There are 50 million Americans who partake in hiking in 2018. Once considered a leisure activity, it’s now seen as a sport. Hiking enthusiasts plan hiking trips with the same enthusiasm set aside for a sports event.
Hikers remain on their toes as they traverse the wilderness. If they don’t have the right hiking essentials, they might get lost, injured, or experience other emergencies. This makes it crucial for hikers to invest in the best hiking equipment before setting out.
Do you want to plan your first hiking trip? If so, you need to see which essentials matter. Here’s a guide on the six essentials hikers should have.
1. Food and Water
When preparing for a long hike, it is essential to pack plenty of food and water. High-energy snacks like trail mix and granola bars will keep you fueled during your trek, while water is essential for staying hydrated. Be sure to pack more than you think you will need.
2. Sun Protection
You need to make sure you have the proper sun protection. This includes sunscreen which helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
A hat will help keep the sun out of your face. Sunglasses help reduce glare and protect your eyes from the sun. By being prepared and using these items, you can enjoy a safe and fun hike in the sun.
A flashlight is a must-have for any hike, whether it’s a short day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip. You’ll need a light source to help you see in the dark and to illuminate the trail ahead. A headlamp is a great option for hands-free lighting.
Many have built-in red LED lights to preserve night vision. Pack extra batteries too, just in case. A flashlight is also useful for signaling for help if you get lost.
A topographic map is a must to help you navigate the terrain. A compass is also key so you can orient yourself with the map. A GPS can be helpful as well, especially if you’re hiking in an unfamiliar area.
5. Hiking First Aid Kit
This should be on your first order of items to bring when hiking. There are a few essential items you absolutely need on your first aid kit. You never know when you or a fellow hiker might need some medical attention, so it’s always better to be prepared.
Some of the most important items are adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, pain relief medication, and antacids. You should also pack any prescription medication you take regularly. It’s also a good idea to pack a small first aid manual in case you need to reference any medical procedures.
6. Hiking Poles
Hiking poles provide support and stability on uneven terrain and can help prevent injuries. They also help take some of the strain off your legs and back by distributing your weight more evenly. When choosing hiking poles, it is important to select a pair that is comfortable to use and is the proper length for your height.
The Importance of Hiking Essentials
Hiking long distances can be a daunting task, but with the proper hiking supplies, it can be an incredible experience. These hiking essentials will help you be prepared for anything the trail throws your way. So, lace up your boots and hit the trail equipped with the knowledge and the proper gear for a safe and enjoyable hike.
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