Many people mistakenly assume that hiking is an especially expensive hobby considering all the special equipment needed to hike comfortably. Nevertheless, there are some ways that avid hikers can reduce their cash expense and fit hiking hobbies in a tighter budget. Knowing these tips and applying them from the onset of your life as a hiker can keep your adventures cost-effective and your accounts from depletion.
Hiking Boots and Shoes On A Budget
Perhaps the most important piece of hiking equipment will be a quality set of hiking boots. If you don’t have proper hiking shoes the whole experience can be slightly more tedious and strenuous. The big problem is that the top-notch hiking shoes all sell for a small fortune and can place major strain on a tight budget plan.
But, there is a good chance that you can find a reliable pair of quality hiking shoes that won’t cost too much. This search for this perfectly priced pair of shoes will begin with you knowing exactly what you want and need. But, you will still need to try on any options you are considering for purchase to ensure they will be comfortable on long walks.
A broad and sturdy grip is good feature to look for in a hiking shoes that will navigate mossy rocks, wet hillsides and unstable gravel. You will also want a good support around the ankle which is very important to avoiding sprains and injury. Equally important to these features will be the overall comfort of the shoe.
If you are low on cash you may find other types of shoes can be effectively repurposed into a fairly decent hiking shoe. If you have running shoes with a good grip they may make a good alternative. Just be sure you get good grip, ankle support and a large measure of comfort. Of course, no shoe will last as long on rough terrain as a hiking boot. So, if you are thinking of regular hiking trips, investing in a dedicated hiking shoe is probably the most economic choice.
When on the hills and trails you will want a good backpack to carry your essential items. Plenty of water and even some food is important for not famishing or dehydrating on a hike. This can be an especially subtle danger in the summer months when cool mornings can lead to scorching days.
When looking for a good backpack, choose something that is strong and sturdy but also easy for you to carry. You will find many dedicated hiking backpacks on the market and these can be attached to a steep price. But, unless you are planning an expedition through the Congo, you will find that there are many suitable options available for much less.
A good hiking backpack will be breathable to avoid overheating you on a hot day. This includes the straps and contact points which should be designed for longer contact on the shoulders chest and sometimes around the waist. Be sure the stitching is secure and the buckles solid. The last thing you want is to carry your backpack in your hands for a half-dozen kilometers.
You will also want a good size for your person, considering that you can conceivably pack it to its full-capacity and weight limitations. The better it fits your back and torso the easier it will be to haul. Furthermore, your hiking backpack should also hold to your body snugly without being too tight or restrictive. Finally, look around inside and be sure it has the dimensions and compartments you will need for all of your important items.
There are many good quality backpack in a wide variety of styles and qualities and many will be perfectly suited to your hiking needs. An online search will provide an almost limitless selection of backpacks and extensive price range. The only problem is that you won’t be able to try it on so be sure to read product descriptions and consumer reviews.
A GPS Or Map
If you were to ask a serious hiker, they would recommend carrying a GPS device or some other digital map that includes a compass for navigational purposes. Never underestimate you own capacity to get lost and you will never be stuck in one of these tricky situations. The biggest problem with acquiring one of these devices is the fairly high price involved. But, there are ways to avoid these higher prices and getting lost on your hike.
The simplest and most effective plan will be to never venture too far from the well-marked trails and signposts that can direct you back to your starting location. The biggest problem with this plan will come when trails are confusing and not so well marked.
If you don’t have the cash for a GPS device, there is still a way to do this with your mobile-device or phone. A map app can be downloaded to your smartphone and can be used during the hike to provide direction, unless of course you will be hiking far where there is no signal.
Finally, a fool-proof trick will be to do a bit of research before heading out when you can use Google Maps to find your region and print out a well-defined map of your intended route. Include some landmarks or geographic markers to make positioning easier. Then, grab yourself a simple but good quality compass and begin your life as a novice navigator, it’s really not that difficult. Place those printed maps in a clear plastic envelope to keep them safe.
You can never tell when the weather will switch from balmy to ghastly and it can all happen quite suddenly. Even if the weather forecast predicted clear skies, having some protection from the wind and rain is never a bad idea. If you were to buy the professional rain protection for hikers you will find backpack covers, rain coats, and pullover pants. This effective waterproofing can be costly.
But, there are far more cost-effective alternatives available. For example, a clean plastic garbage bag can be repurposed and used to cover backpack ensuring the contents are quite dry. Simply place the garbage bag top-side-down over the backpack and cut in some narrow slits to allow access to the straps and, as the French say, Voila! Your things are safe!
To keep yourself dry, you can pick up a reusable emergency poncho for a relatively low price and this offers excellent protections for the entire body. You could even make a poncho of sorts out of repurposed black garbage bags if you have no intention of spending heavy on rain protection. In this case, use a smaller bag for the head piece, and a larger bag to protect the shoulders and body.
Furthermore, there are a number of online markets that sell a variety of rain protection for low prices. Unless you plan on routinely going out in bad weather, there is no need to spend your hard-earned cash resources on specialized rain gear for hikers.
Final Notes on Hiking on a Budget
Hiking doesn’t and shouldn’t cost a fortune to enjoy, but making careful choices about the equipment you use will enhance the enjoyment of the experience and leave you less exposed to the unpleasant aspects of ambling in the great outdoors.
By understanding what sort of protection you really need from your hiking equipment, it is quite easy to find suitable fair-priced alternatives and still enjoy your summer hikes. The tips and pointers covered here will help you surmount the initial costs of hiking and get right to the fun of it, the bigger investments can be made as your capacity as a hiker increases.