Although the hiking in Hong Kong is undoubtedly great, you’re not going to be doing any multi-day hikes like you might in the Himalayas or the Andes. So, you don’t need a huge backpack. Just bring a daypack that’s big enough for the bare essentials like any extra layers you might need, plenty of water, and of course, your camera. Anything you leave behind, you’ll be reunited with it back in your accommodation later on. Whatever time of year you’re travelling to Hong Kong, it can get quite hot, sweaty, and humid. A great option to stay comfy and (relatively) dry, is a bag with a space for air between your back and the pack itself.
Be prepared to get hot
As we’ve already said, it can be quite hot and humid when you visit Hong Kong. Between March and November, most months high temperatures will be above 25 degrees Celsius, even over 30. So, you might have some cool hiking gear, but do bear in mind that it may not be suitable for hiking here! Summer clothes like shorts, t-shirts, baseball caps, and skirts will all hopefully keep you from overheating on those hot hiking trails.
Sunscreen is one of the most important things to bring with you, as on a wide-open hiking trail, that hot sun can be relentless. And you don’t want to miss out on another hiking trail because you’re sheltering inside from those UV rays.
One of the downsides of Hong Kong is that the weather is often unpredictable. So even though in the morning, there may be brilliant sunshine and no clouds in the sky, don’t let that fool you. It’s a rookie error to go out without a waterproof, no matter when you travel. In the cooler months from December to February, consider something a little heavier. For the rest of the year, something lightweight that can easily fold up into your day pack should suffice. Quick drying and lightweight travel pants are also a great idea to keep try. Not only will they protect you from the rain, but they’ll save plenty of space in your pack too.
Even if you’re not going hiking in Hong Kong, it’s a great idea to have sturdy walking boots or trainers. There’s so much to see in the city that you will spend the majority of the day on your feet exploring, so you’ll need support. However, if you’re reading this post you probably are going hiking, so keep reading. Specialist hiking shoes will assist you on the rough and uneven tracks like the Po Toi and Lung Ha Wan country trails. They’ll also provide you with extra grip should you find the track wet and slippery. On the subject of footwear, it’s not just about having an appropriate pair of shoes. Socks are important too. Pick up a wool or synthetic blend to keep your feet dry and minimise the risk of blisters. Avoid cotton, as that attracts moisture and leaves your feet prone to rubbing and blisters. That can easily ruin your hike.
Sometimes it can be hard to decide what’s essential and what’s not on a hike. But you do need to be ruthless. An overweight and heavy pack can ruin your experience of hiking, and you certainly don’t want that! Although it’s a lovely idea to read a book on top of a mountain during a break, things that add extra weight and you’re not 100% sure you’ll use can be left back in your accommodation. If you can’t decide what’s essential and what’s not, just ask yourself if you could live without it for 8 hours. If the answer is yes, leave it behind! Make sure you don’t leave anything behind anything important on your hotel or on the
place where you stay. And speaking of a place to stay, there are lots of vacation rentals in Hong Kong so there’s no need to worry as they are very comfortable so you can relax and chill after your hike.
Toiletries are an important one when it comes to essentials. They’re some of the weightiest objects we take on holiday with us, and a lot of the time we don’t use them all. However, the two biggies that you’ll need for your hiking adventures in Hong Kong are sunscreen and insect spray. Don’t forget ‘em. Hand sanitiser is a good idea too, especially just before eating.
Keep yourself hydrated
Although pretty much every trail in Hong Kong is a day hike or less, it can feel a lot longer if you’re not hydrated. If you can, at least 2 litres of water is recommended but that can take up a lot of space in your pack. If possible, take a water-backpack rather than bottles of water. As you’ll no doubt want to dispose of plastic responsibly, you’ll be carrying them back down with you too. They will at least be lighter though, and that’s way better than being dehydrated in the hot Hong Kong sun.
It can be tricky to plan adventures in a different country. To find the best hikes in Hong Kong, why not search out a little bit of expert help? Wild Hong Kong is one of the top adventure and eco-tourism operators in the country, and they’re on hand to help you with any questions and queries you might have about your trip. They offer a number of day tours of the coolest hiking spots in HK, including the Dragon’s Back Trail, and sunrise and sunset climbs of the mountains surrounding the city.
Trip101 is a one-stop travel guide, offering the latest guides on different ways to travel and places to check out. Featuring content contributed by travel writers and enthusiasts, showcasing top hotels, Trip101 features the best vacation rentals and private accommodations for your travels.
(Photos by Rory Mackay of Wild Hong Kong)