Today we are going to unpack the process of packing for your next hiking trip by giving you a simple list of the 10 essentials you'll need! If you're a newbie hiker you may be surprised by a few things we mention but as long as you follow this list, you'll be ready to tackle any trail!
The number one item you need to make sure you have at all times is water. It is absolutely essential to stay hydrated, especially when you are out under the hot sun. It’s recommended that you bring a 24-hour supply of water and a water purifier just in case. In order to stay hydrated it is critical that you not only drink water but get a sufficient number of electrolytes. Bringing an electrolyte packed hydration drink mix is a great idea (our personal favorite is ProLoco since it has electrolytes plus protein to keep your hunger at bay while you are hiking).
No matter how long the trail is it’s important to bring food to keep you fueled. Snack bars made from real whole foods can be a good option as well as jerky, nuts, dried fruit, and protein drink mixes like ProLoco!
Before leaving home always check the weather and make sure you are sufficiently prepared. Weather can change quickly especially when you are up in the mountains. It is a good idea to pack extra insulation such as a rain coat or a light down jacket. Avoid cotton clothing products if you can. Wear clothing material that is quick drying (reason to avoid cotton clothing) to wick sweat. For foot wear, hiking boots are great because they have a tough sole to protect your feet and they offer ankle support. Running shoes can also be a good alternative if you aren’t worried about foot injuries. The plus side of wearing running shoes is that they are light weight and dry easily.
Even on cloudy days the sun can be harsh on your skin and eyes. Nothing ruins a hike faster than a painful sun burn. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat or other protective clothing to keep from getting burned.
A fun hike can turn dangerous quickly if you get lost out on the trail. Bringing a trusty compass is essential in case you ever stray from the trail and lose your way. A compass doesn’t run out of battery and doesn’t take up much space so as a rule of thumb always keep one in your pack. If you tend to go hiking alone in remote areas, consider investing in a satellite phone. These phones work anywhere on earth since they don’t rely on cell towers. If you ever find yourself in the worst-case scenario you’ll be grateful you have one of these.
You never know what you may encounter in the wilderness. It is easy to get a blister, a small cut, or an infection. Keeping a compact first aid kit with you is a must! If you want to save yourself the head ache, you can buy a pre-made first aid kit. If you prefer to make one yourself make sure that it includes any medications you need, adhesive bandages (in assorted sizes), antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipe packets, aspirin, adhesive cloth tape, tweezers and hydrocortisone ointment packets.
This one is a no brainer. Make sure that it’s comfortable and fits well. A bonus feature you may look for in a good pack is an easily accessible compartment for water or a bladder.
If you are doing an overnight backpacking trip bring a fire starter even if you aren’t planning on having a fire. You never know when a situation may arise that you will need a fire, so it’s a good idea to carry some form of waterproof fire starter eg. waterproof matches or a lighter.
A good Swiss army knife can always come in handy and doesn’t require much space. Duct tape is another useful tool to bring with you and it can work in a pinch for blisters.
Let’s get personal for a minute. If you are on a long hike in a remote area there most likely won’t be bathrooms available so you'll need a few things to make sure that you can take care of business while you are taking care of business. Hand sanitizer and toilet paper are a necessity! One item that sometimes gets overlooked is a trowel. After mother nature calls, make sure to bury your toilet paper and leave no trace. We love our earth so let’s take care of it!
We hope this checklist makes packing a cinch! If you follow this list you will be more than prepared for any trail. If you are interested in a legit adventure power-up, checkout our protein-infused hydration drink, ProLoco, by clicking HERE.