves for your first one?
(Although that BioLite is pretty damn cool!)

u/Poignantusername · 1 pointr/hiking

Personally, I use a rain skirt. Easy to put on and take off as needed.

Added link.

u/bderw · 1 pointr/hiking

My primary reason for getting trekking poles was my hands would always (and still do if I don’t use them) swell when I hiked. But I found that, at least UL poles, are a real joy to walk with, and offer a lot of assistance with descending especially. And they’re the pope for my tarp at night, saving me weight there.

If you don’t mind spending $40ish, buy the Cascade Mountain Tech poles and give them a go. (I think that link is for Amazon Prime members only, but they’re available at a Costco, too, should you have one nearby.)

u/reddilada · 2 pointsr/hiking

Haven't noticed an up-tick (har) in Oklahoma / Arkansas yet. Be sure to carry a Tick Key

u/15feet · 1 pointr/hiking

I have this stove here, do you know how much burn time I will have with it?

I also have to cook breakfast and maybe lunch, so I was worried.

u/dasponge · 3 pointsr/hiking

Are you dead set on a Geigerrig filter? They seem awfully expensive for something that will only last 50-100 gallons.

I'd get a sawyer mini -