If you want to push yourself to new heights and create fun experiences, then you should consider hiking. Hiking allows you to push yourself to reach new destinations, explore the outdoors, and take a break from civilization. Since most hiking trails are in the middle of nowhere, you need to make sure you pack all the necessary supplies to stay safe and be prepared in case of an emergency. Here are a few of the hiking essentials you can’t forget.
Water Filtration System
Since we cannot survive very long without water, it is important to bring a water filtration system when you hike. Packing extra water is always a great idea, but it can become heavy and difficult to carry over time. In case of emergency or if you run out of water, you can use the filtration system to safely drink water that you find in the area. You can filter water chemically by using iodine or chlorine, or physically by boiling the water or using a filtration device. Luckily, filtration devices are now small, convenient, and lightweight, so they are perfect for taking on the hike.
After clean water, another one of the most important hiking essentials you can’t forget is food. You want to make sure you have enough food for at least four to five days, but this number will increase depending on how far away you hike from civilization. If you plan on hiking in a warm climate, make sure the food is sealed and will not spoil. A great option is to carry a few freeze-dried meals in your backpack since they are lightweight and easy to use.
Even if you aren’t planning on spending the night outdoors, it is always a good idea to be prepared and bring a lighter or matches to start a fire. Since the wilderness is unpredictable, it is best to bring these items along just in case you need the fire for warmth and protection from wildlife. If you are hiking in an area with warm temperatures, do not be fooled into thinking that lighters and matches are unnecessary because many places that are warm during the day become cold quickly at night.
First Aid Kit
For any emergencies, a first aid kit is always a handy item to have in your backpack. Before you leave for your trip, double-check the first aid kit to ensure that you have all the necessary supplies to deal with problems such as scrapes, snakebites, broken bones, torn muscles, and more. Hopefully, you will never run into any of these issues, but you should always be prepared just in case.
Because you will be walking to your destination, it is necessary to wear comfortable shoes. Strong and sturdy outdoor boots are a great option, especially if they are waterproof like the ones made by ALTAI®. Since unexpected rain showers can appear without warning, waterproof boots or shoes are the best way to ensure that your feet stay warm and dry.
As previously mentioned, rain and thunderstorms can appear quickly and without warning, so it is important to either pack or wear clothing that is waterproof. If you want to pack something that is lightweight and can go over your clothes, then a waterproof poncho is your best choice. Just make sure that the waterproof clothing or poncho that you take will cover the majority of your body, especially your head.
Knives and Safety Tools
Pocket knives, or multipurpose knives, are a great tool to bring with you when you hike. While a hunting knife is also a great option, it does not possess all of the useful features and tools of a multipurpose knife. It is important to note that you do not need a large pocketknife that has every tool imaginable attached—just a simple knife with a couple of tools is all you really need. For any dangerous wildlife, a knife, a strong walking stick, pepper spray, and an airhorn are a few examples of items you can bring for your protection. Even with these tools, the safest option is to hike with a group of people who will be able to help you with any threatening animals.
Headlamp or Flashlight
Even if you aren’t planning on hiking at night, a small headlamp or flashlight should always be tucked away in your backpack. There may be an unplanned situation where you need to spend the night outdoors, and a flashlight or headlamp makes the experience a lot easier. Also, a few extra batteries are great items to pack if your flashlight or headlamp is battery-powered. If you bring a solar-powered light, charge it the day before or attach it to the outside of your backpack so it can face the sun while you walk.
Bug Spray and Sunscreen
Constantly swatting at mosquitoes and flies is annoying and tiresome, so remember to bring the bug spray. In addition, sunscreen is also a necessity, even if the sky is cloudy. Unfortunately, the clouds will not protect your skin or your eyes from sunburn. Sunglasses or a large hat are two of the best methods for protecting your eyes from the sun. Some people refuse to wear sunscreen on hikes because they do not see or feel a sunburn. However, exposure to the sun for long periods of time can cause skin cancer, so remember to wear sunscreen to protect your skin even if you do not burn easily.
Most people rely on their phone for GPS, but many remote hiking trails do not have cell phone reception. A map is generally the best way to track your distance and stay on track to your destination. Sometimes, a compass can be used to find the correct route, and it is easiest to use the map along with the compass in case you wander off the trail. Tracking your location on the map is the simplest way to note your progress and know your location at all times.
After packing these essentials for your hiking trip, you are ready to get out there and start exploring. To summarize, you should bring a water filtration system, extra food, lighters or matches, a first aid kit, comfortable shoes, waterproof clothing, knives and safety tools, flashlights or headlamps, bug spray and sunscreen, and navigation instruments. In the wilderness, try to be aware of your surroundings at all times and hike with a group if possible. On your next hiking trip, make sure you are well-prepared, be safe, and have fun.