When you go hiking you know that there are certain things that really help and some you can do without. Some are essential- you can’t walk very far in the wrong pair of boots- and some are accessories that make the hiking experience nicer- like a good camera for your memories.

Where does a hiking watch stand in your preparation for hiking? Is it essential to be a specially designed watch or any model would do?

The more you hike, the more you want to go in the wilderness on your own. This means more exploring which takes more specialized gear. A watch for hiking doesn’t just show you the time, but it’s also able to do some other useful things.

A watch and a bit more

There are three main types of watches to choose from: analog, digital or automatic.

Quartz watches are well known for their longer life span and the easy maintenance. As a plus, they are very easy to use and this is why they are very popular.

It’s not that difficult to read an analog watch either and you also don’t have to worry about adjusting it. You only need to change the date from time to time. However, reading an analog watch takes some getting used to, and this is why it’s not the most popular choice.

When it comes to versatility, there’s no competing with a digital watch. The digital watch is very popular among military personnel, public safety officers, as it has several options and many functions. The digital watches may be solar or battery operated and can take heavy use. They can sure take some dropdowns and don’t need a reset that often.

Most of the hiking watches are quartz/digital as they are easy to read and designed to take the heavy use.

Automatic watches are a bit more fragile than the quartz watches and require an analog output. They don’t make a great choice for outdoor activities as the limbs may move too quickly, in a sudden way.

When it comes to the features of your hiking watch, a very important one is the way the watch is lighted for night use. Lumen is a feature met on many analog watches and it’s easily charged by a light source.

You can find digital watches with electroluminescent backlighting which brings light to the LCD screen evenly.

Look also for watches with very stark differences between the timing function and the background. It’s easier and faster to read like this. The best option when hiking, is a watch with a black dial and very bright/fluorescent numbers.