I've hiked before and I've gone terribly wrong when it comes to carrying the essentials needed, to go on hiking. And, I also believe that I'm not the only one who has been sailing on the same boat. So, for those of you who is either new to the world of hiking or for those of you, who is confused on what to take during the course of it, read on to know what are the 8 essentials needed to go on a trek/hike:
1. Footwear: Ensure to invest on some good trail shoes when you go on a short day hike and opt for hiking boots when you're planning on a long day sessions.
2. Navigation/ GPS: One must always carry a map or a compass or both, which acts as an important tool for navigating your way around the trail, Of course, every smartphone these days have a navigation system but it's really not a good option to depend on the phones when network issue is a serious problem while trekking/ hiking.
3. Rain-gear & Insulation: As weatherman doesn't revolve around you, you can expect the unexpected from him. So, it is never a harm carrying additional layer of clothing, raincoats, umbrellas etc. One needs to keep two important rules in mind: avoid cotton (as it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat. Dressing up in layers will help one adjust to the changing weather and activity levels.
4. Sunglasses & Sunscreen: There's no such thing as a bad idea when it comes to carrying sunscreens and sunglasses, when you're hiking or trekking out in the open. There's no one who fancies a sunburn, so carry a lip balm, sunscreen, a hat to avoid the possibilities of getting burnt in the sun.
5. Hydration & Nutrition: Treks and Hikes are a part of exercises, so, to keep that good body going, one needs to eat, if you're hiking for more than a few hours. One important rule here is to keeping your body hydrated, no matter for how long one is hiking. Carry an extra bottle of water and drink it liberally while hiking. It's good to carry nutrition bars, healthy snacks which includes carbohydrates, proteins etc.,
6. Tools & Illumination: When natural sources of light gives up on you, one must always carry flashlights or headlamps when your hike is delayed. Carry some Swiss knife, small role of duct tape, few safety pins are all you need if you come across a broken or torn gear to patch things up. Good thinking, if one carries a lighter or matches and candles, if you misjudged on the hike distance.
7. First Aid Supplies: The easiest thing one can do is buy a small first aid kit or if you can assemble one of your own, that'd be great too.
8. Day-pack/ Backpack: One must always carry a comfortable backpack where they can carry in all their essential needs and mustn't forget to carry a rain cover for the bag too.
Bonus Pointers: It's good to carry an insect repellent, whistle, watch, mirror (for signalling, obviously) gloves, extra socks, toiletries, emergency shelters.
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