When it comes to hiking, appropriate apparel is key for both comfort and safety. Here are a few things you should wear on every hike, no matter the weather.

While some people prefer to wear tennis shoes while hiking, there are many benefits of investing in a good pair of hiking boots. Hiking boots are recommended because they provide traction. If you’re hiking in an area that is wet, slippery or steep, hiking boots will grip the ground and keep you from slipping. Hiking boots also provide support and stability to your feet and ankles, which prevents twists and sprains while walking on uneven terrain. Finally, boots will keep your feet dry when walking through shallow streams or mud.

Weather can change quickly, especially in Oklahoma. It’s important to wear layers that you can take off or put on as the weather changes. It’s recommended to wear a base layer for warm weather, a long-sleeved layer for chilly weather and a waterproof outer shell in case of rain. If you’re hiking in the colder months, you should wear a winter coat, gloves and a warm hat.

Long pants
Summers can get hot in Oklahoma, but it’s important to wear lightweight, long pants when hiking. This will protect your skin from ticks and poison ivy. Long pants will also protect you from scrapes and cuts caused by tall grass, branches or thorns.

High socks
It’s important to pair the right sock with your hiking boots to provide dry protection and cushioning for your feet. If you’re wearing high ankle boots, make sure you wear high socks to avoid chaffing. Socks can also protect against ticks and scrapes. Make sure you look for fast-drying fabric, like merino wool, so your socks don’t get soggy or sweaty throughout your hike.

No matter the season, sunscreen is a must for every hiker. Sun exposure can cause burns and other skin damage that may increase your risk of skin cancer. Always apply sunscreen to any exposed skin before you leave for a hike, even on cloudy or cool days.

A proper hiking backpack offers supportive straps around the shoulders and torso to prevent back pain caused by uneven distribution of weight. You don’t need a large pack. A small daypack can carry everything you need, without putting strain on your shoulders or back.

Always bring water, flavored water or a sports drink on your hike, especially in the hot summer months. It’s recommended that you bring about one liter of water per two hours of hiking. So, if you plan to go on a four-hour hike, you should bring at least two liters of water. However, you should never carry more than four liters of water because the weight could strain your back. If you do plan to go on a long, all-day or multiple-day hike, look into water filtration options to ensure you have enough water to stay hydrated on the trail.

Light snacks
Hiking burns calories. Packing snacks will help keep your energy up throughout the hike. Also, if you’re hiking over lunch, you might want to bring a sandwich, jerky, nuts, dried fruit or another substantial snack. It’s better to be prepared than to become hungry or lightheaded in the middle of a hike.

First aid kit
Bring a basic first aid kit on every hike, just in case an emergency arises. Your first aid kit should include antibiotic ointment, Benadryl, ibuprofen, bandages and medical tape.

Many hikers swear by hiking with a knife. Knives have multiple uses, like cutting wood, rope or food. Knives are typically not a great defense against large wild animals, but they may come in handy for smaller tasks.

Even on a day hike, matches can come in handy. If you get lost and must stay overnight, fall into cold water or get caught in a heavy rain, building a fire can help you stay warm and dry. You can buy waterproof matches or simply seal your matches in a waterproof container.

The secret to trail food is to find the lightest weight food that packs the greatest energy boost and is easy to prepare. Dried foods, dates, or chocolate bars can be good energy providers.

Hikers often seek beautiful natural environments in which to hike. These environments are often fragile, as hikers may accidentally destroy the environment that they enjoy. While the action of an individual may not strongly affect the environment, the mass effect of a large number of hikers can degrade the environment. This is why to take care of our country environment and green places, we have to walk easily and listen to whatever the guide tells us in case we had to take care of a small tree growing up or even take care of ourselves from falling down and injure ourself.

Because hiking is a recreational experience, hikers expect it to be pleasant. Sometimes hikers can interfere with each other’s enjoyment, or that of other users of the land. This is why “Hiking etiquette” has developed to minimize such interference. For example:

  • When two groups of hikers meet on a steep trail, there may be contention for use of the trail. To avoid conflict, a custom has developed in some areas whereby the group moving uphill has the right-of-way.
  • Being forced to hike much faster or slower than one’s natural pace can be annoying, and difficult to maintain consistently. More seriously, walking unnaturally fast dramatically increases fatigue and exhaustion, and may cause injury. If a group splits between fast and slow hikers, the slow hikers may be left behind or become lost. A common custom is to encourage the slowest hiker to hike in the lead and have everyone match that speed.
  • Hikers generally enjoy the peace of their natural surroundings. Loud sounds such as shouting or loud conversation, or the use of mobile phones, disrupt this enjoyment. However making noise is considered a necessary safety precaution in many areas home to large wild animals, especially predators such as bears.
  • To keep nature beautiful, it is important that no traces are left. Besides the obvious, such as bringing back all trash, leaving no traces also comprises taking care not to unnecessarily break plants or disturbing wildlife.

Noxious plants that cause rashes can be particularly bothersome to hikers. Such plants include poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac, and stinging nettles. This is why you should always listen to the guide who has experience in this field.

Also, staying as a group will force animals such as dogs, pigs or anything else not to attack you to protect themselves or their kids. Always listen to our guide whether in the front or back, to understand what he means. If you are too tired to, continue let the guide know, don’t force yourself to hike when you feel tired. Always inform us with anything that happens to you on our way because in the end, we are there to enjoy our day, have fun and return back home with an amazing story to talk about.