Hello and welcome back. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I spent mine in Utah with family and experiencing some great hiking trails. Last week we explored how to get started hiking. So, this week we are going to talk about Hiking Essentials.
When going on a hike, there are some key items that are essential to bring with you on your trek. Whether it’s your first-time hiking, or you’re an avid hiker, it’s always a good idea to check, and re-check that you are bringing everything you need with you. Below are 7 of the most packed hiking essentials you will need for your next hiking trip!
Most Packed Hiking Essentials
This is the one of the most important essentials needed while hiking. Seeing as there are so many different devices that contribute to your navigation, I just grouped them all in one so that more essentials can be added.
A map, a compass, and a gps are recommended when it comes to navigating your way through your trail. A map of the trail and a compass are mainly recommended, and a GPS if you have the ability. Most people nowadays use their cell phones, but you can’t always rely on them. It’s important to learn how to read a map and a compass if you’re venturing out into the wilderness. Learn the map of the area and the trail, or trails you’ll be hiking.
The more familiar you make yourself with the trail markers and landmarks around the area, and just the area itself, the more prepared you will be. As for learning how to read a compass, what you mainly need to learn is how to find north. Once you’ve got that down, paired with your map reading skills, you’ll find yourself prepared and knowledgeable even if you don’t have a gps.
2 Protection from the sun.
It doesn’t matter whether you go hiking during the summer, or winter, sun protection is still needed. The sun can get brutal when you’ve been hiking all day, and even if you think you’re fine because the weather is nice, or it’s cool, the sun can still do damage so it’s better to be protected.
A hat, sunscreen, and chap stick are recommended. At times, sunglasses may be helpful, especially if you’re going hiking in snow. The sun reflects off the white snow making it that much more sensitive to our eyes. If you’re extremely sensitive to the sun, then sun-block clothing is another option.
3 Food and Water.
Whether you’re just going on a quick hike, a day hike, or a multi-day hike, also known as backpacking, it’s extremely important to recognize and pack the right amount of food and water that will last for the duration of your adventure.
If you have a backpack that has a water pack as well, like Camelbak for example, I suggest using one of those. They’re convenient because some can hold up to 3 liters, yet still have enough room to carry everything else you need.
If you’re actively hiking, it’s suggested that you drink at least a liter every 2 hours. You may need more or less water depending on the temperature and the level of activity.
Nutrition and healthy eating habits play a vital role while actively hiking. Some healthy snacks to bring on your hike include energy bars, dried fruits, nuts and even a sandwich. As long as you have a good balance of fat, protein, carbs and energy, you’ll still feel good after a day of hiking.
4 First aid kit.
A lot of things can happen on the trail, so it’s important to be prepared for what you can handle. You can purchase a premade first aid kit from any outdoor store. They even have small compact ones that can fit in your backpack. Unless you’d rather save a little money and make your own. Then a little research and some bargain shopping can lead to a great first aid kit.
5 A knife or leatherman style multi-tool.
I’ve learned that while hiking, some sort of knife or tool really helps while out on the trail. A multi-tool is a great device because it has a variety of tools that can assist you in numerous occasions. I have a small leatherman that I keep hooked inside my hiking backpack, and it’s helped me out more times than I can count!
6 A few layers never hurt.
There are a lot of factors when it comes to what to wear and what extra clothing you need to bring. Location is a main factor, not to mention what time of the year you’ll be going. But the weather outdoors can be unpredictable, and temperatures can really plummet once that sun sets. So, an extra layer of clothing may be what you need if you’re hiking in a mildly chilly climate. Never underestimate the weather. I make sure I always bring a light jacket if I’m hiking anywhere that isn’t in the desert.
7 Flashlight and/or headlamp.
If you’re getting an early start before the sun comes up, or if you’re going to be out hiking all day, then make sure you pack some flashlights and/or a headlamp. It’s better to be prepared and have some light in case your hike takes longer than expected. You don’t want to be trying to navigate your way down a mountain in the dark. Make sure you carry extra batteries as well.
Bring extra socks. I am not going to go into detail on this one, but trust me. You don’t want your foot looking like this.
That concludes part two in my get hiking seriese. Incase you missed part one How to get Started, click here. and stop back by next week when I am talking about Best Hikes for 2018. If you haven’t already make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to stay inspired by great travel ideas and tips. That are sure to make you work less and travel more. Until next time I am Dustin Hall and it has been a pleasure.