Hiking boots are ideal for what we do. They should provide ankle support for walking on uneven ground, water resistance for stepping in puddles, and have non-skid soles for walking on slippery surfaces such as ice, snow, wet leaves, or smooth rock.
Some hikers choose to go in running shoes, which can also be comfortable. The major downsides are the lack of ankle support for rocky terrain, and poor insulation in cold weather. These shoes are often designed to keep your foot cool, which can be a disadvantage in sub-zero temperatures!
Most importantly, all footwear should be broken in and fit well. A stiff new boot or a shoe that does not fit properly will cause much discomfort, including blisters.
It is best to wear wool or synthetic socks. Cotton does not wick moisture away from skin very effectively, and can contribute to the formation of blisters and other discomfort when it becomes wet and chafes the skin.
On some hikes, your feet may get wet – perhaps during a river crossing, or after walking through a snow drift. If you have a change of socks, or perhaps even a change of footwear, your ride home after the hike will be much more comfortable.
Pants / Trousers
Long pants are a good idea even in summer. Sometimes our trails are quite brushy, and a pair of trousers will help to protect from thorns and scratchy plants. There are many lightweight materials that are ideal for warm temperatures. While it may be tempting to wear thick, heavy pants in the winter, it is important to remember that you will be moving and your legs will warm up quite a bit on their own. Thermal long underwear is a popular option in the winter.
Upper LayersIt is always a good idea to avoid having cotton directly next to your skin, because it does not wick moisture well and will not keep you warm if it gets wet. Quick-drying shirts made from synthetic materials or fine wool are suggested for hiking. It is best to think in terms of layers: something light for when you are moving, something warm to wear on top of it when you are resting, and something wind- and rain-proof in case of bad weather.
Hat and GlovesIn the winter months, warm hats are a crucial piece of clothing since much body heat is lost through the head. Hats with broad brims can be an important piece of sun protection during the summer. Warm gloves are usually only necessary in the winter.
Food and Water
Beijing Hikers will supply bottled mineral water for you to drink on the hike. We'll make sure there's plenty for you to drink, no matter the weather.
For hikes in which lunch is not included, pack snacks and a light lunch. If you don't have time to pack your lunch before the hike, pre-made sandwiches are available for purchase near the meeting place at Lido.
- Toilet paper and tissues (you won't find any of this in rural toilets)
- Hand sanitiser (see above)
And of course you'll need a light backpack in which to hold all of this!