HIKING EQUIPMENT: The equipment that you will need is very much a personal choice and varies depending on the season, your chosen trail, your length of hike and your activity.
The following are general recommendations – there are much better websites available for you to do research – but consider the following when planning on what you’ll pack with you:
+ Length and remoteness of trip.
+ Optimal weight and capacity.
+ Special medical considerations.
+ Weather: temperature range, sun/shade, rain, snow, ice.
+ Terrain: trail conditions, cliffs, sand, swamp, river crossings.
+ Shelter and clothes.
+ Water, food and snacks plan.
+ Are you staying overnight or doing a day hike?
Of course, good sturdy hiking shoes are a must for tougher treks, but sneakers/tennis shoes with “grippy” bottoms will work fine on most sections of the Appalachian Trail found here in Warwick, N.Y.
A small backpack – or daypack – makes sense if you are hiking for more than an hour because you can more easily bring along snacks and water. Larger backpacks are only suitable if you are planning an overnight stay at one of the shelters.
Hiking poles make it easier on your knees during downhill sections and can help eliminate stumbles, but are not really needed for shorter hikes.
Good clothing advice in all seasons is to dress “in layers” because temperatures can quickly climb during the day and plunge at night. Try to dress in bright colors – never camo. (This is a hike, not “Survivor.”)
Always avoid wearing cotton jeans or cotton shirts when hiking because once cotton gets wet it stays wet – even from sweat. (“Cotton kills” is the saying.)
Plenty of water is always recommended and a snack or two is a good thing to pack. (Even if you end up eating it in the car it’s better to be safe.)
Leave the alcohol and firearms at home. (This ain’t no frat party.)
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