The Hiking Essentials
Hiking is a revitalizing activity practiced by more and more people each year.
Due to the contact with nature, isolation from a modern, stressful lifestyle, and the possibility of a great training session, hiking enthusiasts tend to practice this sport more frequently, being outside for more and more time.
What was some time ago a one-day excursion, nowadays might take a whole weekend and even more time, so being prepared to face such a long time in nature remains paramount not only to enjoy your hiking trip but also to guarantee your safety.
Many people, especially beginners, think it's enough a pair of good hiking boots, a backpack, and enough water supply however, even when this might be good enough for a short excursion, when you take hiking seriously and are planning to go far, it will be necessary much more than boots, backpack, and water.
Let's take a look at the hiking essentials everyone needs to practice this sport.
Besides boots or hiking shoots (everything depends on the terrain you are planning to hike), a high-quality backpack to carry your gear, and enough water each hiker needs to count with at least one navigation system.
The GPS tends to be the more convenient way to stay oriented however, having a backup navigation plan is always recommended, in this regard, the map and compass couple is the best choice as backup navigation tools since they don't need batteries and don't depend on satellite coverage.
On the other hand, communication is essential. Perhaps you wish to get disconnected from day-to-day activities, and that's OK, but certainly counting on a good communication system may be a life-saving strategy in case of an emergency.
You don't need to have a cell phone or radio turned on all the time, but having regular contact with someone at home, or just having the device to use it in case something happens is a good safety measure, afterward, when you are alone in remote areas and something bad happens, many times your survival might depend upon a third party's help.
Once you are ready to navigate and your communication system is set up, get ready to face mother nature's elements.
Having extra clothing for different weather conditions is always a good idea such as layering clothes. This way you may face conveniently any weather condition.
Additionally, you always must carry an emergency, portable shelter. No matter if you are planning to stay out just a day, a shelter must be included always in your gear because in case of an unexpected night out it won't be necessary to build an improvised refuge.
On this matter, it's important to count on a headlamp and enough replacement batteries. Like in the case of the shelter, perhaps you are not planning to expend the night out, but in case of being caught by darkness before reaching a safe place, counting with a headlamp will be a big difference for you.
Always be prepared for the unexpected and pack more food than the amount you need for the expected time out. There's not a fixed rule but packing one extra day beyond the planned time outside provides a good safety margin, however, if your excursion is too far, it won't be a mistake to pack two or three days of extra food.
Perhaps it's too much weight for you but for a long excursion, this safety measure remains critical nevertheless, to save weight you might opt for emergency rations. They will keep you alive without adding as much weight as regular food does.
Finally, a first aid kit and a multipurpose knife must be part of your regular gear. You never know what kind of situation will be expecting ahead, and being prepared for the unknown is always a good idea.