Five things you need to remember when you were hiking.
Camping is fun! Who doesn’t love camping? Roughing it in the great outdoors, you get to be around wildlife, surrounded by nature, far away from the comfort of your apartment or home.
The problem with that is though, in your over-excitement to experience the world, you might not bring things that are absolutely essential. Let me tell you something, if you need something but don’t have it? That makes for a rough walk back to the car mid hike.
Bearing that in mind, what follows is five things everyone needs to remember whenever they go hiking. Remember that this is not everything you need, more friendly reminders about what is commonly forgotten.
That might be alarming for you to read, but you would not believe the amount of people I’ve seen that only bring one bottle of water for a six-hour hike. I cannot stress this enough; you absolutely need to be hydrated when you’re hiking. Whether you’re hiking with a group or hiking alone, but especially alone. Dozens of hikers go missing every year because they don’t stay hydrated and end up getting confused because they are dehydrated and wandering off the trail. Water is life. So please make sure you’re bringing enough. For the sake of simplicity in addition to bringing extra water, always should bring extra food in case something happens. Weather disruptions, getting lost, getting too tired to continue so you camp for the night, anything can cause you to be delayed past the typical hike time expectancy. Bringing extra food and extra water can make that delay as comfortable as possible. So you are then able to get through the night with trail mix by your side.
This is another thing that not everyone remembers to bring on a hike. I speculate that it is because sunscreen isn’t always associated with camping or hiking, it’s more commonly associated with beach trips. But the sun is just as hazardous to your skin when you’re hiking as it is when you’re lounging. You don’t want to develop a sunburn three hours into a seven-hour hike. The rest of the hike will be in slow motion and the recovery will be even worse. The longer you’re exposed to the sun, the longer you’ll feel the sting later. Plus, if you remember the sunscreen you wont have to live in constant fear of having that burned slapped by your friends who think that sort of thing is funny.
3. Navigation Equipment
What I mean by that is things like a map, a compass, some sort of GPS device, a personal locator beacon (PLB) or a satellite messenger. I know it’s a hassle, I understand that it takes up space, but getting lost is a terrifying experience.
Like I said previously, dozens of hikers get lost every single year for very basic reasons. Any one of these devices I just listed would help you tremendously if, God forbid, you found yourself turned around on a hike. If you didn’t bring a map, and if you don’t have any way of using a GPS beacon, satellite messaging can save you. This would allow you to get in contact with someone and do as best you can to describe where you’re at so they can get someone out there to find you as soon as possible.
As an added bonus you should always text your friends and family where you are hiking and how long it should take. No one wants to wake up in an 127 Hours type situation. Take the second to send the text, peace of mind all around.
4. First aid kit
Picture this. You are three hours into a five hour hike. It’s raining, it’s been raining for two hours, and it’s all uphill until you’re back where you started. You’re thinking, “OK just two hours to go and I’m finally home again“ and then it happens. You trip and in your attempt to save yourself, you grab onto a branch that unfortunately cuts your hand wide-open.
If you’ve ever had an injury on your hand you know just how difficult those are. You don’t realize how much you use your hand until you’ve got a wound on it. And then at once you are beset by the harsh reality of present circumstances. You did not bring a first aid kit.
So now, you have to wrap your hand with whatever you have. Which is nothing. Opening the wound up to infection, and delaying the healing process. Bring a first aid kit.
5. Hiking Shoes
That might be odd for you to read. But one of the most catastrophically overlooked necessities for hiking is proper hiking footwear. Most people Just think that they can hike with their tennis shoes, and that the tennis shoes will survive the hike. And I implore you not to buy the cheap boots. If you think that your discount boots are going to survive a proper hike, you are mistaken.
If you hike in the wrong time and at the wrong place, you can find that you were going to be surrounded by mud for hours. Your little tennis shoes will not survive that. I promise you. Get yourself a nice pair of boots. Much more comfort is going to come your way because of it.
And while I’m on it, have a backup pair with you in yuour vehicle, just in case something is wrong with your main pair.
And that’s the list. Please remember that this list is not a description of the only things that you need, but simply reminders about necessities. Remember don’t be intimidated, be aware of the danger but not crippled by it, and if you’ll forgive the As a general rule of thumb for hiking, especially on long and somewhat dangerous hikes, it will always be better to have it and not need it, instead of needing it and not having it. You’ll thank me later.
Eric Anderson is a fledgling, (but passionate) journalist and photographer for Society 19 and Marker. What began as a hobby is now a driving force for a new career path. He lives and continues to write non-stop in Boston. His first article was published in 2022 by Society 19. Reach out to him today.