📚The following is the excerpt from my book, MacLehose Trail for City Hikers, available in both paperback and Kindle in Amazon.com
To enjoy hiking, there are few items you should bring along:
- Backpack — A 24-litre backpack should be enough for a day hike.
- Water — Bottles that can carry two to three litres of water will be enough for hiking. Alternately, hydration packs are convenient for drinking without having to reach into your backpack for the water bottle.
- Snacks — Chocolate bars, sweets or anything you can get from the supermarket is good enough for hiking. Of course, do bring along a small bag to put away the wraps and throw it to the rubbish bin when you get back into the city centre.
- Garments for Heat, Sun, Wind, Rain and Cold — Towel, hat, windbreaker, rain jacket and fleece jacket are items you need to consider before you head out for the trail.
- Headlamp or Torch — Even if you plan to hike during daytime, it is still very important to bring a headlamp or torch. Chances are, you might end up hiking overtime or face bad weather condition for which that you will need lights for hiking, speaking from experience.
- Smartphone — Referring to phones with Internet and GPS connections. There are two apps recommended in the next section that hikers should consider downloading to their phones for tracking and maps.
- External Battery — This is for your phone, as their batteries are still rather short-lived. Those with 6000mAh or above should be able to charge your phone from zero to full for two to three times.
- Map — Although the trail is clearly marked with distance posts and notice boards along the way, it is recommended to have a map in possession for hiking. Maps can be brought in the offices of the Lands Department, book shops or shops selling hiking gears.
- Multi-tool and Duct Tape — Bring a small multi-tool with knife and scissors, they can come in handy for various situations. Meanwhile, roll some duct tape on a piece of plastic card, this will come in handy when you need to bind something together or patch a punctured hole, such as your hydration pack. Meanwhile, there were too many stories of shoes sole becoming detached completely while hiking, duct tape would definitely save the day!
- Simple First Aid Pack — Chances of blisters, scratches by tree branches, mosquito bites, etc. can be real during hiking and can result in wounds of all sizes. Bring at least plasters, antiseptic solution and mosquito repellant just in case.
There are two apps on the smartphone that are recommended for use during hiking. These apps require you to turn on the GPS which can drain power, remember to bring an external battery for it.
- Google Map (iOS/Android, FREE) — Needless to give any introduction, Google Map is the app for navigation, it is perfect for locating yourself along the trail. I also use it very often to find the best route to get to the nearest public transport to get home. I have mapped all 10 stages of the MacLehose Trail (Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, Stage 5, Stage 6, Stage 7, Stage 8, Stage 9, Stage 10)
- Runkeeper (iOS/Android, FREE) — I have been using this to keep track of all my hikes along the MacLehose Trail. The map will record and read your hiking distance and pace from time to time. Good for keeping track of your progress. (Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4, Stage 5, Stage 6, Stage 7, Stage 8, Stage 9, Stage 10)