Going on a hike is a great way to explore nature, relax from the stress of the modern lifestyle, and recharge your batteries. However, you can’t really enjoy it if all you can think about is how heavy your backpack is and when you will take the next break. With that in mind, it’s important that you pack wisely — and doing so is an art, especially if you only have a daypack. So, to help you enjoy your hike to the fullest, here are a few things you shouldn’t forget.
The best backpack
First things first, you need the right pack. Whether you choose a daypack or a backpack, it needs to be big enough for everything you need, depending on the length of your hike. Packs with separate top or front pockets for smaller items are always a good choice. Mesh side pockets can also come in handy, as you can put your water bottle or insect repellent in them. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to find a pack with a few side pockets that you can reach into without having to take off the pack.
Clothes and shoes
When it comes to clothes, make sure to check the weather forecast. It’s always advisable to dress in layers, so you can take things off and put them on as needed. Also, make sure to wear at least one or two moisture-wicking layers. As for shoes, comfort and support should be your top priority. Moreover, look for shoes that are water-resistant, since you never know when rain can surprise you.
Food and water
For one day of hiking, two liters per person should be a safe bet. However, depending on the weather and the intensity of the hike, you may need more. As for food, you should have snacks like nuts, jerky, and energy bars, since you can easily eat them on the move. However, don’t underestimate your hunger, and add a sandwich or two to your backpack if you’re planning on having a lunch break after a few hours of hiking.
It’s hard to imagine our lives without technology today, and even though going on a nature hike is a good opportunity to take a break from that, your phone can still come in handy. After all, there would surely be plenty of gorgeous sceneries that you’d like to take a photo of. Just don’t forget to bring a quality mini power bank too, as today’s smartphones aren’t exactly known for their long-lasting battery life.
Emergency and health
Some other items you should have are a small first-aid kit, some matches or a lighter, a whistle, wet wipes, toilet paper, and perhaps some antibacterial hand sanitizer for cleaning your hands before eating. Of course, you could bring some soap as well, but in that case, don’t forget to bring an extra water bottle for washing your hands.
As pleasant as sunny days can be, the sun can also be dangerous if you let yourself be exposed for too long without proper protection. So, don’t forget your sunglasses, sunscreen, sun hat, and perhaps some SPF-rated lip balm. Also, try not to be in the direct sun for too long, and take frequent breaks in the shade to freshen up if the weather is too hot.
If you’re planning on exploring a new route, even if you’re going with somebody who knows it, it’s always a good idea to bring an extra map in your backpack. Of course, you can use your phone’s GPS, but technology is known to fail when you need it the most, so it’s always a good idea to have some foolproof ways to navigate. Plus, if you know how to find your way around with a compass, you can bring that as well. Finally, don’t forget to let somebody know about your itinerary, just in case you do get lost — it would be easier to find you if they know which way you were planning on going.
Going on a hike is a great way to have fun with your family, friends, or alone. However, it’s only fun if you can actually focus on the beauty around you and not worry about something you forgot. So, make sure to pack wisely, and you’re bound to have the time of your life.