So, you’re going on a hike and all things seem to be planned out quite nicely. You know what trail you will go, all your timings, sunrise and sunset time, as well as different means of transport that will get you to the starting point of your trek. You’ve already figured out most of the things you will wear during the hike, but there are still a few pieces of the puzzle missing. Here are the top 10 essentials you should always take with you on a hike.
Food and water (and some extra snacks)
Hiking is similar to active sport – it can get you all sweaty and in need of a drink. While there are plenty of water sources in the mountains, it’s always good to take at least one litre of clean water with you, depending on where and for how long you’re going. I probably don’t have to explain about food and the need for proper sustenance along the way, but make sure you pack some protein bars and energy snacks that will get you going in case you run out of food.
Whether you’re planning on spending the night out in the wilderness or not, it’s essential to pack a flashlight or headlight with you. Roaming in the dark without any light whatsoever is dangerous and can get you in all sorts of trouble. It’s good to have spare batteries for your flashlight or a powerbank if it can be recharged via USB.
If you’ve ever been to a forest or jungle, you know that things aren’t always dry there. In fact, most of the time the trees’ canopy keeps everything slightly moist, so making a fire can become a real issue. It can be windy, rainy, humid – all sorts of things could be against you! That’s why you need to pack a good lighter that will help you start a fire, a few boxes of matches, and some paper. You can also make your own fire-starters by soaking cotton balls in some Vaseline.
A trail map and a GPS
Maps are amazing, but trail maps are even better because they can show you exactly where you are right now if you happen to make a wrong turn. Do use a map on your smartphone along with a GPS trekker – this will also allow you to know where you are in real-time. Still, it’s always good to have an old-school paper map on you just in case your gadget shuts down when you most need it.
A first-aid kit
There are pre-packed first-aid kits for hikers out in the market, so you can buy one of those or prepare your very own first-aid kit with all the essentials you might need in case of an emergency. You will need bandages, something to treat bites, burns, sore muscles and hurt limbs. You might also need some painkillers just in case. Use a Ziploc freezer bag to make sure your first-aid kit doesn’t get ruined by rain or storm.