If you’re thinking about doing something exciting this summer, why not try hiking? Hiking’s a recreational activity that not a lot of people regard at first, but enjoy once they get outside and on the trail. Some people might find hiking a little intimidating, but it’s not at all hard to get prepared for a hiking trip.
Plenty of hiking trails exist. If you check your city’s resources, usually their official website, you’re likely to find resources about hiking trails located somewhere in your city. You’ll also see accounts from people who have already gone hiking on those trails. Some accounts are exciting enough to inspire you to go hiking.
But before you head out to hike, it’s important to get prepared for the trip. One of the best ways to get prepared for a hiking trip involves researching and buying the equipment you need. After all, you can’t head outside, usually in the wilderness, and not have the right equipment and supplies around to keep yourself and/or your party safe. Having the right supplies and equipment is pretty essential when it comes to hiking, so in this article, we’re going to review 10 things you should always bring with you when you’re heading out on your first hike.
Top 10 Things You Need To Bring On Your First Hike
Hiking trips are pretty simple to plan, but you still need to do enough prep work before you head out. Fortunately, most prep work for a hiking trip simply involves buying the right equipment that you will need for the trip. The following 10 things are absolute essentials that anyone should take along.
In the past, a map and compass were the navigation essentials for hikers. In recent times, most people take along a GPS device to help successfully map out and follow their hiking route. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need a compass and map.
Compasses don’t require batteries to operate and make an indispensable navigation tool in cases where you can’t utilize a GPS device. You’ll also need a topographic map of the area where you’re hiking, so you’ll know where you’re going without getting lost along the way.
2. Sun Protection
Sun protection is essential, especially during hot summer months. Sunglasses and sunscreen comprise all the sun protection that you’ll need. Choose a pair of sunglasses that block 100 percent ultraviolet light (both UVA and UVB rays). It’s also best to get sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or SPF 30 for extra protection.
3. Extra clothing
Sometimes, weather may turn different when you’re out on the trail. This is why taking along extra clothing is essential. Some of the most common extra clothing options include extra underwear, an insulating hat, extra socks and a light jacket or vest.
4. Light sources
During evening hours, you’ll likely need an additional source of light. Headlamps are very suitable for hiking trips in the back country, since they’re lightweight, compact and have long battery life. Don’t forget to take along extra lanterns or a flashlight if you’re traveling with a party. Batteries are pretty much essential, as well, so take a long a few packs.
5. First aid kits
Every hiker should take along a good first aid kit. Plenty of retailers sell fully stocked first aid kits for all sorts of occasions. Look out for kits that contain bandages of all sizes (adhesive and non-adhesive), blister treatments, gauze pads, adhesive tape, OTC pain medication, disinfecting ointment and latex gloves. Don’t forget to get a guide about treating medical injuries.
If you need to start a campfire sources, waterproof matches are best to get the fire going. You can also pack regular matches in a waterproof container. Convenience store match books typically don’t work as well, however. Lighters, too, are essential fire sources to take if you need to start a campfire.
Don’t forget to pack a compact firestarter element, too. Dry tinder, candles, chipped wood clusters and even dryer lint trappings all help start campfires for the right occasion.
7. Repair and tool kit
If you’re taking an extended hike, a repair and tool kit is absolutely essential. The idea tool and repair kit includes a basic foldout knife, two flathead screwdrivers, foldout scissors, a can opener and a roll of strong duct tape.
It’s important to pack at least a day’s worth of food. Ideally, you want to pack enough food to cover three meals per person in your party. No-cook food items that store well typically make the best choices for a hiking trip. That fare typically includes trail mix, energy bars, nuts, jerky and dried fruits.
For short hiking trips, taking along a few water bottles (per person in your party) is essential. But if you’re going to take an extended hike throughout a particularly forest area, it’s imperative to take along a few other supplies. Water storage and a good water filtration system are essential for any extended hiking trip.
10. Emergency Shelter
Even if you don’t think so, emergency shelter is essential for all hikers, whether they’re out on a short day trip or a long overnight hike. Common shelter options include lightweight tent and/or tarp, an emergency space blanket, a bivy sack and trash bags.