Hiking across a lava field, such as those found in the Hawaiian Islands, requires a little extra planning than a regular hike. In addition to packing items such as a basic first-aid kit and a cell phone, you will need to plan to bring extra water and extra protection for your feet and your skin. Unlike hiking through mountains or rain forests, lava fields are harsh, arid environments with lots of uneven terrain and almost no shade.
Bring Proper Hiking Shoes
Even the smoothest looking lava can shred the soles from your sneakers, so you will need to wear shoes with thick soles. In addition, when walking on an uneven surface such as lava, it helps to wear a good hiking shoe that protects the ankle so you don't twist it. Consider bringing a hiking stick with you to help you on your hike. In addition, if you're planning to bring your dog with you, remember to protect your companion's delicate feet. Some pet stores and online outlets such as Neopaws sell neoprene booties, which are perfect for protecting your dog's feet when hiking through a lava field.
Bring Extra Water
You will find little shade when typically walking through a lava field. Between the radiant heat from the lava causing you to perspire more and the fact that lava tends to suck up all moisture from the ground, you will likely find yourself more dehydrated than you normally would be on a hike. Consider bringing some energy bars with you as well.
Protect Your Skin
Because there is almost no shade in a lava field, make sure you are wearing plenty of sun protection. Consider wearing long pants and a shirt to cover yourself up when it gets too hot. In addition to providing protection from the sun, it will also help prevent you from getting scraped up if you do take a stumble. Sunglasses and a large, wide-brimmed hat are also highly recommended.
Bring a Cell Phone and Tell Someone Where You're Going
A cell phone may not get reception where you are hiking, so it is important to tell someone where you are going beforehand. Consider bringing a GPS in case you do get lost on the lava field. Make sure your cell phone has a full charge and bring spare batteries for your GPS, just in case.