Hiking is a fun, active way to explore the world. Nature-lovers get a chance to delve into the woods, admire the views from mountain ranges, and take in exceptional sights from across the world. In 2017, it’s estimated that there were over 44 million people who participated in hiking in the U.S., a number that’s been steadily growing since 2006.
It’s an affordable, exhilarating way to take a holiday or enjoy a weekend, but there are some essentials you should always take with you on a hiking trip to stay safe and find your way back. The 10 hiking essentials have been around since the 1930s when hiking first became a popular pastime with the creation of national parks, but new technology has made some big improvements on classic essentials.
1) Navigation – Navigation has come a long way thanks to new technology, but while a GPS device is a great wayfinding tool, it also pays to have a paper map and a compass in case you lose a signal or power. You can also download apps to be used offline on your smartphone for navigation. There are plenty of tools you can use, but always bring analogue tools just in case.
2) Hydration – Water is absolutely necessary when you go hiking. You’re putting your body under a lot of strain.
3) Insulation – Insulation is especially important if you’re going hiking in the spring or fall, but even the in summer, hiking at high elevations or in an area where the temperature can quickly go down at night, you want to stay as warm as possible.
Start with Heat Holders thermal socks, specially-made socks that use thermal yarn and an innovative knitting technique to create a sock that’s 7 times warmer than conventional socks.
You may also want to add hiking shirts and leggings to wear under your outer layers to help retain heat. In addition to socks, you can also find Heat Holders outerwear such as a puffer jacket, gloves, and hats. Stay warm on your hike by packing the right clothing for the season!
4) Illumination – A flashlight or an adjustable LED headlamp will be important if you wind up still on the trail after dark. Headlamps are preferable to flashlights, and don’t forget to bring batteries.
5) First-Aid – A basic first-aid kit is a must if you’re going to be hiking through back country without ready access to medical supplies. Whether it’s for yourself or a fellow hiker, a first-aid kit will always come in handy.
6) Food – Bring more food than you think you’re going to use. Hiking burns calories quickly and you need energy. Foods like nuts and nut bars pack a lot of calories into little weight.
7) Shelter – Emergency shelter is an important thing to have in case you wind up lost or otherwise unable to get back. A tent footprint or lightweight tent shelter is great to bring.
8) Fire – A firestarter or an outdoor lighter will help make sure you can light a fire even in damp conditions.
9) Sun Protection – Even on cloudy days, the sun can wind up burning you. Invest in sun protection on your hike.
10) Signal – In case you get lost in the wild, any kind of signalling device can help you get attention from searchers. These can range from as simple as a whistle to a satellite texting device that will help you notify people that you’re lost as soon as possible.
With these ten essentials, you can safely enjoy your hiking trip.