The 10 essentials for hiking were created by The Mountaineers back in the 1930s for adventurers in case of emergencies. In short, these essentials include navigation, a headlamp, a first-aid kit, fire, a survival knife, sun protection, shelter, extra food, extra water as well as extra clothing.
Anything can happen when we’re out in the wilderness, therefore it’s crucial to be prepared before heading out on that beautiful hike!
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THE 10 ESSENTIALS FOR HIKING
Firstly, bring with you some form of navigation. This includes a map of the location you are heading to as well as a map of the trails you are planning on hiking, a GPS (Global Positioning System) to indicate where you are located, a compass to help guide you towards the direction you want to go, an altimeter to measure the altitude (this is only necessary if you’re hiking mountains at very high altitudes) as well as a registered PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) satellite communicator or satellite phone for instance.
In addition, you may not always have signal on your cell phone when you’re up in the mountains therefore if you have an emergency, your PLB can send a distress signal.
Most importantly, always remember to bring extra batteries for the devices mentioned above.
Secondly, bring a headlamp with you. You might not be planning on hiking at night however it’s still important that you bring a one with you. For instance, if your hike ends up being a little longer than you expected this may result in you having to hike back in the dark.
Headlamps don’t weight much in your backpack and they’ll save you a lot of trouble therefore in short, always carry a headlamp with you with some extra batteries.
3. FIRST-AID KIT
Furthermore, anything can happen while hiking therefore a first-kid kit is also an essential that you should always carry with you on your hiking trips. Most importantly, this includes any health related medications including allergy medications such as an epipen or an asthma pump. (if applicable to you or someone you are hiking with). In addition, pack some insect repellent.
Moreover, it is important to pack fire-starting gear such as matches, a lighter, fire starter and/or a fire starter kit. Fire gear can be used for cooking purposes as well as emergencies if you need to stay warm.
5. SURVIVAL KNIFE
Additionally, a knife can be used in a variety of ways and is essential for survival. For instance, it can be used for cutting and slicing food, fire wood as well as items from your first-aid kit such as bandages. Furthermore, you can use a knife when building shelter and it can be used as a self-defence tool if you encounter any threatening wildlife.
6. SUN PROTECTION
We’re exposed to UV (Ultra-Violet) rays from the sun during all four seasons therefore it’s important to wear sun protection when we’re out hiking such as sunscreen for example.
Sunscreen should be applied throughly to your skin including your face, ears as well as your neck and body.
In addition, you should wear sun-protection clothing such as a sun hat/cap as well as sunglasses.
Furthermore, bring a lightweight emergency shelter such as a water-proof weather protection emergency bivouac (bivy) sack which is a single-person shelter that protects you from winds and rain.
8. EXTRA FOOD
In addition, you should always pack enough food to last you an extra night in the back-country. The further you hike, the more energy you burn and the more hungry you may get. It’s recommended to bring foods that are high in protein such as nuts and seeds, energy bars and beef jerky for example. Additionally, you can bring dried fruit and whole fruits such as bananas, oranges and apples.
9. EXTRA WATER
Hydration is incredibly important therefore bring a lot more water than you expect to drink. You can bring a water bottle or similarily, you can bring a hydration reservoir/bladder.
A hydration reservoir or in other words, a hydration bladder is essentially a plastic bag you can fill up with water that contains a tube/hose that you can drink from on the go. These reservoirs come in a variety of sizes measured in litres which signifies how much litres of water the reservoir can hold.
They’re normally attached to a hydration pack. A hydration pack is a backpack that contains a separate compartment for your reservoir to be placed into.
In short, always make sure to bring extra water with you.
10. EXTRA CLOTHING
Last but not least, bring some extra clothing with you in case of emergencies or poor weather conditions. In other words, have an extra pair of the clothing you’ll be wearing for that hike. Depending on the season/weather, this includes an extra pair of socks, gloves, winter hat/beanie, undergarments, tops, and bottoms.
The 10 essentials for hiking
Thank you so much for reading this blog! I hope it was helpful and always remember to bring the 10 essentials for hiking with you on all of your adventures!
Be prepared and stay safe.
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