What To Bring On A Day Hike
Defining your hike
Your hike can be quickly defined by the season , distance and degree of difficulty . These three factors will enable you to very quickly decide what you need to bring with you so that your outing becomes enjoyable and safe . By using these parameters it becomes very easy to prepare a backpack for yourself . And rest assured that a pack on your back , is the easiest and most comfortable means to carry any load for any period of time .
Once you have defined the ‘ type ‘ of hike you will be going on, it becomes very easy to gear – up for it .
In the old days , people use to walk or hike to their destinations out of necessity . Today , however hiking is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds . Hiking is now less used as a means of transportation and more and more has become an exciting and pleasant way to exercise and to enjoy the outdoors .
Hiking is becoming the gateway to spending more time outdoors , because of its simplicity . It is so easy that everyone is ” bumping up ” their walking – to hiking !
Much of the hiking today can be observed in our city parks which are often built along rivers , follow a sea-shore or some other geographical feature . Most of these day trips are fun , social and can be put together with a few friends in quick order . A few phone calls , some friends from work or school , some snacks and done .
Walking along a river or along the sea-shore with friends is always a very pleasant experience and most times even inclement weather can’t spoil the beautiful experience .
A Walk in the Park
We all know that a walk in the park or along the beach is not a hike , but it is the beginning of your hiking training . The more walks along the river and along the seashore you take – the closer you will be to setting out on your first real hike .
Now , you will need more than your cell phone and a bottle of water .
What to bring on a hike
Over the years , people travelling from place to place soon realized that a few items and tools carried with them in a bag or basket were always nice to have , very useful and often added to their safety and could even save lives on occasion .
Many ‘lists’ have been created by the beginners and the hard-core . Even the ‘forgetful’ make a list – not to forget their list !
What has survived to this day is the ‘lists’ of ten . This is an easy number to remember , because of our numeral system but also perhaps because we have ten fingers and ten toes .
The old list
- clothing/rain gear
- first aid kit
Today’s list has replaced most of these items with a ” system ” .
- navigation ( includes map , compass , GPS , ) http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/home
- fire ( matches/lighter/fire-starter )
- illumination ( headlamps/flashlights )
- first aid
- sun protection ( sunglasses/sunscreen)
- insulation ( clothing )
- hydration ( water/water filter )
- emergency shelter ( bivouac/tarp/space blanket)
- repair kit and tools
As you can quickly see , using a system is much easier to classify the necessary items required for any task . Again , depending on the season , the distance and the degree of difficulty of your next hike , this list is very complete and one that I have been using for many years .
I welcome any and all of your comments and suggestions to the the above list of essential items that should be carried on ALL your outdoor adventures .