8 Must-Haves for Hiking or Camping
By Mary M.
Are you going on an adventure? Don’t forget these eight essential items.
If you have been hiking or camping before, you know that being prepared is crucial for a successful trip. Here are ten things not to leave behind:
1.) Sun Block: Even if you are trekking through the Arctic Tundra, you can’t forget sunscreen! It blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays. Plus, no one wants to get sunburn on the first day and be miserable for the rest of the trip!
2.) Comfortable Clothing: This one might seem obvious but it can make or break your experience. Make sure you bring clothes that suit the type of climate and weather you will be encountering. If you only bring shorts, you may be cold and uncomfortable, simultaneously if you don’t bring a rain jacket; you might be in a world of hurt, or in this case water!
3.) Flashlight: This tool can be used in a variety of ways, and I feel is always necessary for a safe adventure. A flashlight might be needed at night for a quick bathroom run or simply any nighttime excursion. It is an important safety tool and should most certainly not be forgotten.
4.) Phone or Portable Camera: This one is optional, but I always find myself wanting to capture the moment. Beautiful landscapes and surprising moments are great memories and can be captured forever with a phone or camera. This can help you document your travels and be a reminder of the great experience you had!
5.) Map or GPS: Whether you are going to your local park to camp or you are hiking the Appalachian Mountains, a map or GPS is a must-have. A map or GPS can help you stay on your planned route or potentially save your life if you do in fact become lost. I always keep one close; I check it frequently to make sure that I am still where I need to be.
6.) First Aid: This is another important item(s). Always be sure to pack a pre-made or self-made first aid kit. It should include but not be limited to; band aids, alcohol pads, gauze, medical tape, sticky wrap/ACE bandage, anti-itch cream and anti-bacterial cream. A small cut might not seem like much, but if you are out in nature it is very easy for an infection to manifest itself. Plus, if the mosquito bites are bothering you, the anti-itch cream will come in very handy.
7.) Water Filter: This item is also optional, but is essential in safety situations. If you are hiking or camping in a remote or even semi-remote area, a water filter is necessary. You may run out of water or your next clean water source may be farther away than originally expected. A water filter allows you to drink water from ‘unclean’ sources such as; lakes, rivers and streams. This item may be lifesaving and is always in my backpack.
8.) A Good Attitude: While this is not a physical item, it is completely necessary for an enjoyable adventure. If you are hiking, it can be difficult and unpleasant at times, but keeping positive thoughts and a positive mood will make it much easier. If you are camping, the bugs may be at you or your sleeping mat might not be soft enough, but a smile and a deep breath can go a long way.