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11 Must-Have Hiking Gear for First Time Hikers

11 Must-Have Hiking Gear for First Time Hikers

Make sure you have these essentials before heading out for your next hike.

According to the National Parks, there are proven health benefits of hiking. These include improved physical health, enhanced mental health, and boosted mood. To avoid issues, you should remember to pack the necessities.

You can feel prepared while exploring nature. If you’re interested in learning more about hiking gear, keep reading. Here are eleven must-have essentials while you’re on a trail.

1. Hiking Backpack

You’ll need a backpack to carry other hiking gear and essentials. How long you intend on hiking will determine how big of a bag you need. No matter how long you hike, plan what you need and pack accordingly.

For a full day, you should get one that’s twenty liters. Half-day hikes only need a smaller size. An overnight hike will need a backpack that’s around thirty-five liters for extra water, snacks, hiking clothes, and other essentials.

2. Happie Toes Foot Salve

This foot salve restores damaged skin in between hikes. The ingredients include kokum butter, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. These ingredients fight bacteria, decrease inflammation, heal skin fissures, and regenerate skin cells.

You can use this salve on your feet, hands, and any other dry areas for relief. Purchase Happie Toes Foot Salve in our shop online.

3. An Up-To-Date Map and GPS Device

Before heading out on the trail, you’ll need an up-to-date map. Some trails split off in different directions, making it easy to get lost. You can download the latest version online for your specific trail.

If you’re not good at reading maps, you may want to consider carrying a GPS device. These are great for helping beginners navigate different trails.

4. Headlamp for Dark Hikes

A headlamp is perfect for hiking in the dark and exploring underground caves. Unlike when using a flashlight, your hands are free to navigate. It can protect you from falling, stepping on wildlife, or losing sight of the path.

Even if you’re not planning on exploring in the dark, you should consider carrying a headlamp and spare batteries. If you happen to get lost, you’ll feel safer with light overnight.

5. Lightweight Utility Knife        

Before you go on a hike, you should think about why you’d need a utility knife. You can use one to cut a rope, prepare fish, and more. Consider a lightweight option with a sharpened three-inch blade.

You never know when you might run into an emergency. Carrying a lightweight utility knife could save you from sticky situations.

6. SPF Lip Balm, Sunscreen, and Sunglasses

When you’re spending a great deal of time outdoors, you should always wear sunblock. For the best results, use SPF 30 to 50. You can protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Lip balm is sunscreen for your lips. Same as with sunblock, use one with SPF 30 or higher.

7. Bug Repellant

When you’re out on a hike, you can protect yourself from bug bites with repellant. You should apply sunscreen before insect repellent. It’s the most effective technique to prevent West Nile virus and mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes bite at night and during the day. In addition to wearing insect repellent, you should consider wearing long sleeves and pants.

8. Water and Snacks

During moderate activity, the general recommendation is to drink half a liter of water per hour. Depending on the temperature and intensity of your hike, you may need to increase the amount. Strenuous hikes in extreme heat will entail drinking one or more liters per hour.

During hikes, you should consume one to three pounds of food per day. Strenuous hikes burn more calories and require higher increments.

9. Hiking Poles

Hiking poles make hiking easier on your knees. Unlike walking sticks, the poles provide symmetrical support. Using two will offer more benefits than only one.

When choosing poles, you’ll need to consider your height. Your size will determine how big they need to be.

10. Hiking Boots and Attire

Hiking requires the right gear, clothes, and boots. Your pair will need to be comfortable for trails, have grip, and be meant for the outdoors. You can find hiking boots with ankle support for extra protection.

You should consider buying wool socks, a jacket, gloves, and a hat. It’s best to dress in layers and check the weather before and during the hike.

11. First Aid Kit

Nothing says showing up prepared like carrying a first aid kit. For hiking, you should pack the following items:

Antiseptic wipes

  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Bandages
  • Medical tape
  • Nonstick sterile pads
  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Allergy medicine
  • And more

You buy a prepackaged first-aid kit from a store or online. You can also use this list to create a DIY version.

Other Must-Have Hiking Gear

Before you hit the trail, you should consider the specific trail and weather conditions. You may need to include an emergency water filter, fire starter, prescription medications, and more. Explore the trails early on with virtual maps.

Leave No Trace

Whenever you explore nature, you should leave no trace. This term means more than cleaning up after yourself. The following are some other things you should and shouldn’t do:

  • Leave what you find
  • Make a fire small, or not one at all
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others on the trail

The goal of leaving no trace is to minimize alterations. If you’re camping overnight, don’t dig a trench or cut branches. Remember to always clean up after yourself, and to leave the trail better than you found it.

Explore More

Going on a hike will help you feel happier and healthier. Now that you’ve read these eleven must-have essentials, you’ll feel prepared while exploring the great outdoors. Use what you read here today as a guide to finding the right hiking gear.

