Getting ready for a hiking trip? While you don’t need a big number of items, there are various essentials. These will ensure your safety, help you deal with emergencies and give you comfort in the respective place that you plan to visit.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a newbie, a checklist for your hiking gear will prevent you from forgetting something important. Here are a few of the essentials that should be with you at any given time.
A Good Backpack
A good quality backpack is the heart and soul of every hiking trip. Depending on the duration of the hike, you can choose among various backpacks. The biggest ones have a capacity exceeding 70 liters and they will enable you to bring items for at least four to five days of hiking.
There are many other essentials to explore. A backpack should be made of a lightweight and tough material like nylon or polyester. Waterproof packs are best for outdoor adventures. Other important characteristics include lumbar support and vents, sufficient padding, mesh pockets for beverages and snacks, a hip belt and compression straps.
A Camping Bed
Camping beds come in many shapes and sizes. Most hikers prefer air beds because they’re lightweight and very comfortable. If you plan to spend more than one night in the mountain, this is one of the essentials to look for.
When choosing a camping bed, think about the weather you’re going to encounter, the level of comfort and padding that you need, the additional weight you’ll be capable of carrying around and the ease of setup.
Map, Compass and GPS
You should be capable of getting around and finding the direction, regardless of the place and your level of experience. Some people feel comfortable enough with a compass and a map. Others prefer to rely on hi-tech gadgets like smart watches or GPS devices.
A GPS device can be quite handy in the case of an emergency. It gives you a good idea about your location and where a rescue team should be sent upon necessity. Thus, you need your GPS and a fully-charged mobile phone at any given time.
Weather in the mountain is quite fickle. It can be sunny in the morning and freezing cold one hour later. You should bring enough clothes to address all kinds of environmental phenomena.
A few of the essentials to include in the checklist are a waterproof jacket, insulating underwear, thick and soft socks, a hat, gloves, hiking pants and comfortable hiking shoes. Obviously, there will be seasonal variations. Still, you should be prepared for cold weather even in the middle of summer.
A First Aid Kid
Injuries and emergencies do occur in the mountain. You should have the medicinal supplies to address the problem before it becomes more serious.
A first aid kid is an absolute essential to bring to your trip. It’s needed to treat minor injuries, address a fever or an allergic reaction. Think about the medical conditions that you suffer from and have enough of the medications you usually take. Supplies needed to address minor injuries include an antiseptic, tweezers, band aids and bandages.
Knife and Fire Starting Supplies
A quality knife is an absolute necessity. Swiss Army knives are perfect because they contain multiple tools in a small package. A typical Swiss Army knife comes with a knife, pliers, self-sharpening scissors, tweezers, a wood saw, a file, etc. There could be some variations – look for the kit that features the essentials you’ll need.
Apart from a knife, you’ll also need equipment to start a fire. Some of the essentials include matches, a lighter, fire starters and a waterproof box (usually made of metal). Keeping your fire starting supplies in such a box will enable you to get yourself warm and to prepare a meal even in the middle of a downpour.
Though the wind could keep you refreshed throughout the day, sun in the mountain can cause severe burns.
Hikers should use strong sunscreen on all of the exposed body parts. There are products especially designed for the needs of outdoor enthusiasts rather than beach-goers. Look for this specialized sunscreen variety.
There are several other products you can use to protect yourself from the harsh sun. Lip balm with SPF, sunglasses that have UV filtration and a hat are all needed.