Ladies, it's time to be honest. When it comes to or going on any kind of outdoor adventure, there is something of a bias that comes up. Many male hikers presume that female hikers are not as ‘hardcore' or as ‘sturdy' as they are, clearly having no idea that, hey, women can be tough too!

If you are new to hiking, you may feel a bit intimidated about an upcoming trip down the Appalachian Trail, so it may feel easier to drop out altogether. You shouldn't fret, as you may be inadvertently causing yourself to miss out on a great life experience. You will, of course, need to take a few things that are more targeted to your needs, but once you have that down, as well as some tips, that upcoming hike will feel like a walk in the park.

So, ladies, what are five things you need to make a hike successful? Here is a quick guide.

Basics to Pack

Water is the first one, followed by some high-protein snacks, such as nuts, granola bars, and fruit. Try to pack light snacks, as you may be surprised at how heavy a few tins of beans will feel!

Next, you need the basic equipment: a first aid kit, a torch, a compass, a raincoat, sunscreen (check the weather), and a portable battery charger. It is always wise to have a map downloaded to any phone you are carrying, but for the sake of emergencies, always be sure to carry a paper copy. Be sure to mark it before you leave on the hike, so if your phone dies, you have a backup. Also, if the torch dies, take a lighter or box of matches.

Of course, staying in a beautiful resort overnight to truly unwind is a great way to explore nature in luxurious surroundings. For example, Westgate Resorts in Branson, Missouri, has two locations – Westgate Branson Lakes and Westgate Branson Woods, which is set in wooded acres so you can immerse yourself in nature while also enjoying a comfortable bed and bathroom! Visit the official resort site to find the right accommodation for you.

Appropriate Footwear

Hiking boots

OK, so there are some hiking trails that are designed to be easier to walk on, but you still don't want to be doing that kind of walk while wearing sneakers!

Be sure to invest in a pair of shoes that are hardy, comfortable, and can handle the terrain and weather you are likely to encounter. There are tonnes of women's walking boots available online, as well as add-ons that can make the hike easier, such as strap-on cleats. Don't try to be a hero by wearing heavy shoes; you will already be carrying a lot of weight in your backpack, and lifting heavy shoes will only wear you out and dehydrate you.

A Suitable Backpack

Again, even if it is a day hike, you don't want to scrimp on the quality of the backpack that you use.

Hiking backpacks are, in general, weather-proof, have multiple compartments, and, most importantly, can manage a lot of weight being put into them without ripping or fraying. So, do your research, and if you intend to carry 2kg in weight in the backpack, make sure you get a backpack that can handle the next level of weight, such as 4 or 5kg. You never know what will happen on a hike, and the last thing you need is a damaged or torn backpack.

Backpacking Trip in Nature

Suitable Clothing

It is irresponsible and can be dangerous to go on a hike of any kind without first checking the weather.

Even if you have been staying in the area you intend to hike in for a while, you should make sure you check the weather before you head out. This will allow you to pack for any upcoming weather events. It should be noted here that if the weather forecast predicts heavy rain, snow, wind, or heat, and if you are new to hiking, you will want to avoid walking in those conditions. For obvious reasons, this can be dangerous and may put you in some dangerous situations.

If you are going on a hike during a sunny period, make sure to take sunscreen, mosquito spray, and a wide-brimmed hat. This will keep the sun off you and will prevent sunburn. If it is going to drizzle, take a foldable and light waterproof coat or poncho that can be folded and put in your backpack without causing any additional weight issues. Check that any upper body wearables for your hike have a hood. Also, if you are walking in the rain, double-check that your boots are waterproof.

Hiking or Trekking Poles

If you are new to hiking, you may be wondering why so many images of people online have them walking with these poles or sticks. Well, the answer is simple: they can and do prevent injuries.

Hiking poles are ideal for people who may not have walked on rugged terrain for a while and may need some additional support for their joints while they do. These poles are also great for checking the ground; if it appears sodden, you can check whether or not you would sink without having to put your foot into it. That prevents a soggy shoe and also stops you from falling over.

If you have been injured and want to get back into walks, then using a trekking pole is ideal to offer support. It reduces pressure on your hips, knees, and ankles and allows you to see the world without causing reinjury. Also, these poles can be folded down and put in a compartment in your backpack for easy storage.

So, ladies, there you have it. This list is a basic guide and is aimed at day hikes rather than extended ones, which may require you to sleep outdoors in a tent. Of course, if you are travelling or hiking during that time of the month, always make sure you have sanitary products on you, as the last thing you want is to feel that kind of discomfort during a hike. Try to hike in groups, take lots of pics, and have fun!