Here's a hiking checklist. If anything, it’s always better to be over prepared than underprepared. There are a few essential items that you should bring with you to every hike. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Navigation tools
It’s easy to get lost when you’re out in the wilderness. Given that, it’s crucial that you bring proper navigation tools with you such as a map and compass.If you want, you can even bring a GPS device. Not only will it tell you where you are, but it’ll also keep track of things like average speed and elevation change.
2. Sun protection
Sun protection is important when you’re spending time outdoors. It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy, you’ll still need it. Aside from sunscreen, you also want to bring SPF lip balm, sunglasses, and a large-brimmed hat. Protective clothing should also be considered, especially for long hikes.
Bring a flashlight or headlamp with you to the trails. After all, you never know what might happen; one wrong turn and you can easily get lost in the dark.Tip: You can always use your phone as a flashlight but keep in mind that it can drain your battery quickly.
It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re hiking. Given that, you want to make sure to bring enough water with you.As a general guideline, you want to bring one gallon per person (for 24 hours). Make sure that it’s easily accessible via a water bottle.
Pack some dry foods and snacks. For example, you can bring dried fruits, jerky, and nuts. Or if you want something more filling, you can make sandwiches or even tortillas.
That way, you’ll be able to sustain your energy for a full day of activity.
6. Emergency shelter
It’s highly recommended that you bring a small, lightweight emergency shelter with you if you’re going on a day hike. You might not need it but if you do, you’ll have it. If anything, it can potentially save your life.
A comfortable daypack is essential for carrying all of your gear. Make sure that it’s well-fitting and large enough so that you can pack everything in. If you can, try to get something with convenient storage compartments.
8. First aid kit
You always want to bring a first aid kit when you’re travelling into the backcountry. After all, anything can happen and you want to be prepared. Depending on your needs, you can either put one together yourself or buy a pre-packaged kit.
9. Fire starters
Being able to start a fire could be the difference between life and death in an emergency. Not only will the fire keep you warm, but the smoke can help searchers find you. Remember, things don’t burn well when they’re wet. So make sure to bring the proper fire starters with you.