Day hikes are a great way to get exercise, relieve stress, and enjoy nature. You can hike at your own pace, choose your own route, and decide how far you want to go. To have a great time on your hike make sure you have the correct equipment.
No matter the route, you need to have a hiking stick.
This can be as simple as picking up a branch that is the right size and height or as complex as buying a high end hiking pole. Carrying and using the hiking stick can save you from a turned ankle or a fall.
Any path can have a loose rock or a small dip that can cause you to loose your footing. Using a hiking stick can keep you from loosing your balance and sustaining an injury.
You also need to carry water on any hike. Keeping well hydrated during any physical activity is very important to total health. You can always carry a water bottle but for many hikers the preferred method is to wear a camelback. Camelbacks come in a variety of styles and prices. They resemble a backpack and have a bladder that you fill with water and a tube to drink the water. The term camelback comes from the fact that like a camel you carry your water in a hump (the water bladder) on you back. The least expensive have only the bladder with no room to carry anything else. You can go up in price and combine the camelback with a backpack to carry additional items.
The big advantage of a camelback over a water bottle is the fact that your hands remain free while hiking.
A good sturdy pair of shoes are also needed when you hike. Good tennis shoes will serve on some hikes but for the best protection for your feet and ankles buy a good pair of hiking boots. Like the hiking stick they provide protection if you step on any uneven surface. After you purchase the boots be sure to break them in before going on a hike. Wear them around your house and take several small walks around your neighborhood. While this may seem like an expensive purchase a good pair of hiking boots will last for years.
To go with the hiking boots purchase a good pair of boot socks. Boot socks absorb and wick water helping keep your feet dry and comfortable. Boot socks keep your feet cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
This basic list of equipment is all you will need to take hikes that last less than a day. Get your equipment, carry a snack, take your camera and binoculars, and have fun hiking.No matter where you live there are wonderful places that you can only see on a hike.