Want to go on hiking trips, but you always struggle with what to take?
Or you always manage to take too many or not enough things that you need when going on an adventure into the wilderness, or anywhere for that matter? I know I do, my wife is always telling me I’ve got too much gear, and after lugging it about for a few hours, I usually end up agreeing with her!
Well here is a list of basic things you should pack for your next hiking trip. Just remember to use your common sense as well and adapt the list to the weather conditions, what you’re planning on doing, how long you’re going to be out, the terrain, etc.
When you go on a long hiking trip you lose a lot of fluids by sweating. Every hour you walk you could lose 1/2 to 1 quart of fluids from your body, so staying hydrated it’s vital for your health.
Make sure you have plenty of water with you, or if you are planning to drink water from natural sources, make sure you have a means of purifying it or make sure you boil it first so that it’s safe to drink, you do not want to have a bad tummy in the middle of your great adventure.
It’s good to take extra with you and maybe something to go with it such as tea, coffee or herbal tea, just in case you decide to hike more miles.
2. Maps and GPS
The most important thing when going on a hiking trip is actually to know where you are and where you are going.
Make sure you pack a map or a book of the area, with trails and maps so you’ve got something to follow. Also, pack a compass, but please make sure you know how to use it before heading out on a hiking trip, I’ve met a few people out on the trails that have some good gear, such as a compass but have no idea how to use it with a map.
Try not to rely much on technology, since there are many places in the hills and mountains that are not good with GPS and cell signal coverage is nonexistant.
3. First Aid
It is very important to take some first aid lessons so you would know what to do if you or anyone you’re with has an accident. Along with that knowledge and training, you will know what to do with the First Aid Kit you should always carry!
It may save your life, but at the least, it will help you be more comfortable, and you’ll be able to deal with cuts, knocks and sprains.
When going on a hiking trip it is very important to have a lot of energy to handle the long walk. So make sure food you pack provides good energy for your body, such as fruits, power bars, granola, bagels, dried fruit, peanut butter, candy, etc.
Again, if by any chance your trip takes longer than planned, make sure you pack extra energy bars. They won’t take much space in your backpack and will give you a nice energy boost.
5. Multi-use kit
On hiking trips you may find yourself in many situations where you need some tools, like cutting fruits, carving wood, making a stretcher, making some shelter and many others. Taking a multi-tool or a Swiss Army Knife could be very useful.
6. Rain Jacket
The weather in the hills and mountains is very unpredictable, and you do not want to find yourself in a situation where your health is deteriorating, or you are ill prepared to hike in heavy rain or worse conditions. So having an appropriate top layer Jacket that will protect you is an excellent idea.
You don’t need to pack a tent or something large (unless there’s a group of you, then a lightweight group shelter might be a good thing for someone to carry), but make sure you have a raincoat in your backpack.
7. Fire tool
Usually, you wouldn’t need to start a fire on a hiking trip, but just in case pack the means to make a fire. If you find yourself in an emergency situation where you have a need to start a fire it’s good to know how to, so it’s worth getting some practice before you leave on your trip.
If you take matches, make sure they are in some type of waterproof container.
8. Emergency blanket
Being in an emergency situation is a terrible thing, but it can happen when you are off adventuring. So, just in case, make sure you pack an emergency blanket on the bottom of your pack.
It won’t take up much space since it’s light and small, but it will provide some excellent protection if needed, or you can use it to make a quick shelter.
Make sure you pack an extra pair of socks with you in case you get your wet your feet in a creek or slip in some water. If you walk with wet socks you take the risk of having blisters on your feet, and nobody wants that.
If your boots get wet you might want to wear some waterproof socks so that your feet stay dry in the wet boots.
The weather is often unpredictable in the wilderness and it may change very fast, from being nice and sunny to being cold and windy. So, it is always smart to have a pair of gloves and a hat with you, to get your hands and head cozy and warm when the temperature drops.
So, the next time you go on an adventure in the mountains or a hike in the hills, just make sure you have all of the items above packed and you are good to go.
If you want some help choosing a backpack have a look at this article on Outdoor Revival
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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