Mountains, Volcano’s, Secret Beaches and endless jungle, there’s a place to hike for everyone from 3 to 93, there are no shortage of trails from basic beginner to high level advanced mountaineer.

It doesn’t matter where you end up, Costa Rica is a fascinating country full of visual delights from cultural to biological.

So plan on walking a lot and these are things not to forget?

No matter why you are in Costa Rica, a hat with a brim of protection will be a great asset to help shield you from the warm tropical sun you may not be accustomed to, a hat is definitely Top 10 on the list of things to bring.

Next, pack your hiking boots, you will use them and be happy you did.  Costa Rica has more jungle trails, secret beaches and hidden waterfalls then you could ever explore in a lifetime.

The possibilities are endless. You could spend every day for an entire month just hiking the mountain range of active and inactive volcanos and that’s just scratching the surface of what’s available if you have a good pair of hiking boots to get you there.

If you are already a veteran hiker, you don’t need any tips on your boots but if you are sort of a “newbie” to this activity, here’s a few tips to get you to a good start.

First, break your boots in before you take that first hike.  Try to spend 10 or more hours in your boots before your first real hike.  DO NOT show up with new boots and expect anything less then sore feet, maybe with blisters.

Next, make sure you come with a boot that is lightweight and water friendly, you’ll be sure to cross streams and such and want a pair of boots made of synthetic materials for lightweight and fast drying features.

Also, make sure they offer good ankle support for rough mountainous rocky terrains.

SOCKS, bring several pair of good wool hiking socks, something to protect your feet and absorb the moisture, “Smart Wool” is a great brand and they last forever.

A collapsable hiking stick will come in handy, especially if you have any weakness in your knee or ankles and just helps on steep descents.

A swimsuit is not a bad idea.  If you find yourself in the secluded jungle and happen upon a secret waterfall, with or without a swimsuit, you’ll be glad you took that cool refreshing dip.

Be sure to also bring an adequate supply of fresh drinking water, hydration systems are highly recommended.  A compass, a map,  flashlight, matches and or lighter.

And now a few tips for safety;

First, always tell someone where you are going and when you should be expected back, this helps in the event something happens and there is a need for a search or rescue party to be organized. Sometimes that little piece of information can save precious hours for a rescue victim.

Bring a cell phone in case there is coverage, you can call for help.

A waterproof poncho is always nice and they come in small packs and weigh almost nothing.

A few snacks, some basic medical supplies, insect repellant and sunscreen.

And finally, you know it’s going to be fun and you’re going to see a lot of amazing things, charge your camera battery, bring more then one if you have them as the photo opportunities are going to overwhelm you and nothing worse then missing a photo opportunity.

With these basic needs, all less then a few pounds, you’re sure to have a great adventure and like a Boy Scout, you’ll be ready for any little twists you may find along your hiking path.

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