When it comes to hiking, there are definitely different ways to go about it. Some hikes are simple ones that aren’t far from civilizations while others can be backpacking trips that last for days. Obviously, serious hikers who go on backpacking trips have to plan carefully and have a lot of skill. However, for even a beginner's or people going on more casual hikes, it’s important to remember to bring items to keep you safe and prepared. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and there are many items that people forget to bring on their hikes that are essential.
Here are ten items you should remember to pack when going on a hike.
10 EXTRA DAY’S WORTH OF FOOD AND WATER
While you likely remember to bring food and water when going on a hike, it’s better to bring more than you would need for the planned trip. Depending on where you're hiking, you are likely not going to have cell service, and emergencies can happen. Whether it’s the weather, getting lost, or another problem, having an extra day’s worth of food and water will ensure that you’re safe and prepared if for whatever reason the hike doesn’t go as planned.
9 FIRST AID KIT
Anytime you're going somewhere where you don’t have cell service or access to a car quickly, it’s a good idea to have a first aid kit with you. For a small hike, a simple first aid kit you can buy at the store will do. For longer hikes, it’s good to do research into what kind of items you should take with you. Basic items include bandages, pain relievers, antiseptic, gauze dressings, and more. As accidents can happen, especially minor cuts and medical problems, this is essential.
This is another safety item that people might not think about when planning for a hike. This is especially true for people who aren’t used to hiking or aren’t planning to go on a longer, more intense hike. A whistle is a great item to have because it can alert others if you're in trouble.
If a more serious accident occurs and you fall or become hidden from view, a whistle will make it a lot easier to let other people know where you are.
Even during hikes in the summer, it can sometimes be necessary to light a fire. Depending on where you are hiking, the mountains can get quite cold at night even if temperatures are warm during the day. Even if you’re not planning an overnight stay up in the wilderness, having a way to start a fire is essential to be on the safe side. If something happens and it gets dark and you can’t leave until morning, you can keep yourself warm.
6 TOILET PAPER
This is pretty self explanatory, but it’s something that many people might not think about. While some hikes have bathrooms at the beginning of the trail, most of them don’t anywhere else.
This means you will likely have to use the forest to relieve yourself. Having toilet paper will make that experience much more comfortable. Of course, make sure you dispose of toilet paper in a way that doesn't hurt the environment. Don’t just leave it out in the forest.
5 FLASHLIGHT AND EXTRA BATTERIES
To make sure you’re staying safe while on a hike, you’ll want to have a flashlight or another kind of a light source with you. Flashlights are often the easiest because they are very compact and easy to carry.
Of course, flashlights can stop working if they run out of batteries, so keeping an extra set on hand will keep you safe and secure. If the hike runs later than you plan, you’ll be glad you brought a flashlight along.
In these days of smartphones, most of us don’t really use maps that much anymore. Our phones have GPS on them, and so many of us just rely on these programs. However, often during many hikes cell service isn’t available the entire time. If you do get lost or stuck in an area where your phone doesn’t work, having a GPS that can work without cell service or a map is essential. If you’re bringing a map, make sure you brush up on your skills so you know how to read it.
3 SUNSCREEN AND BUG SPRAY
A lot of hiking happens during the summer, but even if you’re hiking the fall or spring, having sunscreen on you is important. Even if the trail seems somewhat shaded or the sun isn’t too hot, you can still get a sunburn. Also, bugs are often plenty on many hikes, so you’ll avoid feeling uncomfortable and getting nasty bug bites by taking bug spray along with you.
2 A THERMAL BLANKET/EXTRA CLOTHES
When hiking, you want to make sure you have something to keep you warm if you need to stay the night or you get wet. Having extra clothes will help you out if you get rained on or something else happens where you need to change your clothes. A thermal blanket is something you can buy at a sporting goods store that is quite small when in its container but can keep you warm in case of an emergency. They won’t take up much space in your backpack but can definitely help save your life if a big problem arises.
1 MULTIPURPOSE KNIFE TOOL
Many people don’t carry around a pocket knife with them during their daily lives which is usually a good thing. But, for hiking, having a multipurpose knife is a versatile tool to have. These tools can help with many things from opening cans to cutting rope. They are a great thing to have for any problems that might arise while in the mountains or wherever you are in nature.