Basic equipment: Backpack, hiking shoes, hiking poles, map and GPS, safety devices, first aid kit, multi-purpose tool and tent

What’s worth buying: Everything if you intend to hike regularly

What’s better renting: Hiking poles and tent if you’re still figuring out whether hiking is for you

The American Hiking Society recommends 10 essentials, which if you omit clothes, water, food and sun protection, includes hiking boots, map and GPS, safety devices such as a whistle and fire-starting kit, first aid kit, multi-purpose tool and tent.

According to Cynthia Lau, Decathlon’s commercial leader, specialised gear such as hiking poles and tent are more likely to become closet clutter due to unfamiliarity or eventual lack of interest, especially when hiking “can only be engaged in specific locations or certain times of the year”.

But “if you are planning to hike often and at high intensities, purchasing your own equipment may be more economical in the long run,” she said.


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