If you are ready to take the venture into the great outdoors as a hiker there are a few things you will want to make sure to pack with you. Now keep in mind this list will change a little depending on the length of your hike, the location of your hike, and your age, but regardless of any of those things there are a few general items you want to have in your sack.
The Main Items to Start With:
- Water Bottle
- Protein Snacks
- Pocket Knife
- First Aid Essentials
Some of these things seem like commons sense, others might not. But the reason for these items is very basic. The number one thing you will want is the water bottle, and filled with water. The main cause of injuries while hiking is dehydration no matter what the weather is like outside you can easily get dehydrated. Which brings us to the sunscreen and hat. When you are hiking you are exposed to continuous sun and your head is the most vulnerable to injuries from the sun. Simply having a hat on hand and sunscreen ready to go makes this a good start. Protein snacks, like granola bars, will help you stay well fed while increase your energy and stamina. The great thing about these are that you don’t need to heat or cool them so you can just throw them in your bag and go. Also, be sure to have the correct boots with support to prevent foot and ankle injuries.
This brings us to our next set of items, the preparedness group. This group of items is essential to help in any emergency. Your first aid kit should include band aids, antibacterial ointment, scissors, alcohol swabs, tape, and for hiking some type of a splint in the event you injure a bone. You don’t need an actual splint, but you will want to have the items necessary to make one if an injury occurs, such as something to tie a stick to your body if you find yourself needing one. If you find yourself off the path you planned, something as simple as a compass has saved lives. And a pocket knife and lighter can be used to help you start fires, disinfect things when necessary, and find food if you get lost. These things take up very little space, are lightweight, and have saved more than one person in an unexpected emergency.
Besides brining these items with you, make sure you are well dressed with jeans to avoid scrapes, hiking shoes or tennis shoes, and a good shirt that is fit for the location of your hike. Remember, this list is far from exclusive and the list will change based on you and your hike, but if you have at least these things you are ready to take the next step in preparing for your hike.