Hiking is a lot of fun. But, before we start planning our new adventure and ask our bosses for a day off, we need to start thinking about our safety. Hiking isn’t exactly dangerous, but – it can become so. And especially if you don’t pack for it properly. That is why we have created a list of the 10 must-remember items for your hiking pack. Keep on reading to ensure a safe trip!
Your safety comes first
No matter what type of hiking adventure you are planning on having, you need to consider every possible aspect of this adventure before it starts. It will help you prepare for what’s to come, and even more importantly – it will ensure your safety. Safety is vitally important, especially if you are up for a demanding hiking trip. High country hiking trips are beautiful, but also volatile. And there is a thin line between a great day in nature and a rescue mission. So – play it smart and prepare your hiking pack in advance. You will thank yourself in the end.
Preparing for the worst possible scenario might sound scary, but is also something that will ensure you have a safe hiking experience.
This one seems pretty obvious, but – it is also something most people forget when going on a hiking trip. And even if you remember to bring it from home, there is a possibility that you’ll forget it somewhere along the trail. That is why you should consider bringing more water than you think that you’ll need. Dehydration is a real threat when hiking and exposing yourself to this kind of physical activity, and an extra bottle of water can and will come in handy.
Another thing you should remember, and especially if you are going for a hike in the mountains, is that water can help you overcome problems that come with higher altitudes. Signs of altitude sickness such as nausea, headaches, and fatigue can be reduced and even prevented by drinking water slowly but frequently over several hours.
Everybody brings food on hiking trips, and this one isn’t something new. However, not everybody brings the right kind of nutrients that will help them stay on track. Hiking is a difficult activity. It burns around five hundred calories an hour, and bringing one simple snack won’t cut it this time. On the other hand, hiking means sweating. And that is okay, and even healthy. However, in order to survive and enjoy longer trails and more demanding routes, you will need all the resources you can get. A simple lunch won’t be enough. Bring snacks, and try to choose them wisely. You will need some candy, fruit, high-energy bars and some granola. Salty foods will help you overcome the feeling of sickness. Sweets will boost your energy levels. And snacks with sodium will help with sweating.
Make sure to check the forecast before packing your clothes for the hiking trip. Prepare yourself for the changing weather and bring extra clothes just in case. Consider every angle. Think – layers. You will need clothes that are comfortable and easy to be active in. But, you will also want items that dry easily and provide you with the optimal level of protection at all times. Think about UV rays, rain, terrain, and insects. All these factors can ruin your hiking trip. Here are some must-haves:
- Moisture-wicking underwear
- Quick-drying T-shirts and pants or shorts
- Long sleeve shirt
- Lightweight jacket
If you are hiking somewhere unfamiliar, pack a map or a digital guide. If you are not using a hard copy, make sure to bring your power bank as well, because you can’t let your battery get low or your phone die. Another smart thing to do is to download an offline map, it will use less battery power and make things easier. Also, it is quite useful if you’re not sure if the area you are planning to visit has a good internet signal.
Accidents happen. All the time. And they don’t have to be major or life-threatening, but having some medication or a first aid kit at hand is more than useful. Another thing to consider when planning to spend a day or two in nature is – allergies. Make sure to bring your allergy meds with you and make your hike more enjoyable.
Don’t let cool temperatures fool you. High altitude means being exposed to the sun. And we all know where that leads us to. That is why you should bring at least one of these things with you (if not all of them):
Finding your way during the day is quite simple. But, your hike can last longer than expected and it wouldn’t be a surprise if you found yourself in the middle of nowhere late in the day. That is where flashlights would come in handy. Again, you can use your phone to light the way, but you should consider your battery level before turning to this option.
You can never know where you’ll end up once you go on your hiking trip, and that is why you need your personal items with you at all times. Don’t forget to bring your credit card (or even better – cash), personal ID and phone charger.
Tools and repair items
Make sure to bring the means to start a fire in case of an emergency. Also, bring your watch in order to keep time and estimate your speed and the remaining distance. GPS devices are optional, and not all hikers need them, but they can come in handy. Whistle – if you are planning on taking your hike in the mountains, a whistle can come in handy. A knife or a repair tool is also something you should consider bringing. They will add just a little weight, but can really serve you during your hike.
You know what they say – pictures or it didn’t happen. Bring your camera with you and capture the best moments of your hiking trip. Enjoy your trip!
Anna White is a blogger, world traveler and a proud mother of two. She is currently working at verifiedmovers.com helping Americans make their relocation simple and easy. However, her main occupation is making life easier for everybody – moving or not.