5 Essentials for Any Hiking Adventure
Worldwide - Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Whether you will be enjoying a casual one or two hour hike, a day hike, or will be hiking in the mountains or forest for several days—you must ensure that you plan ahead and pack the 5 essentials below. Depending on the terrain, length of your hike, weather, and how populated the trail—the quantity and quality of each of these items will vary.
It is essential to wear appropriate shoes designed for the terrain you will be hiking. Appropriate shoes are essential for safety on the trail and comfort during long hikes. If you are hiking in warm weather, there are many options in hiking sandals—although boots may be your best option. To help prevent blistering, break your shoes in prior to your hike—and wear socks designed to prevent chaffing.
Map and Compass
Even if your hiking adventure is along a clearly mapped out trail, you must be prepared for the unexpected. This makes it essential to bring a map of the trail, or map of the mountain, you will be hiking—and a compass to help guide you in the right direction.
Protection from the Elements
You must take the time to learn the traditional weather in the area you will be hiking so that you can pack and prepare accordingly. Also, check the weather during the day or days you will be hiking. This will help to ensure you are dressed appropriately, and that you pack the layers, protective gear, and supplies you require. This includes everything from sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, rain gear, cold weather gear, warm weather gear and waterproof gear. Don’t forget that even if you are hiking on a warm day, it can get drastically cooler in the early morning hours, and night. This makes it a good idea to bring some extra layers just in case.
Food and Water
Even if you will only be hiking for a couple hours and don’t plan to eat during your hike, take the time to throw a couple protein bars in your bag, just in case. As mentioned in the emergency supplies section below, you also want to bring a survival kit, which will help to sustain you. Also, bring more water than you think you will need, and familiarize yourself with the items that are safe to forage in the trail, mountain, or forest you will be hiking. Don’t forget to pack a water purifier, and matches that are protected in a waterproof container.
The type of emergency supplies required depends largely on where you will be hiking, and how long you will be hiking. At the very least, it is wise to take a first aid kit and an emergency survival kit. This way if someone is injured, or if for any reason you need to stay the night outdoors—or stay more nights than expected, that you will have the supplies you need. Depending on the specifics of your hike, consider emergency supplies such as:
- Utility Knife
- Outdoor Tools and Equipment
- Hand Warmers
- Snake Bite Kit
- Flashlight and/or Headlamp w/ Backup Batteries
- Hygiene Needs—toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bag for garbage, etc.
Aside from the hiking essentials above, make sure that friends or family members know where you will be hiking and when you are expected to return.
Hiking is one of the most physically, mentally and spiritually enriching activities you can do for your body. Making sure you’re adequately prepared for your hike only adds to the experience. Discover new lands and get some inspiration to get-up-and-go with the travel writing from The Maritime Explorer, Dale Dunlop. As a Canadian travel explorer, Dale has sought out some of the most exciting adventures the world has to offer. Follow Dale on his lifelong adventure, and remember that no matter what you seek, an adventure is always just around the corner.
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