July 08, 2021
For those of us with a deep and abiding love for the outdoors, there are times when the call to get back into nature is so strong that we just want to throw our day pack into the car and GO. But, while spontaneous trips are often the best and most memorable, it is important to take time to pack essential safety gear any time you’re going out into the wilderness for camping or hiking.
You’ve likely heard of the “essential 10”—a list of must-have gear to take when hiking or camping—and, depending on who you ask, those essentials can vary. We’ve come up with our own list though, in truth, some of these are categories with more than one item. That being said, everything listed can fit in a small pack that you can keep as your “go bag” for those moments when, as John Muir wrote, “the mountains call…and I must go”.
Most of us take our phones along when camping or hiking to use in the event of an emergency, and some take them assuming they’ll be able to use them as a navigation tool. Sometimes this works…and sometimes there is zero cell service, so be sure to take a hard copy map of the campgrounds and hiking trails along with electronic devices.
Make sure you have plenty of nutritious, calorie-dense food, especially if you’re hiking into the back country. Take extra in case you are out longer than expected.
While water is not technically gear, it is vitally important while hiking and camping. Try to consume a gallon of water each day and carry plenty with you when hiking.
The weather can change in an instant, so it is important to pack a poncho or rain jacket, a few moisture-wicking layers, and a hat.
You can find a standard first-aid kit made specifically for hikers and campers that is stocked with all the necessary items: tweezers, alcohol swabs, basic medications, etc. Your kit should go with you to the campground and on the trail.
Make sure you pack polarized sunglasses, a ball cap or other hat with a brim, and plenty of sunscreen.
Headlamps are great because you can illuminate your path while keeping both hands free (we happen to love this one).
Pack a windproof lighter, waterproof matches, a magnifying glass, and a fire starter stick like this one.
You likely take one with you when camping, but you should have a knife or multi-tool in your pack or pocket when you’re on the trail. You may need it to repair broken gear or to help in a first aid emergency.
If you’re camping, you likely brought a tent, but it is a good idea to carry an additional shelter. If you get lost while hiking, or if an unexpected weather event blows through, you may need an emergency tent. This lightweight shelter only adds 8 ounces to your pack…and might just save your life.
Think of these essentials as your hiking insurance policy—you may never need some of them but, if you do, you’ll be awfully glad you have them with you.
Here’s to thoughtfully packing and thoroughly enjoying all that the great outdoors has to offer!
American Hiking Society
July 23, 2021
No one wants to be caught unprepared during an unexpected weather event or emergency. It’s important to do what you can to make you and your family are safe, and an easy way to accomplish this is by making sure you have quick and convenient access to flashlights throughout your home.
June 22, 2021
June 08, 2021
There are two kinds of people in the world—those who relish the idea of camping with their kiddos, and those who are filled with anxiety at the idea of carting their kids into the wild.
While the idea of roughing it with little ones can be intimidating, with proper prep and planning your child’s first camping experience can be magical and can set them up for a lifelong love affair with the great outdoors.