Get Outside: 8 Things to Pack When Hiking
Hiking is becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to exercise and connect with nature. Whether hiking in the mountains or on paved trails in parks, there are some essential things hikers should have before heading out. Here’s a quick list.
Travel Tips: Top 8 Things to Pack When Hiking
Compass and Map
A few days before leaving, get a map and study it to know the terrain, trails and distance. Also make sure you are comfortable with a compass. For the best experience, practice in the backyard or neighborhood beforehand.
Staying hydrated, especially in extreme cold and hot weather, is very important. Bring extra water or sports drinks, and if you plan drinking from the area’s water sources, boil the water for at least 1 minute to avoid ingesting bacteria. Some hikers also prefer to pack portable filtration systems.
Just as important as water, pack plenty of snacks. Granola bars, fruits and protein-rich foods – such as peanut butter, beef jerky and nuts. These foods will provide energy as well as keep hunger pains at bay.
Always plan for an emergency. A small first-aid kit should include antiseptic, band aids and bandages, instant ice and heat packs, burn cream, insect repellent and tweezers. Also read up on how to handle basic injuries that could occur when hiking, so you know exactly what to do.
Pack anti-UVB/UVA sunglasses to shield eyes from harmful sun rays. Also pack rain gear including a poncho, and make sure hiking boots are water resistant. You also want to pack an extra pair of socks or boots in case something prevents you from continuing your hike. Gloves will also come in handy, especially in cold and wooded areas.
Phone, Portable Chargers
A small portable phone charger will ensure you have a full battery, especially after taking pictures and using your phone for music or audio books. Before you leave, make sure the phone has a full charge. Don’t forget the phone, too.
A Fire Source
To prevent wildfires, take caution when using a fire source. However, hikers should have waterproof matches or emergency fire starter and fire sticks. These are important in an emergency to keep warm or help prepare a food source. Also, pack an emergency blanket in case you need quick shelter or extra warmth. Reflective blankets will reflect your body heat back to you.
These miscellaneous items will help you have a safe, comfortable hike. Include small items such as a Swiss army knife, toilet paper, flashlight, a whistle, sunscreen, duct tape and any needed medications.