We feature more than the latest endurance sports topics and advice. Athletes use our products to avoid chafing and blisters. Purchase items on our website to improve your skin’s health!

How Anti-Chafing Cream Is Bringing Sexy Back

How Anti-Chafing Cream Is Bringing Sexy Back

Don't let chafing be the reason you don't finish your first marathon, longest trail ride to date, or hike through the Appalachian Trail. You've trained too hard to let a little raw skin get in your way!

Chafing is an unfortunate reality most endurance athletes can relate to. But constantly pulling down your shorts or running with a goofy wide-stance gate is not the answer.

Trust us on that. There is a finally a reliable, affordable way to say goodbye to chafing forever. Take a look at the list of products below and how they are changing the anti-chafing cream game.

You're welcome!

An Athletes Worst Enemy - Chafing

For those of you that are unfortunate enough to have experienced chafing, you know how annoying and painful it can be. Not only does it make the activity harder and more painful, but it can also leave marks, blisters, and even permanent scars.

And don't even get me started on the hot shower after a fresh chafing incident, eek! 

But what exactly causes chafing to happen, and why does it happen more often in certain areas?

Well, skin chafing is caused by friction when skin rubs against clothing or skin rubs against skin.

The most common locations for chafing are areas where skin and clothing are rubbing against each other like the thighs, nipples or feet. It can also happen in areas where the skin is rubbing against the skin such as the groin or underarms if you are wearing a sleeveless shirt. 

It happens more frequently to those that carry excess weight, but it can also happen to endurance athletes during long training sessions or competition.

Chafing first appears as redness and is tender to the touch or to hot water. If it is more severe, it can become slightly swollen, or it may bleed. It can blister while it is healing too.

Anti-Chafing Cream

The traditional anti-chafing cream or salve works by moisturizing the area. But only the top products can maintain this level of protection when exposed to sweat. Anti-chafing salve can be applied before or during physical activity to prevent friction that causes raw skin and blisters.

You can apply anti-chafing cream to areas of your body that are usually victims of chafing. Thighs, underarms, feet, nipples, or bra-line are good places to start. Apply generously and get going!

For relief after activity, you can use an anti-chafing salve for dry or cracked skin.

Remember that for those anti-chafing creams and salves made from natural materials you may notice the oil separate on top of the container (much like your organic peanut butter). This is normal, and you can use a spoon or your hand to mix the oil back in.

You can bring your favorite anti-chafing cream in your backpack, fanny pack, or sleeping bag sleeve. It's easy to transport and can handle warm temperatures. If using in cold temperatures, you may have to warm it up in your hands before applying to get the best results.

If you have sensitive skin or skin allergies, always check the ingredients on anti-chafing lotions, creams, and salves. Not every product works for every skin type, so always check the label before purchasing.

Anti-Chafe Sticks

Gone are the days of using your deodorant between your legs to avoid chafing. It may make you smell better, but it's not intended to be used as an anti-chafing solution.

Instead, try an anti-chafe stick. Much like a stick of deodorant, it is easy to apply and mess-free. Look for a product with natural ingredients to prevent skin irritation.

You can use the anti-chafe stick before, during or after exercise for chafing or blisters. It can also treat dry skin.

Anti-chafing sticks can also be useful if you will need to reapply the product during an extended training session such as a long run, hike, or bike ride. Bring it with you and re-apply if you are starting to feel that unpleasant friction. 

A Word on Proper Attire

The first line of defense against chafing is wearing the right clothing. Breathable, technical shirts, shorts, and leggings are much better suited for endurance activity and exercise than a traditional cotton t-shirt.

Look for sweat-wicking materials that will keep you dry and prevent skin chafing. Loose-fitting clothing can also cause more friction than spandex or similarly tight materials.

Consider wearing a layer of tighter fitting clothing underneath your looser clothes to prevent chafing, especially between the legs. For men or women, running tights will usually prevent chafing between the legs but you should still use an anti-chafing product for your groin area.

If you are exercising in hot weather, consider not wearing a shirt or just wearing a sports bra. The less clothing you have on, the less likely there will be chafing. 

And Another Word on Treating Chafing

If you use proper anti-chafing products you should be able to prevent chafing altogether. However, if you ever forget your anti-chafing cream and find yourself nursing the wounds of bad chafing it is essential to keep the area clean and dry.

Wash the area with soap and water (warning, this might sting!). Then, apply an anti-chafing product and try to avoid activity or exercise that might make it worse. 

If your chafing does not improve or you think it may be infected, contact a doctor.

Goodbye Chafing, We Will Not Miss You

No more blisters and no more chafing. Just smooth skin and epic training sessions. It can be hard as a new endurance athlete or a long time pro to deal with nuisances like skin chafing.

So, don't!

Find the right anti-chafing product for you and pick some up before your next workout. With affordable prices and adoring customers, why wouldn't you try it?

