Unlike many outdoor activities, hiking tends toward egalitarianism. All one really needs to head out for a day in the woods is a pair of sturdy shoes and a mindset for walking. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mass of technical clothing and gear that could elevate the experience. It might be a t-shirt that’s far more functional than meets the eye, a warm pullover that weighs less than a magazine or a pair of trousers specifically built for wear and tear.
Hiking doesn’t have to be overly concerned with finding transcendence in wilderness either — the collection of gear that makes it into your pack should also emphasize fun. There’s nothing like toasting a well-earned summit with a cold beverage after hours on the trail, or returning to the car at day’s end to find a cooler filled with more.