Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blissful Hiking's Ten Essentials for Hiking

I came across this post on REI of their updated Ten Essentials for Hiking.

Updated Ten Essential "Systems"

  1. Navigation (map and compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter

Here is my take on the Ten Essentials for a Hike

1. Navigation. Maps, maps, maps. Consider a guidebook for the area too if unfamiliar with it. A compass is good to have but at least a map is essential.

2. Replace sun protection with insect protection (unless you are desert hiking or hiking in trails out west without trees like Utah). Ticks are a primary concern with the spread of Lyme Disease. Mosquitoes and deerflies can make life miserable.

3. Extra clothing, yes, including a good hat. I would add in rain gear. That can help shield you from wind as well as protect you if the weather turns nasty. And throw in a pack cover for your pack to keep the contents dry. And a small poncho could be used as a shelter in a pinch.

4. A trusty headlamp is a good idea to have if you run late on the trail

5. A first aid kit is a must. See my first aid kit contents.

6. Yes, you can throw in matches for a fire, but what if it's wet out? Extra dry clothing and extra food is good to have.

7. Repair kit and tools? Not sure why a repair kit is essential. I add in my first aid kit duct tape and safety pins. That will likely get you temporarily fixed until back n civilization. Perhaps a small pocket knife, but it isn't likely to help you that much.

8. Extra food is a good idea. A good trail mix has a mixture of fats, carbs and protein from the nuts, seeds, fruits, and chocolate bits.

9. Hydration. Instead of toting large amounts of water, bring water purification and a map and guidebook to let you know where the reliable sources are located. But if there won't be any (like desert hiking) then carry the water you need for the climate. 

10. Shelter is a necessity in bad weather and I would also add in Safety too. Bring a charged cell phone, tell someone at home about your hiking plans and when you are expected home, bring some extra cash for a ride. If there are places to sign in at trail registers, do it. Bring a pen for this and some paper too in case you need to leave a note somewhere. Add a small whistle.

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