If you're interested in learning more about the awesome anti-chafing, recovery, and skincare products we have to offer, browse our online store or contact us for more information!

Chafing 101: 5 Effective Ways to Apply Chafing Cream for New Runners

Chafing 101: 5 Effective Ways to Apply Chafing Cream for New Runners

You've done it. You've signed up for your first 10k. You've bought new shoes and you're ready to roll.

Something you might not have thought about? Chafing. There's nothing worse than being out on a run and feeling that burning sensation on a hot summer day.

When you run, body parts can rub together or against clothing. It causes friction, which wears away your skin. This is the dreadful chafing.

Runners are prone to chafing due to the repetitive movements. The extra moisture from sweat certainly doesn't help. The salt from your sweat aggravates the skin. It acts a little like sandpaper, wearing down the skin painfully.

Worried it might happen to you? Don't worry, we have you covered with five effective ways to apply chafing cream.

1. Lube Your Thighs

One of the most common places of chafing is the thighs. Your clothing rubs against your skin and irritates it. If you are wearing shorter shorts, your thighs can rub together.

Applying Chafing Cream to Your Thighs

Liberally apply chafing cream to your inner thighs before you start your run.  Also, consider your running clothes. If your pants or shorts have an inner thigh seam, that could be the culprit.

Combine stretchy athletic clothing with a heavy coating of chafing cream. Your thighs will be set for your big run.

2. Protect Your Groin

That's right, your groin can suffer from chafing as well. As with thigh chafing, you could experience it either skin against skin or skin against clothing.

Applying Chafing Cream to Your Groin

Apply your chafing cream liberally before you start your run. Notice where the seams of your clothing are. Do they hit near your groin? If so, pay special attention to that area when you apply your cream.

3. Note Your Nipples

Women are usually protected from nipple chafing thanks to sports bras. They provide a barrier to prevent it from happening. That being said, a sports bra can cause chafing in other areas.

Since men don't typically wear sports bras, nipple chafing is actually pretty common and painful. This is especially true when sweat touches the irritated skin. It can even hurt during an after-run shower and in extreme cases, runners might even bleed from nipple chafing.

Applying Chafing Cream to Your Nipples

A common prevention method is to place bandages over your nipples. You can even find some that are designed specifically for the area.

It might be even more effective to use your anti-chafing cream liberally over your nipples. Make sure you coat them before you go on your run to keep them from rubbing painfully against your shirt.

4. Oil Up Your Armpits

There are two reasons you might experience armpit chafing: skin-to-skin rubbing and shirt abrasion. If you shave your armpits, you might even be more prone to chafing. This is because your shirt might rub against hair stubble, irritating the skin.

Applying Chafing Cream to Your Armpits

Before you apply any cream, make sure you have a properly fitted shirt. You want one that doesn't have a seam in an uncomfortable position. It should also be made out of breathable material. Apply the chafing cream under your arms the same way you would with deodorant.

5. Do You Have a Heart Rate Monitor?

Some runners wear a monitor to keep track of their heart rate. Sometimes, the monitor's strap can cause chafing around your chest or back.

Applying Chafing Cream to Your Monitor

To prevent chafing for this area, lube up the strap itself. Don't worry about damaging it. They're made to resist moisture in the case of sweat or rain. A little bit of chafing cream won't hurt it.

Dealing With Chafing

If you're already suffering from chafing in any area, don't worry. You don't have to suffer for long. Here are some tips for taking care of your skin.

No Rubbing

If you find your skin rubbing too much during your run, find the cause and try to fix the problem. Dry the area the best you can and apply more chafing cream. If you're able to change clothes, that can help, too.


Hop into the shower the second you get home. This will take care of any dried sweat from your run. Make sure you use lukewarm water. It will burn in the shower, but lowering the temperature will help. When you're done, pat the chafed area dry. Don't rub it with a towel.

Treat it Like a Burn

Treat the chafed area like a minor burn. Care for it with cream and loosely cover the area with medical gauze. It will keep it from rubbing.

Take a Few Days Off

If you have a chafed area, your body will need to rest. Take some time off for it to heal, especially from running.

Get Medical Help

If your chafing is extremely painful, you might need to see a doctor. Don't wait on this if it's extra swollen or bloody. It could turn into an even more painful skin infection.

Allow the infection plenty of time to heal, and try to use chafing cream to protect the area the next time you go for a run.


Are You Looking for Chafing Cream?

Chafing cream can help to minimize painful chafing or even prevent it altogether. You need to be sure you're using a good quality cream for the best results. 

If you're looking for the right chafing cream, then we're here to help. Our all-natural anti-chafing salves protect your skin from damage like chafing and blisters, and repair and restore dry or damaged skin. Our sticks and tubs are used by athletes to avoid chafing and blisters and can be used by anyone, anywhere to improve skin health.

Check out our products today.