When heading out on your first hiking trip, it’s a really good idea to be prepared for whatever mishaps can befall you. Hiking is a physically and mentally draining activity, primarily because you’re physically active for much longer than the average person is usually used to. Unlike a 30-minute run on the treadmill, hiking can last for days. And of course, there are the numerous other factors – the bugs, the heat, the sudden and often highly unexpected showers – that can quickly turn your hiking trip into a nightmare if you aren’t prepared for it. If you are prepared, however, then it’s a truly wonderful experience that you will fondly remember for years to come and want to repeat whenever you have the opportunity.
To help you out with that, today I want to talk about just some of the things that a hiker should always have on them before the trip even starts, so without further ado, here they are.
If you plan to spend a night in the forest, make a fire or do just about anything in the wild, a good, sturdy, multi-purpose knife will always come in handy. Not only can you use knives to skin and gut small animals, but also spark a fire if you’re out of matches, prepare food, cut string and much more. It’s a good idea to spend a little more on a good knife that won’t fall apart on you when you need it the most, and for that particular purpose I highly recommend the Buck Knives Field Master. You can pick it up for just under $60 and trust me when I say that it will last you a lifetime.
Food & Water
However, the most important thing you need to worry about really isn’t how good your knife is – it’s whether or not you have sufficient food and water to make it the entire trip. It’s very easy to over-ration or under-ration if you’re not extremely careful, and even more often than that people tend to bring food that simply can’t last the whole trip without going bad, so in the end they have to throw most of it away. Because of this, I highly recommend that you pick up some kind of emergency food kit with a long shelf-life. The one over at Augason Farms claims to last up to 30 years and a single kit has enough food to last two people an entire 72 hours.
A First-Aid Kit
Accidents happen when you’re out in the wild, and whether it’s a cut or a sprained joint, you need to mend it as well as you can as soon as it happens. It’s absolutely imperative that you have a good first-aid kit on hand with everything you might require. This can include stuff like plasters, sterile gauze, safety pins, tweezers, scissors, skin rash cream, antiseptic cream, painkillers, and some distilled water for cleaning wounds. I personally suggest you try out this one, as it has just about anything you might need.
Finally, while this might not be absolutely essential for survival, you should really, really get a good, sturdy and comfortable pair of boots (water resistance is a must) if you’re serious about hiking. Your feet are the first thing that’s going to hurt, and without adequate footwear you’re going to end up with a few blisters at best. At worst, your legs are going to be imbalanced and you risk joint injury, which is something you don’t want to tackle in the wild – you can quote me on that. I’ve had the Renegade GTX for a while now and my next pair is definitely going to be a Renegade as well, as they’re everything I require a pair of boots to be.
Howard Scalia is 37-year-old former scout leader from Austin, Texas, and one of the best and most trusted blog writers at trulygear.com. When he’s not working on some new interesting article, he enjoys taking long walks in the woods with his dogs.