Ten Essentials For Hiking
Have you ever been out hiking and realized that you are missing something? An Item that could have made your trip more enjoyable or could have prevented an unforeseen problem? In the Boy Scouts, whenever we go out for a campout or hike, we always make sure to bring our Ten Essentials.
- First Aid: For your First Aid Kit you will want to include bandages and disinfect. Tripping over roots or rocks can result in scraped knees so it is always a good idea to have a First Aid Kit to fix up any wounds that you may sustain.
- Food: Hiking is a tiring excess. Make sure you pack enough food for how long you will be out for. Nuts, cheese, trail mix, jerky or add water meals are great sources of energy during your hike. When its time for lunch find an excellent place to sit with a view and enjoy your meal!
- Water: Staying hydrated is extremely important when you are out hiking. Dehydration can cause you to pass out. I have had to patch up many scouts who forgot to drink water and hit their head on the ground after passing out.
- Map & Compass: With a map and compass you can make sure you know where you are. If you choose to use a GPS make sure you still have a map and compass because they do not need batteries to work. If you are ever in an emergency situation knowing where you are can help Frist Responders get to you faster and get you back safely.
- Extra Clothing: Having one extra pair of clothes to change into when your current wardrobe is unfit for the weather can help you adapt to unexpected weather changes. Trust me, having that extra pair of socks during heavy rains can mean the difference. Getting Trench Foot from your wet socks is not fun.
- Pocketknife: The knife is a great multipurpose tool. You can use it to make wood shavings for your campfire, transform it into a makeshift spear, or to cut open clothing when you need to perform First Aid
- Fire Starter: Fire Starter kits often include a lighter, matches, or flint and steel. Alongside some small fuel sources like paper and wood shavings. These are helpful to light a fire that will keep you warm during a cold night or to use as a way to signal rescuers.
- Rain Gear: From sunny skies to down pouring storms. It is always best to carry a rain jacket so you can stay dry and warm during rain showers. During one of my campouts with the Boy Scouts, some Scouts had forgotten their rain gear, and a heavy rainstorm hit our campsite. With little choice, we had to leave camp and return home before the boys lacking rain gear got sick from the cold.
- Sun Protection: This includes sunscreen and sunglasses. Whether you are hiking in the snowy mountains of Washington or the sunny hillsides of California I recommend bringing both these items to prevent sunburns and to improve your vision.
- Flashlight: Got a light? No? Then you better grab one because if you are still out on the trail when night hits, then it becomes much easier to get lost. Plus, you can use a light to signal for help during an emergency.
- Duct Tape: A little bonus for you. Duck Tape is great for keeping packs or clothing together when they get rips or holes start to form. Also, it can be used in First Aid to keep band-aids on wounds.
Before You Go
When you are getting ready for a trip, make sure to check each item off your list as it can mean the difference from a minor inconvenience to needing a trip to the hospital.
Make sure to inform someone of when you expect to be back from your trip so that if you do not respond on time, they can call for help. Give them a detailed map of where you plan to be hiking at so that in the cause of an emergency they can get First Responders out to you as soon as possible.
Have a great trip and stay safe!