My hiking life consists mainly of "dayhikes". I'm not much of a backpacker or an overnight camper. There are certain things I believe everyone alone should have, for yourself and if fellow hikers need your help. Believe it or not, I think the most important thing to have is a cellphone
. I can not tell you how many times one of these have helped a hiker out. The next thing I always carry these days is a handheld GPS unit
(my current one is a Garmin 60cx). There is no way I could have explored the areas I've explored without my GPS. I received my first GPS as a gift from a very good friend in 2003. Her gift has been a Godsend to me. Once you master the basics of a GPS unit you will never get lost, that is a guarantee! Now for the other things I use/need -
- Hiking Boots - A good pair of boots or shoes designed for day hiking
- Breathable boots when hiking in dry areas
- Gore-Tex waterproof boots when hiking in wet area
- Light Weight Socks - Get socks made for day hiking
- Hiking Pants - Always wear long pants - bugs can be brutal
- If doing a lot of bushwhacking, consider brier proof pants
- Breathable T-Shirts - I have found that the new "moisture management T-shirts" are great for "sweat management"
- If going to do some wading, consider portable hipwaders or other boots which can be put on over your hiking boots
- Water/liquids of course - I actually drink 32 ozs of water before I start a long day of hiking. If it is going to be a hot day, I freeze a Gatorade and take that with me for the boost of it!
- Sunscreen - I use SPF50 to protect me as much as possible
- Bugspray - I carry towelettes with 29% deet in my pack just in case
- Walking stick - I use a lightweight wooden stick with a rubber tip - this depends on what you prefer. You also can use it as a weapon if attacked by a wild armadillo ;-}
- Bandaids and alcohol rubs - just in case of cut or scrap
- Blister pads - just in case you or anyone gets a mean blister
- Snack/powerbar - something to give you a boost
- Camera - To capture that "Kodak" moment
- Flashlight - Small LED light source just in case
- Hand Sanitizer - I use towelettes, other people use the stuff in a bottle
- Camp Stool - This is handy thing to have to take a rest, eat lunch or just sit and enjoy nature (I use a Walkstool Comfort 45)
- Good hat - I have a few I like, what I wear depends on the weather
- Whistle - If you need to summon help, this will do the trick (yelling just doesn't work)
- Plastic Bag - This can be used for your trash or "trail trash" found along the way
- Advil or pain pill - Never know when one of these might come in handy
- Fanny Pack or Backpack - To hold all the stuff
- Pepperspray - I carry it just in case I should encounter that animal who really doesn't like me or might be have rabies
- Snake Gaiters - I do a lot of off trail exploring, so I have run into a far amount of snakes (I use TurtleSkin SnakeArmor's snake protection gaiters)
- Personal Locator Device (PLD) - I have one of these just in case I get out of cellphone range
- Sweatband - Put it under my hat, seems to just keep me a little dryer
- Camp Toilet Paper - Never know when this might come in handy
Some things other people need/use -
- Camelbak Water Bladder - Allows drinking of water any time
- Hiking poles - Like ski poles, great for taking the strain off the back
- Compass - If you can read one they are great to have
Some suggestions from readers
- Umbrella - this can be a great thing to have - I do use one when the sun gets brutal and on those same days, to use in a thunderstorm
I carry a variety of other items, not worth mentioning here. I also like a good, cold Gatorade when I get back to the car. If nothing else, it just tastes good!
Your list is excellent. I prep for a hike with a lathering of Bull Frog Mosquito Coast before I hike.
I use one pole as my primary spider web catcher.
In the summer I take an unbrella to shed solar radiation/rain/bugs that rinse out of trees in the rain.
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