First things first. If you are going to go hiking you should take a few things with you. This is a list of the “hiking ten essentials”, and this list is taken from the Washington Trails Association (WTA) website. I’ve added a couple of items that might be helpful to you as well.
- Hydration: Water or Purification System
- Extra Food (see below for some of my favorites)
- Rain Gear & Extra Clothing – get a cheap set of rain gear and keep it in your pack.
- Fire starter (small lighter works best for me just in case matches get wet)
- First Aid Kit (I use the one in my car)
- Knife or Multi-Purpose Tool (I use the knife for personal safety as well – it’s within reach)
- Flashlight (extra batteries)
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses
My additions to the list of “Ten Essentials”
As far as clothing goes, the most important thing is to dress for the weather you’ll be hiking in keeping in mind your elevation gain.
- Hat, cap or headband
- Gloves or mittens (for cold weather a must)
- Change of shoes (for driving)
- Towel (to be kept in the car)
- Bandana or tissues (trust me you’ll thank me)
- Extra pair of socks (so necessary)
- Sleep sack (I pack my sleep sack but something lighter like an emergency blanket would be good to have)
- Whistle (I haven’t started carrying this but will by the end of the season)
- Color (if you go through hunting areas)
- Trekking poles (my opinion will be published soon)
- BUG SPRAY! (need I say more)
Day Hike Food Favorites
We’re day tripping here so it’s not necessary to meal plan! Eat what you like I try to keep in mind the protein. Try to keep away from food that melts! Here are a few examples of what works for me.
- Open Nature Salami (sliced and ready to pop in your mouth) Kids like it too!
- Cheese sticks
- Energy bars
- Chips or crackers (this is purely my thing – I am addicted to chips, for real)
- All natural fruit strips (make your own if you want to be super healthy) I keep a few in the pack all the times.
Last but not least – TELL SOMEONE where you are going and if you expect to be back to them with a phone call or text by the end of the day/night. Some people actually like being the emergency contact 🙂
What are your essentials?
We’d like to hear from you, please feel free to comment and add to this list, it might come in handy to other readers!