Are you an avid hiker looking to up your gear game? Perhaps you’re new to hiking and feeling overwhelmed by the vast number of hiking gear options available. Whatever your hiking background may be, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what hiking gear actually entails.
Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions about hiking gear that often lead to misguided purchases, uncomfortable hikes, and even safety issues. Make sure you invest in the right equipment by learning the truth behind these hiking gear myths.
Trekking Poles Are Only for Older Hikers
Many people avoid bringing along trekking poles because they think they’re only for older hikers or hikers with knee issues. Anyone can take advantage of trekking poles though. They offer many benefits, including reducing stress on the knees and lower back, improving balance and stability, and providing extra power when going uphill.
Expensive Hiking Gear Is Always Better
While it’s true that high-end gear often has more features and higher-quality materials, it’s not always necessary. Many budget-friendly hiking gear options offer comparable performance to expensive gear. As with any purchase, it’s important to look into the specifics of a product before you buy it. When shopping for hiking gear, focus on finding pieces that fit and suit your needs rather than just going for the most expensive option. Product reviews from other hikers or backpackers can also help you find a quality option without breaking your budget.
Waterproof Means Foolproof
One of the biggest misconceptions about hiking gear is that waterproof boots and other gear will always keep moisture away. While waterproof hiking boots are excellent at keeping your feet dry in wet conditions, they don’t guarantee no water will reach you. Even the best waterproof boots can leak or allow water to seep in through the ankle opening. If you know you’ll be moving through wet conditions like creeks or rivers, it might be a good idea to choose breathable footwear from the get-go. Your feet will get wet, but they’ll also dry faster, allowing you to feel more comfortable both in and out of the water.
Cotton Clothes Are Fine for Hiking
Wearing cotton clothes on a hike is a big no-no. Cotton absorbs sweat and moisture, and once it becomes wet, it loses its insulating properties and takes a longer time to dry. Opt for synthetic or wool fabrics instead. These options wick away moisture and dry quickly, keeping you more comfortable throughout the hike.
Any Backpack Will Suffice
Your backpack is your best friend on the trail, so it’s essential to choose one that’s comfortable, durable, and able to carry all your essentials. Not all backpacks are created equal, and there are specific backpacks designed for specific uses. Make sure you find one that feels good on your back, safely holds all your gear, and can withstand heat, rain, and other elements out on the trail.
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