Jonathan Standefer: Basic Hiking Gear

Jonathan Standefer is a former graphic artist and web designer who says that he is in the enviable position of being able to take some time off from working to do some traveling and writing, and figuring out what he wants to do next with his life.

He says that he is able to take the time to pursue some of those things that interest him the most, which include playing the drums and hiking. He enjoys getting into the great outdoors for long day hikes in remote areas. Even for such shorter hikes he brings a backpack along with him, in which he carries some of the essentials that he will need.

Those essentials, says Jonathan Standefer, include a hat and sunscreen, a rain jacket or poncho, matches in a waterproof container, and a little food like fruit and nuts, a bagel or two, or a sandwich. It is also critical to bring a canteen or water bottle.

He recommends wearing a study pair of shoes. Sometimes newbie hikers wear a pair of sneakers out on the trail, on the belief that comfort is the most important thing when it comes to footwear. While comfort and a good fit are important, there are almost always rough patches to hiking trails where the surface is uneven, rocky, muddy, or crumbling. That is when it is most important to have shoes with a sturdy sole. Jonathan Standefer says that if you want to wear sneakers, do not wear a pair with a rubber sole, such as Converse sneakers. A good pair of running shoes will provide hours of comfort and still be sturdy enough to handle a trail.

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