10 Essentials to Always Have on a Hike

10 Essentials to Always Have on a Hike

Plunge right into summer with a hike. The positive results are almost instant — fresh air (fill your lungs), peace (take in the silence), exercise (so satisfying) and simply taking the time to sneak away from the daily grind. So, slather your kids (and yourself) with sunscreen, lace up those old boots, swing your backpack on and set out for an adventure! 

Originally compiled in the 1930s by the Seattle-based The Mountaineers, this list of 10 hiking essentials continues to be relevant today, whether day hiking or heading out on an overnight backpacking trip. Although you may never use all of these items, being prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes and unexpected circumstances can save your life in an accident or emergency.

Prior to venturing out, be sure to check the weather, watch for potential hazards (wildfire, flooding, high winds, etc.) in the area and always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Consider these 10 hiking essentials for your pack:

1. Plenty of water. There are many hydration backpacks with integrated water bladders. This makes carrying a sufficient amount of water fairly easy. You could also bring a water filtration system like a Lifestraw for additional emergency hydration needs.


2. Bring extra foodThink high-energy food such as protein bars, nuts and jerky. Have an extra day's supply on-hand.

3. Map and Compass. Topographic maps and a compass should be carried as a back-up to any battery powered device (GPS, cell phone, etc.).  Make sure you know how to use the old fashion compass and map before you hit the trail.

4.Extra clothing. A rain jacket, beanie and an extra pair of socks can go along way when the oing gets tough. Always hike with good socks. Your feet will thank you. We have found a nice pair of Alpaca socks keep your feed comfortable and dry. There are also many great merino wool hiking socks as well. 
5.Sun protectionSunscreen (for lips too). Hat and protective clothing. Sunglasses.
6. Pocket knife or muti toolUseful in emergency situations for first aid, quick fixes and even food prep. Think about including durable, lightweight nylon cord too or duct tape.
7. Fire. Waterproof matches are a good place to start. Also, have some tinder on hand, we like to take a little sack of EZ Lite Fire starter. That will light a fire in a puddle and it is non toxic and won't harm the environment.
8.Headlamp or FlashlightHeadlamps are preferred as they allow for hands-free movement. Include extra batteries too in a waterproof container.
9.Spaceblanket and Shelter. If you are ever stranded overnight, or find yourself in cold temps, having these compact, lightweight coverings is crucial.
10.First aid kit. Your kit can prove invaluable if you or a member of your group suffers a cut, burn, bee sting or allergic reaction. Tailor your kit to your family's special needs.
Be Safe, Get Outdoors and find some Adventure!


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