Hiking: What Do I Need To Know? What Should I Bring?

  1. Check the Hike Ratings for the hike you are considering. Each hike has a code in parentheses following the hike title. If you are a beginner and the code contains an 'A' or '1,' it's probably not for you! Start with a hike listed below your suspected ability to make sure it's something with which you're comfortable. We want everyone to have a good time!
  2. Wear sturdy footwear, something that will support your ankles and has a strong sole that will protect your feet from the rocks and roots on the trail. Hiking boots are best for support and traction, although some people are comfortable hiking in sneakers. Ask the leader about trail conditions if you are not sure. Wool socks are a winner for all seasons, though some prefer double-layer hiking socks that wick the moisture away from your feet.
  3. Bring water!! Even if it's winter or just a short hike. Your body needs water in every season -- not just when it's hot out -- to make your muscles function. Bring extra water in the hot weather, at least two quarts for a day hike.
  4. Lunch. If the hike starts in the morning, there is a good chance there will be a lunch break. Even short hikes often have a 'snack stop.' Bring lunch or a snack on every hike to help keep your energy level up.
  5. Rain gear. To paraphrase Mark Twain, if you don't like the Connecticut weather, just wait a minute; it'll change. At the very least, bring a large garbage bag...it's ultra-lightweight and makes a fine emergency raincoat that will keep you dry and warm.
  6. Bring an extra zip-lock bag if you'll be using tissues or other paper for nature's call in the woods. Yup, we carry out that stuff, too!

Depending on where and when you're hiking, you might also want a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, spare socks, and an extra layer to put on when you stop or the temperature drops.