There is a bounty of research that supports that being outside can improve a person’s overall health. In one study, people that spent ninety minutes hiking out in nature rather than in a city setting showed a decrease in depression and showed more feelings of overall happiness. In a similar study, people that spent time hiking in a natural setting experienced a reduced amount of stress, and their overall physical well being improved. Getting outside to experience nature is good habit to develop, and having the proper outdoor equipment can maximize the enjoyment of those experiences.
The most essential item needed to enjoy a day of hiking or being out in nature is a good pair of shoes. For shorter hikes that don’t involve a lot of elevation changes, a simple pair of trail shoes is all that is needed. Merrell and Vasque are both companies that make high quality hiking shoes that would be a good investment due to the comfort and durability of the shoes. For hikes that are going to involve a lot of elevation changes, difficult terrain or just a longer distance, a good pair of hiking boots would be recommended. These are typically a bit more sturdy and offer more ankle support and traction. Many hiking shoes and boots also come in versions that are waterproof which can be a great benefit.
Backpack or Waist Pack?
Another essential item for an enjoyable day of being on an outdoor adventure is a good waist pack or backpack. There are many items that could be needed on a hike and a quality bag to keep them in will make the hiking more fun and less work. There are two styles of packs that work well: a backpack or a waist pack. The waist pack is a bit smaller and lighter and is great for a short hike and carrying smaller items. Backpacks come in many different styles and are good for longer hikes where more gear is needed.
Items for the Backpack or Waist Pack
Staying hydrated while on an outdoor adventure is crucial. Some backpacks are made with built in hydration bladders, and others have specific pouches or pockets for water bottles. Many waist packs have mesh side pockets to hold water bottles. Packing some extra food, a first aid kit and knife or multitool are a few other essentials for any hiking trip or outdoor adventure.