The Hiking Essentials
I might be the runner in the house, but my roommate recently got me into hiking. We went to the Red Rock Canyon Trails twice this week. And plan on driving to California to hike some trails there! I’ve found hiking to be much more mind-body connection than I thought. The last trail we hiked was the most strenuous one at Red Rock Canyon. Yes, it was challenging and there are times when I wanted to turn back. But once I got to the top of the peak, all that hard work was worth it. Hiking really does require mental and physical strength. In just a few hikes, I’ve learned that you don’t need to overpack but pack enough. As a newbie hiker, I wanted to share my tips of what you should pack if you are planning a hike.
Newbie Hiking Essentials:
You never know when you might wind up off the trail. Sometimes paths aren’t defined and markers are worn away. I like to keep my Runtastic app running. Find a GPS tracker app on your phone or keep a compass on you.
2. Sun Protection
Sure, it feels cool when the mountains and canyons are blocking the sun. But even on a cloudy day, the sun will strike your precious skin. Trails often take hours to complete, so make sure to wear and bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and even a hat. Don’t forget to protect your lips with some balm.
3. Extra Clothes
No matter what the weather is, remember the temperature drops 6 degrees every 1000 meter rise in altitude. You also never know if it might drizzle, so it’s a good idea to bring a jacket, pants, ear muffs, and gloves. Gloves also come in handy when you’re dealing with thorns or sharp rocks.
4. First Aid
Unfortunately, accidents happen. But it’s better to be prepared for those cuts and scrapes by packing a small first aid kit. You don’t need a lot, just anti-bacterial solution, band-aids, aspirin, gauze, tweezers and gloves.
Nature is unpredictable and honestly, so are people. I never go hiking in a large group and being a petite young woman, I try to be even more observant of my surroundings. I highly recommend at least one person in your group carry a knife or weapon. Even carrying pepper spray is better than being unprepared.
I made the mistake of not bringing anything to eat the first time I went hiking. Always bring snacks. You are burning a ridiculous amount of calories, so you are going to want to eat something. I think it would be a great idea to pack a light meal or two as well. When you’re out in the sun for 4 hours, you’ll be hungry.
Bring as much water with you as you can. This is the most essential item on the list. You should be fully hydrated at all times. If you are going on a long day hike, I would carry 3/4- 1 gallon of water. Don’t forget to pump yourself with water before you start the hike as well.
8. Toilet paper
As I mentioned before, you are going to be on the trail for a while. So, you’re gonna need to use the restroom. I like to take some toilet paper with me and keep it in a ziploc bag.
Toilet paper, snacks, cigarettes, and whatever else trash you’re going to create along your journey needs to be contained. Bring a small trash bag or grocery bag to store all the trash.