10 Essentials For Hiking Safely by the LIFT Outdoor Adventure Team
Stay prepared for your hiking adventures with this recommended list of items in your bag. Make a trip plan and leave a note in your car on where you’re going, the time you left and when you expect to be back. Let someone else know at what point they should become worried and alert someone. Go with someone else.
10 Essentials for Your Hiking Pack
Flashlight and spare batteries (headlamp) If you take just a little too long on a hike and are caught by darkness, it can get really dark under the trees. We’ve found people who only got lost after dark and could not stay on the trail. Some of these people even hurt themselves after falling once they left the trail. One small flashlight can make the difference between coming home late, and being injured in the dark.
Extra Food and Water If you’re delayed by weather, a little food and water can make an uncomfortable situation much better, and water can be the difference between life and death. You’re less likely to panic, and it allows you to think clearer so you don’t turn a little mistake into a big one.
Extra clothing (rain, wind, water protection) It can get cold in the mountains at night, just a few hundred feet in elevation makes a difference. Even a jacket and a hat can help keep much warmer.
Navigational Aids (map, compass, altimeter, GPS, chart, radio, mobile phone) Without (at the very least) a map, a compass and the knowledge of how to use them, you’re really at the mercy of whoever built the trail you are on. Without markers and sign posts, a map is the only way to tell where you are. GPS units take this to the next level, but always have the map as a backup.
Fire Starter Fire offers warmth, and can signal rescuers in an emergency. Matches, lighter, a candle and some dry tinder is all it takes.
First Aid Kit A small accident can be a big problem if you have nothing to treat it with, having the equipment and the training is important.
Emergency Shelter Something as simple as a garbage bag can become an emergency shelter; tear a hole in it and put it over your head and you have a waterproof place to sit. It sounds crazy, but if you want to be more high tech you can buy mylar safety blankets that do the same thing, or any number of other products. They weigh ounces and are tiny, and they sit in your kit until you need them.
Sun Protection The sun is a force to be reckoned with. Without sun protection, burns and sun stroke are almost certain on a sunny day, even more so in the middle of winter. Sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses might seem like a good idea at sea level, but in the mountains they are essential equipment.
Pocket knife This useful item can make tent pegs, whittle wood for a fire, cut rope and hundreds of other things that can help you survive.
Signalling Device If you are in trouble it’s important that you be able to call for help. Most hikers bring their cell phones, and you should read our article on cell phones and rescue to understand their limitations. A whistle is an essential device that has saved hundreds of lives by attracting SAR members to a missing person’s location. Other devices include Satellite messenger devices (beacons), two-way radios, satellite phones, flashlight, and a mirror.
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What Else We Keep In Our Pack:
Poles, biking gloves, buff, mosquito repellant, hat, sleeves, chapstick,
toque, gloves, raincoat & pants, extra food
Food: pepperoni/jerky, apple, boiled egg, protein bars
In car -flip flops, washcloth in a baggy
Why do it?
We sweat, are out of breath, legs hurt…
It’s good for our mental health: We truly connect with those we are with, we see nature, wildlife.
It resets our brains to truly disconnect from technology, obligations.
We try to do a balance of some indoor and some outdoor adventures. We are always trying to keep things interesting and are totally open to new ideas.
Have an idea? Email us and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org