Hiking Tips – 5 Things to Add to Your Back Pack

With the country thawing out and people dying to feel the warmth of the sun this spring, hiking season will no doubt be one of the busiest in recent years. It’s very important to be prepared as thousands of injuries and several fatalities occur on hikes every year. Below are some things to keep in your hiking pack. Keep in mind that there may be changes based on terrain, climate, and general geographical differences.

No brainer? Apparently not! So many, especially on desert hikes, suffer from life-threatening dehydration symptoms. A good rule of thumb to know when hiking is, if you’re already thirsty, it’s too late. In other words, drink regular sips of water to avoid thirst. This means bring plenty of water. In general, bring twice to three times as much water as you think you might need.

If you’re trekking through thick forest, you run the risk of losing your sense of direction. Maps and compasses are a must to pack along with you. You can find cheap compasses on Amazon.com and a great resource for maps is the Trails Illustrated Maps section of the National Geographic Website.

Food is incredibly important and one of the most overlooked items to include on a long hike. If you get lost, a feeling of hunger and low blood sugar can cause irrational decisions. Bring along high protein dried food like beef jerky or protein bars, hydrating food like fruit, and even some peanut butter sandwiches. The point is, don’t just pack for the hike – pack with preparation in mind. Remember, it’s not being negative when planning for the worst, it’s being wise!

First Aid Kit
First, any good survivalist should have sound training in First Aid. If you don’t, however, you can still prepare with the basics. A basic, lightweight First Aid Kit will have bandages, burn cream, sunscreen, antibiotic ointments, and blister treatments. The moment you wise up and add one to your hiking pack is the moment you increase your chances of survival should something unexpected happen.

Emergency Shelter
Shelter comes in several forms. In this case, it is a raincoat or Mylar blanket that can shelter you from the elements. Mylar Blankets are great as they deflect heat when it’s hot and hold in heat when it is cold. They are easy to pack as well. Even in the dead of summer, a surprise rain storm can cause the body to experience mild shock and enter into beginning stages of hypothermia.
Remember, preparation is the key. And if you think it can’t happen to you, you’re incredibly naïve. The fact is, you can fill your hiking pack with all of these items for under 30 dollars, so why not be wise and do so?

We hope you learned something. If you have any input or ideas, please share them with us in the comment section below.