Go on, take a hike! Winter is here, a perfect season to take a bush excursion with your family and friends. All you need is a bit of free time, a place to stretch your legs and a durable pair of walking shoes. You can be a hiker-in-training by starting with walks around your neighbourhood, working up to a local mountain rainforest or gorge. But don’t head out on a half- or full-day hike without these five essential hiking accessories.
Sunscreen and hat
Weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you have a hat and sunscreen ready to pull out to shield you from prolonged sun exposure. Sunscreen has never been so trendy, with new zinc and even coconut-based sunscreens now sold in Australia. Put it on 20 minutes before you step into the sun.
You can’t go on a hike without a water bottle. Make sure you have one that is preferably a water canister or eco-friendly plastic bottle that’s BPA free. When normal plastic is heated (being left in the sun is enough), it secretes microscopic nasties into the bottled water which we don’t want to be drinking.
Here’s how to avoid getting blisters during a hike: make sure your socks are comfortable and you have an extra pair in your backpack. Throw in some Band-Aids just in case.
If you’re climbing to a lookout or forging through snow-capped bushland (like this southern mountain favourite), you’ll love being able to magnify and zoom in on the wilderness around you. Take binoculars to watch birds, whales, and even look down to see the beautiful Hobart waterfront.
Nuts, dried fruit and even a cucumber will taste like the best thing ever after a hike. If you can fit little snacks in your backpack, you’ll thank yourself at the end. If you’re going on a half-day or short hike (let’s say 8 kilometres), a little block of tasty cheese goes down well too.
There’s a few more hiking titbits we recommend you look at from one of Australia’s most practiced wellness advocates. She has a few particularly good hiking guides, including this one written about a roadtrip she took to Mudgee, about 3.5 hours from Sydney.
Ready to take a hike? Tell us in the comments if you’re going with friends or organising a family day out.