You Should Bring These Things on Hikes

  1. Sturdy Shoes – Whether venturing out on a one day hike or hiking over several days your feet are going to take a beating. It is imperative that you wear appropriate footwear that is both comfortable and will provide your feet with adequate protection from the surfaces you will be hiking over.                                                                      hiking-boots
  1. Navigation Tools – A GPS unit that is designed for hiking can be an invaluable tool for finding water, potential camp sites and to indicate the best exit route in an emergency but it is important to remember that GPS relies on satellite signals therefore it may not work in certain areas. Always carry a map and compass with you also.
  1. Extra Water – Dehydration, hypothermia and altitude sickness can all occur very quickly when the body is deprived of sufficient water. Always carry more water than you think you will need and bear in mind that physical activity raises the minimum water requirement. In addition, unless you can find a guaranteed clean water source on your hiking route it is wise to bring along purification tablets or similar.                                            91qbkhtcngl
  1. Additional Food – While you may have set out with the intention of only hiking for 3 or 4 hours you may find yourself taking a longer than expected break at a stream, or going further than originally planned. In addition to snacks to keep your energy levels up you should take enough food to keep you from becoming hungry should your return be delayed.
  1. Warm Clothing and Wet Weather Gear – Weather changes can occur suddenly and while you may have set out on your hike in warm sunshine you may find yourself hiking in rain and cold before you are able to get back to shelter. Always carry some form of protection from the rain and extra layers of warm clothing. Cotton should be avoided because it traps moisture in against your skin. A hat is an essential item no matter what weather you are hiking in.                                                                                                                                                                     female hiker warms hands with stove on cold morning wild camping at Horseid beach, Moskenesøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
  1. Safety Equipment – At the very least you should carry a means to make fire i.e. matches or lighter, a flashlight or headlamp and a loud whistle. If for any reason you get lost you will need to build a fire to not only keep warm but as a signal of your location for rescuers to find you. A fire will also help you avoid hypothermia and can be used to boil water for hot drinks. A flashlight or headlamp will enable you to see your map or the path ahead of you should you still be out when it gets dark. The whistle is for you to call for help and direct rescuers to your location. It should be blown in 3 short bursts to signify that you are in trouble and need help.
  1. First Aid Kit – While this is an item that you hope to never need to use it may prove essential to your survival should you suffer an injury while out hiking. It should be well-stocked with all of the basic necessities. In addition, every member of your hiking party should be proficient in administering first aid.
  1. Multi-Purpose Tool and Knife – Equipped with a variety of tools such as a knife, screwdrivers, bottle opener, rasp, saw blade and others a multi-tool can be a lifesaver in an emergency. A sharp knife is also a handy item to take on your hike.                                                                                                                                                       gerber-diesel
  1. Sun Protection – In addition to a hat you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare of the sun, and off snow if hiking above the tree line. Sunscreen should be applied often as per the instructions on the bottle to prevent sunburn.
  1. Backpack – Regardless of how short or long your hike will be a backpack is essential for carrying all of the other essential items in. You want to have your hands free in case you slip or need to grab onto something to maintain balance. Remember that you may be carrying the backpack for several hours before being able to take it off so padded shoulder straps and adequate padding against your back is vitally important.