Written by: Ryan Giesbrecht
Some considerations for your hiking essentials…
Whether embarking on a two-mile or 15 mile hike, certain pieces of gear should always be packed.
Shoes and socks are paramount. Depending on the intensity and type of hike, different shoes or boots can be worn. Lighter shoes are absolutely fine if the terrain permits. Waterproof hiking boots can be overkill, so make sure to know the land before you trek! Socks are the next item of importance, and if the sock doesn’t fit, chances are your new hiking boots won’t be as comfortable and helpful as they could be.
Water is vital, so don’t try to tough it out and abstain. You will die.
Other essentials could possibly include snacks (a HUGE essential for many), clothing that pertains to weather, and a GPS if you’re into that.
Know the lay of the land, and pack accordingly!
There are many pertinent aspects that go into packing for a backpacking trek. There are so many things to keep in mind that it can be overwhelming. To make things easier, try to think small and ask small questions.
Ask things like:
“what do I need to survive?” (Answer: food, water, shelter)
“do I need clothing?” (Answer: yes)
“what will the weather be like?” (Answer: *check forecast*)
“do I have a backpack?” (Answer: hopefully yes)
These questions may seem silly, but they give perspective as to what is important.
Also keep in mind the big problems to face on a backpacking trip. There are two.
- Stay warm.
- Stay healthy.
Safety and health should always be top priority when planning an adventure such as this. Yes, backpacking is fun, but it can be extremely dangerous.
Keep your feet safe. They are your vehicles to wonder! After 100 miles, fatigue is real, and so is a raw aching foot. With the Pursuit Hike sock, foot troubles can be managed effectively and cheaply. Why spend $1000 on gear if you can’t walk after a few days? Pair this with an intelligent choice of shoe, and your feet will stay warm and safe.
Bring a first aid kit. Try buying a hike savvy kit and refilling it after each trip! (get one that is water proof with lots of clever little remedies for nature’s bites)
Your shelter is of utmost importance. Some seasoned backpackers thrive with a hammock kit, but this is very dependent on environment. Most prefer a tent and sleeping bag. A sleeping bag mat is another essential, as it aids in comfort and warmth.
For food, dry things are good. Tortillas and peanut butter are a gift from the gods. On cold nights, hot food is welcome, so it can be helpful to pack a tiny camping stove and a pan. These camping stoves can fit in the palm of a hand, so space isn’t an issue. Also try heating up water for coffee. Trail coffee tastes better than mom could make.
Other items could include vitamins, a flashlight, rope or tools, and a knife.
And for the love of all that is good, don’t forget a map and compass. Being truly and miserably lost is a terrifying place to be.
Over all things, ask simple questions and react to what is needed. Don’t survive. Thrive instead!