From hilly parks to swampy reserves, Singapore has a diverse terrain to explore while you're waiting on the greenlight to travel. There are many great places to hike in the Garden City, like the Southern Ridges or Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. If it's your first time heading out to the trails, make sure you have all the necessary hiking equipment for your journey. With the right preparation, you'll be ready for whatever nature tries to throw at you. We've prepared a list of hiking essentials to bring on your trip, including how much they may cost you.
Gear Up For Your Hike
The first items on your list should be your backpack, shoes, and clothes. Weather-appropriate clothes are necessary to fend off the elements and vary depending on the season. If it's chilly out, you should bring a light jacket. When it's raining, you can wear water-proof clothing to protect you from excessive moisture and slippage.
No matter the season, your hiking gear should include clothes made of sturdy material, as well as thick, supportive footwear to protect you from spiky brush and sharp rocks. Long-sleeve clothing and hats are not mandatory, but they will help protect you from sun damage and bug bites. If you're worried about the heat in so many layers, then you could look into polyester or nylon clothing that pulls sweat away from your skin and out to the surface of the fabric, effectively helping you to cool off faster. If it's a mild, non-humid day, you can consider cotton materials that are especially breathable.
As a final touch to your wearable hiking gear, a good backpack will go a long way. Any backpack can do the job of holding hiking essentials, but there are specially-made hiking bags designed for back support and optimum storage space. From certified, big brand vendors like The Planet Traveller, you can find a hiking backpack anywhere between S$89.50 and S$405.30, with an average cost of S$146.73. If you're on a tighter budget, you can save up to 86.90% on non-brand name hiking bags that go for an average S$19.22 online. Quality, storage space, and other special features (like a holding compartment to bring your baby with you on the hike) will affect your final price.
Stay Hydrated and Energised On The Trails
Whether it's a two-hour hike or a full day trek, food and water will be mandatory as you exert lots of energy and sweat on the trails. You can bring your favorite water bottle from home or buy a new one online at an average price of S$12.13 for a 1000ml water bottle.
While not every hike is meant to be a picnic, it's important that you bring enough snacks for the trail. Trail mix is made for this purpose, but you can also consider an assortment of energy bars, dried meats, and fruits. However, it's important to keep in mind that the best hiking foods are those that are non-perishable and easy-to-carry both in weight and size. For approximately S$10.36, you can buy a little more than 200 grams of trail mix from e-commerce shops like Redmart. Similarly, you can expect to pay around S$17.99 for about 6 energy or protein bars from the same outlets.
These Tools Will Come In Handy and Maybe Save Your Life
Even if you are hiking in a nearby nature reserve, you'll still want to come prepared with some first aid equipment, navigation and other outdoor tools. A compass or band aid may very well come in handy if you go off course or bump your knee on a city park trail. You can find both items for just a couple of dollars online, but your average compass and first aid kit comes out to S$6.02 and S$10.77, respectively.
Sunscreen and mosquito repellent are some other hiking essentials to add to your bag. By regularly applying both sprays or creams, you can decrease your risk of developing some serious medical issues like skin cancer or dengue fever. A 60 to 70ml bottle of sunscreen goes for about S$17.73, while mosquito repellents range from S$7.10 to S$21.09, depending on size and base chemical that wards off mozzies (DEET, picaridin, lemon-eucalyptus, etc). In addition to these various levels of protection, it might also be a good idea to consider a personal accident insurance plan which covers disabilities and mosquito-borne illnesses that you may get on the trails. PA plans are especially useful for people and families that enjoy regular outdoor activities like hiking.
Finally, you and your hiking party can benefit from bringing a multi-tool and portable charger on your trip. In the case your clothing gets stuck in spiky plants, a multi-tool can help you easily break out of its grasp. Prices for multi-tools vary based on quality and brand name, though you can expect an average price of S$28.28 on websites like Shopee. A portable charger can also get you out of a sticky situation. As long as connection permits it, a fully-charged phone can be a lifesaver in the case of an emergency. Portable chargers cost approximately S$18.01, which is well worth the cost when you're in need of some extra power on the trails.
Your Hiking Essentials Checklist
When on the hiking trails, you should only be concerned with beautiful sights and taking in nature. Therefore, it's important to check your essentials off the list before you make your way to Keppel Hill Reservoir or Clementi Forest. Here's a checklist that you can use as you plan your next trek.
- Hiking backpack
- Hiking shoes
- Hiking clothes
- Water and food
- Navigation tools
- Portable charger
- First-aid kit
- Mosquito Repellent
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