These top ten essentials should be packed whenever you decide to step out and go on any hike. Some you may not ever need but that one time you do, you’ll be glad to have it in your rucksack.
These ten essentials are what are known to many as the “Systems” approach. Instead of listing individual items, items are grouped together.
A good old map and compass that does not rely on any power source is a definite for any walk and should not be overlooked. Even if you have a GPS or Smartphone that you heavily rely on, having a compass alongside could save you if your device fails or runs out of power. This bit of kit will give you that piece of mind of knowing that no matter what you will never be completely lost and stuck in the middle of know where. (Knowing how to read the map and use the compass is also useful!)
Sunglasses and sun cream is another must.
Sunglasses will protect your eyes from prolonged sunshine and enable you to see clearly no matter how bright that sun may be. We would recommend the Smith Parallel Max Polarized Sunglasses.
Sun cream will protect your skin from the sun and minimise the possibility of sunburn. Make sure you read the bottle and ensure you know how often you need to apply to ensure the best protection possible. Look out not only for the factor but also for the UVA rating.
Weather can be very unpredictable, especially if you are going on longer hikes over multiple days. Insulated clothes are a must to keep you warm and dry, after all, no one wants to be cold and wet.
Examples of the sort of clothes could be a lightweight waterproof jacket, extra underwear, hats and socks.
If you’re looking for a new jacket this Sub Zero Lightweight Jacket should do the trick.
Socks are where we come in at SockMine. Check out our hiking sock range here: https://www.sockmine.co.uk/hiking/ – we have you covered from going on long expeditions to a short stroll so be sure to check them all.
Headlights, torches and portable lanterns are all examples of what you could choose to help you out when it goes dark. To keep your night vision, try using a red coloured light.
Headlights are a great choice as they are hands-free – so you have your hands to put to better use and attached to your head so they will always be lighting up wherever you are looking, in most cases the direction you are walking which is key. When looking for a suitable head torch, make sure to consider the comfort when worn, as well as the brightness and battery life.
Torches and Portable Lanterns are also a good choice however due to a headlights functionality it has got to be a headlight for us.
FIRST AID SUPPLIES
I would say an obvious essential that everyone should have even if it’s one of the only things they take with them. Whether you make your own or simply buy one of the pre-made first aid packs that you can get from most stores. Our recommendation is Life Systems Mountain Leader First Aid Kit.
You can be sure that if the occasion ever arises where you need to apply some first aid you will be glad you packed it.
Be sure to take into consideration the number of people on a hike and also the length of a hike as this will determine the size of first aid you should be packing.
When setting up camp, a fire is one of the first things you will want to start, extra warmth on cold nights and a source to cook any food you have brought on your trip.
Matches – old fashioned but will always do the job as long as you don’t neglect where they are packed in your kit, you don’t want to be getting these wet!. If you don’t want to take matches you can get various lighters for hiking.
Firestarter – some sort of kindling that will allow you to get a fire started if you cannot find dry wood in the area to use. This will save you searching about and get that fire you need, started much quicker.
Tools such as knives, scissors and a can opener will always come in handy. These can be used for food prep, cutting wood and many other emergencies. Make sure you have a sharp knife that will be able to take on most needs that is preferable a fold away blade – extra bit of safety for the carrier. This A. Wright & Son Lambfoot Knife Wood Handle should do the trick.
Food is what is going to keep you going over your trip and its always clever to pack an extra day to what you think you’ll need. These extra bits of food should be able to be eaten without any preparation in case of a food emergency. Good examples of these foods are energy bars or dried fruits. If you are looking for somewhere to buy these head over to Nutrivitality and get 10% off your first order.
Water is the one item that will either break or make your hike. Ensure to have a large enough water bottle that will be able to carry enough water for a day. It’s also a good idea to carry a collapsible water reservoir in case you come across a water source but your bottle is still full, this will enable you to carry that extra water you may need.
If you are going on a really long expedition then it is always good practice to carry some sort of water treating tool. This will enable to treat any water you come across and lower the risk of you getting ill from contaminated water.
For any expeditions over several days, one of the most important items is your tent. However in extreme situations, having some kind of emergency shelter that can quickly and easily protect you from the elements is a life saver. It can be as simple as a black bin bag, or the ground sheet of your tent to give you that quick protection from the elements. The Hunka bivvy bag is recommended.
Hope that this helps you have the best summer hike you could possibly have and be sure to check out our technical hiking socks that will look after your feet no matter the hike! #careforyourfeet
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