For an intensive day of hiking, you must take the right supplies with you.
Not only do you need certain bits and pieces to stay comfortable, you also have to ensure you remain on-target to avoid getting lost.
Not to mention the risks of changing weather, dehydration, and other potential dangers.
Still, there’s no need to worry. Hiking should be fun, whether you’re following a trail you’ve walked a thousand times or a brand-new one. With the right supplies in your backpack, you can get out there and have a fantastic adventure without leaving yourself vulnerable.
Here’s our checklist of must-haves …
Staying On-Target for your Destination
Every hike has an end – just make sure it’s the one you want to reach rather than an arbitrary one!
You need to invest in quality navigational gear, combining both the latest devices and traditional methods.
Pack a paper map, in a protective case should you need to open it up in a downpour. If you can’t read it, either ask someone who can to mark key points on it for your, or ensure your hiking partner is well-versed.
You should also carry a compass with you, to make map-reading much easier. Of course, you can also take a GPS device along, or use a navigational app on your phone. As useful as the latter is, bear in mind they’re only as good as your signal.
Venture into an area with no Wi-Fi or reception, and you’ll be left to rely on offline alternatives instead.
Don’t Let the Sun Get the Upper Hand
Even if the sky is a little overcast when you set out, don’t forget to take sunscreen with you. Walking in the great outdoors with the sun beaming down on you can lead to burning and dangerous UV-exposure, risking long-term damage. Apply it liberally every few hours.
Don’t forget lip balm with SPF protection, and sunglasses. All of this is extremely lightweight and can be stored in your backpack’s smaller pockets.
Let There Be Light
You’ll need to shed a little light on your path if you’re out in darker areas, or if your hike takes longer than you expected, carrying over into evening hours.
Take a flashlight or two, or a headlamp, with plenty of spare batteries. Don’t depend only on the flashlight app on your phone – will it run your battery down faster.
First-Aid Kits are King
No matter how well you know a trail or how many hikes you’ve done in the past, accidents happen.
From a scraped shin to a serious cut, little injuries can become much more dangerous if left uncovered or untreated.
Take a first-aid kit in your backpack, loaded with band-aids, bandages, scissors, safety pins, gauze, antiseptic creams, and painkillers.
These will help you dress cuts, burns, and minor fractures until you can get proper medical care.
With all these supplies to hand, you can stay safe, on-target, and reassured during even the longest hike. Invest in a quality waterproof backpack to complement your weather-resistant clothing and keep your gear dry.