Hiking is a great way to get into the great outdoors and really get a look into the rest of the world. It’s often peaceful, quiet, and doesn’t require the same huff and puff exercise that other things do.
But whether you are simply walking up a mountain for the fastest time, or taking a few calming laps around the park after a long day, certain items need to be carried to ensure your safety and enjoyment of the hiking process. You might only need some of these items in emergencies, but when those emergencies strike, having them could save your life.
- The right clothes
Having clothing appropriate for the weather and the terrain is always a boon. Normal walking shoes are great for day long hikes on paths and flat terrain, but a good pair of hiking boots is a must for anything longer than that.
Be sure to wear durable clothing that will help keep you cool in the heat and warm in the cold, as well as a hat for sun protection.
- Rescue items
Getting lost isn’t something anyone plans for, but having a reliable way to make fire, such as a lighter or matchbook can keep you warm, especially if the hiking trip is over multiple days or involves camping. Having flashlights and a whistle can also signal to others that you are in the area, and three short bursts on a whistle is a universal distress signal.
- Extra food and water
An easily refillable set of recycled water bottles will provide for water needs, and bringing extra food is certainly a must. People expend a lot of energy on the trail, and having some extra food will prevent hunger from becoming a problem.
If you’re hiking over several days, bringing at least one or two days’ worth of extra food is helpful in case of an emergency.
- First aid kit and tools
Carrying a basic hiking first aid kit and a Swiss Army knife will help keep your tools repaired and your body healthy. In addition, taking a class that is based in wilderness survival can also help you deal with common hiking issues and injuries.
- A good backpack
Finally, with all this gear it certainly goes without saying that something is needed to carry it all! Having a light, yet storage efficient backpack will help you organize all your supplies, so you can spend less time rummaging around and more time on your hike.
There are a host of other items that you can bring on a hiking trip, such as guidebooks, tents, binoculars, and other clothes to deal with weather and temperature. These five are just the basics, and depending on where your hike takes you, you could supplement them with extras.
However, once all the planning is done, you’ll have a better time on whatever outdoor excursion you plan. Being prepared for everything means that your mind will be able to focus on the world around you, and that’s the true purpose of a hike.