While packing for your hiking trip, there are a few essentials that you just can’t afford to leave behind. The list of essentials was first put together by The Mountaineers, a Seattle based hiking association of climbers and hikers in 1930s. The same group in 2003 updated the list to include the recent technological aids that come in handy in tricky situations that a hiker might encounter. Here is a list of the updated top five essential things that you need to carry on your next hiking trip.
Navigation: the two prime components of navigation currently are compass and maps. The addition of a topographic map is mandatory if you set on a trail that you are not familiar with. Basic knowledge of map and compass reading is necessary. A compass is still preferred over a high tech GPS because a compass doesn’t require batteries and will never die out on you.
Sun protective wear: you cannot overlook sun protection. Choose a sunblock that extends sun protection of SPF 15 ad maximum of SPF 30 and protects from both UVB and UVA radiation. If the trek includes snow and ice opt for dark tinted sun glasses. The lens must block 100% UV light to avoid development of cataract.
Insulation: always carry an extra set of clothes for you never know when it will come in handy. The weather will be unpredictable and it always better to be safe than sorry.
Illumination: the importance of carrying a torch cannot be stressed upon enough. In the night there will be no source of light but the moon. Headlamps are the most common choice because they offer the longest battery life.
First Aid kit: pack the kit depending on the trip duration and the number of people. The kit should include antiseptic, blister creams, pain medication, bandages, adhesive tape, paper and pen.