Thursday, 23 May 2013

Essential Gear For Your Next Hike

It’s summer time, thank goodness, and that means you can finally stop hiding underneath your covers and begin hitting the open trails. No summer is complete without a hike or two, and whether you prefer a mountain climb, cross-country trek, or river adventure, it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.

As we all know, having the right gear can be the difference between enjoying the time of your life and barely surviving the journey. You need to get the basics right, from comfortable clothes to a hardy backpack. Once that’s taken care of, there are a number of items that will take your trip to the next level. It’s all important, but here’s what you really need.

1) Sturdy Backpack

Depending on the length of your trip, it’s possible you could opt for something smaller, like a fanny pack or daypack. Generally speaking, however, a backpack is the perfect companion for a hike, allowing you to carry the rest of your essentials without seriously impeding your movement. Don’t skimp on this purchase. A well-made backpack will last for years upon years.

2) Compass or GPS

You need to be able to figure out where you’re going, particularly in the event of an emergency. Wandering around unassisted might be your preferred hiking style, but if something unexpected comes up, you need the ability to immediately locate a direction that will take you to help and safety. If you can bring a GPS with you, great, but if not, a compass will do, provided you actually know how to use one.

3) Enough Water

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it is of the utmost importance that you bring enough water with you for your hike. Dehydration and the behavior that accompanies it are the most dangerous things you face when you go for a temporary stay in nature. If you aren’t sure how much water you need, pack more!

4) Light Source For Overnight Trips

For night hikes or overnight adventures, you want to have a light source on you. Flashlights are the standard fare for a reason. You can get a very high-powered light beam from a very small device. There are other options, however, be they iPhone apps or headlamps. Whichever you choose, just make sure you have one.

5) Knife

Having an all-purpose, multi-function knife on you at all times is highly advisable. It combines many different useful functions into a small space, and will be your best friend if you were to ever end up in a survival situation. Quality is of utmost importance here, so don’t skimp; there are plenty of high-quality knives that can be purchased at an affordable price.

6) First-Aid Kit

When you run out into nature, stuff tends to happen. You shouldn’t expect to get injured, but you should always be prepared. Know your hike. If you are going for a 4-hour trip along a relatively well-worn trail, you don’t need to bring out the medic kit your naval officer father brought back from Vietnam. But if you are tackling a pretty extreme route, the $5 Walmart version just isn’t going to cut it.

Those are the essentials for taking a hike. You can pack half your room, but that probably wouldn’t be very comfortable. Keep this list in mind, and get out there; the trails are waiting!

Author Bio: Jacob McMillen likes to teach people how using Save1 Adidas promo codes and Save1 Sierra Trading Post coupons can help feed starving children.

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