Comfort and safety are the name of the game here! Be sure to check out the posts which deal with gear reviews to find out more about the items mentioned.
Boots & Shoes
Mostly I prefer hiking in hiking shoes: they are lighter, cooler and generally more comfortable than boots. I am currently enjoying a pair of Merrell Phaser Infernos as well as a pair of HI-TEC Trail Eruptions. I run trail in a pair of Salomon XT Wings 2 or Salomon S-LAB 3 XT Wings.
A thick pair of socks goes a long way to helping you get a comfortable fit with footwear. I wear hiking socks with that are about 40% wool. Wearing two pairs of thick socks with boots is often an option worth investigating!
I wear a broad brim hat from Cape Union Mart. It is light in color to stop it from absorbing too much heat. Not only does it protect my face and neck from the sun, but it stops scratches from overhanging trees and shrubs — a problem when you are over 6 foot tall!
I almost always walk in shorts. I will only consider walking in longs if I know I am going to be wading through scratchy fynbos. You lose almost all of your body warmth through the top half of your body, so shorts are fine even in cold conditions. I have 2 pairs of CAPESTORM Tech Shorts that I swear by!
I have invested in a waterproof, breathable CAPESTORM Monsoon jacket from CAPESTORM which is great for Cape Town winter weather. In summer I have at least a Helium Jacket or Stratos Wind Shell (also both from CAPESTORM).
I invested in a deuter Futura 28 daypack. My recommendation is to look at Sportsmans Warehouse in Tokai, and any Cape Union Mart. Based on the success of that, I bought a deuter Aircontact 55+10 Backpack for over-night hikes.
Maps & Books
I have started buying and carrying Slingsby’s range of maps. They are detailed, and include plenty of info about routes in the areas they cover:
- Cape Point
- Table Mountain
I have also bought a copies of “Best Walks in the Cape Peninsula” and “Weekend Trails in the Western Cape” by Mike Lundy, “Adventure Walks & Scrambles in the Cape Peninsula” and “Adventure Hikes in the Cape Peninsula” by Karen Watkins, and “Walks with a Fat Dog” by Peter & Maggie Slingsby.
I am doing my best to identify the plants I see using the book “Common Wild Flowers of Table Mountain“ by Hugh Clarke & Bruce Mackenzie from Exclusive Books. It’s a clever little field guide that is organized by color!