Updated: Sep 19, 2019
When hiking 1 mile or 20, some things you cannot leave behind. Of everything to remember, remember the 10 essentials.
Your first time out can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Here are the 10 items you should have on every hike.
"Getting out on a hike is only half the battle, getting home safe is the real objective. Remember, not everything in your pack is for you." - Agent B
1) Navigation: This can be anything you can use to determine your location. A map, a compass, an altimeter, all work. Most phones have a GPS device built in.
2) Headlamp and batteries: A headlamp is only good if it works. Flashlights are ok, but you usually need your hands when climbing.
3) Sun protection and lip balm: These two things make the difference between a great hike and being uncomfortable for a week afterwards. If you end up outside longer than expected, chapped lips and a sunburn make it worse to cope with.
4) First aid: Band-aids, moleskin, gauze and medical tape are great. Mini-containers of pain relievers help for minor injuries and headaches.
5) Knife: The underdog of the essentials. Most times you will not need a knife, but when you do, you will understand why it is essential.
6) Fire: Waterproof matches can be very helpful. A small package of dry fuel can make your life much easier should you need a fire.
7) Shelter: This does not always mean a tent. This can be a bivy, mylar blankets, a tarp, or even a garbage bag. Garbage bags also serve as an emergency poncho, and well, a garbage bag.
8) Nutrition: If you think you need one pouch of trail mix, bring two. It is a minor weight gain and a big payoff if you need it.
9) Hydration: Plan your water to match your hike, and consider weight. Invest in a water filter, some brands will filter 100,000 gallons. Why pack water if you can refill on the way.
10) Extra clothes: This is mainly for warmth so you can layer up. But if your clothes get wet, at least you have something to change into.