Gloves are one of the most overlooked items to pack for a hike by rookie hikers. Maybe second to footwear, they could among the most important. Gloves do more then just keep your hands warm in the winter, they also protect the hands from scratches and abrasions from underbrush, can prevent blisters if you are climbing or using a survival tool and just in general, cushion your hands.

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In the event you injure a leg or foot, you might be forced to use your hands to propel you to safety. Without gloves, this can cause a lot of stress and skin damage. Even simple tasks like using a rope to steady yourself while crossing a stream or crevice can cause injury to your fingers or hand palms with skin tears, blisters or other sores. In the event you need to use a rope to climb or descend a slope, gloves are likely the only thing that will result in you making it safely and you possibly loosing your grip.

Of course in the obvious circumstance that your hands become wet and cold, gloves are the obvious choice. While you could put your hands in your pockets to help warm them up, it is awkward and dangerous to try and walk a trail without your hands to brace and balance you.

Some of the sample gloves listed below are specially designed to work with cellphone touch screens. Others even have the finger ends cut off so that your have access to the tips of your fingers for more delicate activities while still keeping your hands and the majority of your fingers protected. One option to considered when you are glove shopping is to but a slightly larger pair of outer shells and thermal/insulating inner liners so you can beef up during extra cold situations.

Your hands are just as important as your feet and should be cared for appropriately. In some ways the hands are more important because you will need them to operate a cellphone, 2-way radio, personal locator beacon or even an emergency alert whistle to summon help and assistance.

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Courtesy T. Turner – As far as the eyes can see