6 Essential Items to Bring on a Hiking Trip

Hiking can be fun and exciting but it can also be dangerous if you are ill prepared. A few rules you should hike by are to always tell someone where your going and when they should expect you to return. That way if you are hurt or injured and unable to retrieve help you have someone to realize that you should be home and something may be wrong. Also if you hike with a buddy or group whenever possible it can diminish your chances of having to wait for help to arrive and you won’t have to go it alone should something happen. You have a better chance at surviving if help comes in a few days rather than weeks. When heading out for a hiking trip there are some definite basic items you should bring along. This article will go over the most important items and give a brief run-down of everything else.

The most important has to be food and water. Without either you most definitely will not survive, however you can survive much longer without food than you can without water, so conservation of water is probably the most important plan to implement during your trip. You can carry water with you in several canteens but don’t drink it just because you have it. Drink enough to stay hydrated and save what you can in case of an emergency. Remember anything can happen at anytime, don’t assume you won’t need it. If you take no other advice at least conserve your water. As for food, you of course won’t be able to have a three course meal with you but try to carry enough energy bars to not only satisfy you for the length of your trip but also extra to keep you alive for at least a week if not more.

Cell phone and a compass are also essential items. In this day and age we have an advantage over hikers in the past. We have the ability to contact people no matter where we are and during an emergency in an isolated area that can be what saves your life. Always make sure you battery is charged and if you don’t get a signal the first time try moving to a different location if possible. If you are not able to move then keep checking often! There are many factors that can affect cell phone signals and sometimes even if you don’t get one the first time that doesn’t mean that you won’t get one eventually. A compass can be very important not only if you get lost but also if you call for help you can then aid rescuers in figuring out where you might be. A GPS device may be a more important asset but just in case it stops working have a backup plan. Technology is dependant on power and can be unpredictable and unreliable but a compass will almost always work.

Last but not least, always bring a blanket and your first aid kit. A blanket is always needed even in summer. In many places in can be quite cold at night even if it is hot during the day and especially if it rains. This is even more important to keep in mind if you are hiking in an area where you are not familiar with the climate or if you are hiking up a tall mountain as it cooler at higher altitudes. Your first aid kit is important because an unprotected wound can easily get infected in the wilderness which can lead to serious problems even after you return home safely.

A few other things that might keep you comfortable, although may not be necessary for survival, are sun block, a thin long-sleeved shirt, and a hat. These items will limit your exposure to the sun and decrease your chances of getting a bad burn. You might also want to bring a pillow to sit on as an alternative to the ground or to sleep on and a cool pair of shoes, such as sandals. These are to wear during long rest stops to let your feet out of your hiking boot and cool off. It will be refreshing. Remember to pack these items and you should do well. Stay safe and have fun!

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