Thursday, October 5, 2017

Top Five Essential Items to Have While Hiking



Here is another article by Guest Blogger - Lee Flynn - Please Note that all links provided in this post are from Lee Flynn and may or may not be affiliate links. 

Going hiking is a fantastic way to get outdoors, become healthier, and appreciate nature. Before grabbing your shoes and heading out the door for your first or next hike, consider that you are leaving with all of the correct items and gear. Hiking and being unprepared are a dangerous combination. You never know what can happen while out on the trails. The following five items are this list are essential things will you need to bring with you to keep you safe and have a perfect hike.


Navigation
It does not matter if you have done 1 hike or 100 hikes; the risk of getting lost always exists. Even if you have your trail all mapped out in your head or have hiked this trail before, there are still situations that could cause you to lose your way. Animals, bad weather, Injuries, and closed trails are all things that could throw off your hike.


To make sure you always know where you are, pack as many of the following as possible; a handheld GPS, a compass, and a map. Do not rely on your cell phone. It is common to lose most, if not all cell reception during your hike. Having a backup navigation plan is essential.


Footwear
You should always wear appropriate footwear when hiking. Not wearing the right shoes can lead to tripping, twisted ankles, sore feet, or shin splints. Eighty-five percent of people wear the wrong type of shoes when working out, and that includes walking, running, and hiking.


For shorter hikes or hikes with easy terrain, athletic shoes like sneakers or tennis shoes with good rubber treading should be sufficient. For longer hiking trips, hikes on tough terrain, or hikes while carrying a heavy load, you are going to want hiking boots with more support than regular shoes.


Water
The average person needs to drink roughly 9 to 13 cups of water every day. For people going hiking, especially in warmer and more humid climates, you need to bring water with you. Never assume that you are hydrated enough to not bring any with you. Hiking is a great exercise and it causes you to burn through your body’s water quick.


Heat exhaustion is common among unprepared, beginner hikers and having at least a liter of water can help you stay safe and hydrated. Never assume that you will find safe drinking water. Always have water bottles, canteens, or drinking bladder with you whenever you hike.


Skin Protection
Depending on the weather conditions, it can take only 15 minutes of sunlight exposure before developing sunburn. Unless you a taking a hike out to your front mailbox, you are going to need to protect your skin. If you are going hiking in a wooded area, do not assume that you will be in shade most of the time. Protect your skin with clothing and accessories like hats and sunglasses while also using sunscreen on any exposed skin.


In addition to protection from the sun, you might also want to consider protection from insects as well. Keeping a can of bug spray with you can prevent you from the misery of bugs crawling on you and mosquito bites. Wearing light pants and light long sleeve shirts can also protect your body from sun and pests without needing to put something on your skin.


Backpack
All the essential items listed above have to go somewhere and you are not going to want to carry them, so a backpack or daypack that can fit everything is another necessity. When picking the right backpack, you are going to want to look at two things, capacity, and comfort.


You are going to want a backpack that can hold everything you bring and even have room for any extra you want to bring along like food, an extra vape box mod, batteries, or an extra change of clothes. Also be sure that the backpack is comfortable. They can get heavy with all your gear in them, but quality packs will be easier and more comfortable on your back, shoulders, and neck.


Hiking with the proper apparel and equipment can lead to having a healthier body and an overall great experience on the trails. The above list is by no means everything you should bring. Depending on when, where, and how long your next hike is, you might need more than what is above. No matter what type of hike you have next, everything above should be a requirement.

You can read more about Lee Flynn at https://medium.com/@Preparation