Hiking in Mpumalanga: The Essentials
There is nothing worse than getting to your hiking destination only to find you have left essential hiking gear at home. It can put a halt to your plans or make your hiking experience rather uncomfortable.
The best way to prevent this from happening when you are hiking in Mpumalanga is to compile a checklist of essential hiking paraphernalia.
Some of the must-have items
The biggest must-have definitely includes your footwear. A well-worn pair of hiking boots would be the first to pack. Never hike in boots that have not been worn in properly, the last thing you want is sore blistered feet after this first day. In addition to the hiking boots, it will serve you well to have a good pair of hiking socks, these will keep your feet comfortable and dry and help prevent any blisters.
Next would be your clothing. Having clothing that dries quickly as opposed to a garment that takes forever to dry is a must. No one plans to get wet but you never know what the weather will do. A raincoat or rain poncho is a must especially if you hiking in the summer months. Always pack this item of clothing. Have a warmer jacket even in the summer months. Hiking in Mpumalanga up in the mountains will usually prove to be cooler than down in the meadows, so don’t be unprepared!
Always take a hat, preferably not just a cap, as the sun can really beat down on you when you are out there and most of us don’t get out there often enough, so you need to keep the sun off your face and neck as much as possible. Sunglasses will help for the glare and ALWAYS take lots of sunblocks and apply it even if it is a cloudy day. Re-apply several times during the hike, as the last thing you want is sunburn.
Remember to consume lots liquid (Water or rehydration drinks) on hikes. Even in cooler climates, we need to keep our bodies well hydrated. Along with keeping hydrated you also need to take a few protein bars or snacks for the road.
Now for the backpack
Never forget a small first aid kit. Even the most basic is a must take on a hike. Surgical wipes to clean a cut or wound, some antibiotic cream, gauze, bandages and band-aids are basic essentials. Painkillers, nausea and diarrhoea medicines, as well as a small pair of scissors and tweezers, are also musts. Don’t forget to pack burn cream.
Wet wipes or hand sanitizer will fit easily into your backpack are essential as you never know if there is going to be clean water to wash your hands. Take a torch or headlamp and remember to pack extra batteries. You are definitely going to need either matches or a lighter, so it’s probably best to pack both. No matter where you are hiking in Mpumalanga, always take a trash bag, as there are no trash bins along the way and littering on a trail is unforgivable.
And don’t forget the camera so that you can take your memories home.