Never Go Hiking Without These 8 Essential Tools
- 27 Oct, 2015
Every hiker has her own routine while packing for the next hike. While certain supplies are always more critical than others, what you bring will also depend on the type of hike, where the hike is, and what season it is when you’re going. With that said, there are some things that you should bring on every hike no matter what. These hiking essentials are critical to any hike and could even save your life.
1. Navigation Tools
Even if you’ve gone hiking in the area before, you will always want tools to help you navigate and find your way back if you need help. You can bring a compass or a map, but it’s often best to bring both.
Sun protection is important, even when it’s not particularly sunny outside. You’ll be hiking under the sun for hours, and SPF 15 sunscreen is the minimum protection you'll want.
3. Tools for Starting a Fire
Waterproof matches, fire starters, candles—these can all be very important supplies and are hiking essentials. A fire can keep you warm and help you cook food.
4. First Aid Kit
It’s virtually unheard of to go through a whole hike without getting a couple nicks and cuts. Though you may be tempted to leave these alone, you should make sure to treat and cover any serious wounds right away. If you have a more serious injury, you will be very glad you have a first aid kit with you.
You won’t realize how much you wish you had a flashlight until you don’t have one. There’s no residual light from streetlights or windows to help you see once it starts getting dark.
6. Extra Clothing
No matter how short you think your hike will be, you should prepare some extra clothing just in case. Your clothes could get ripped, torn, or soaked with water. Waterproof clothing and warmer clothing are good to pack just in case.
7. Extra Food
Your body needs nutrition, and if you get lost or suffer some other type of setback, you need to make sure you have the energy to keep moving and get back to a safe area.
8. Extra Water
Water is the single most important hiking essential, and you may need a lot more water than you realize. Plan on bringing about 1 pint of water for every hour you're out hiking. That means you should bring about 2 liters / half a gallon for a 4 hour hike. For longer hikes and overnight stays be sure to bring a purification method. Being dehydrated is dangerous, so always remember to pack extra water to be safe.
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