It is imperative that a list is made of all the items that need to be included while you go for a hike. Furthermore, you may be one of those wish to travel light, and I do get the philosophy behind this. However, you will have to pack as per the plan, and here is where pre-planning comes in to play. While you are busy making a route for the trip, be careful to keep in mind that your travel itinerary decides your backpack. If it’s a day trip then, of course, it will not be a load, but if it is more than that, then the backpack has to be packed accordingly. A to-do list is mandatory and packing the bag needs to be at the top of it.
Let us have a quick look at what a one-day packing list might look like:
- Navigation: map, compass, GPS are a must if you do not wish to lose your way
- Sun protection: Sunscreen, SPF chapstick, sunglasses, a hat for the skin sensitive. Most higher ranges are prone to greater UV rays, so be careful with the bright light.
- Insulation: Warm clothing, waterproof layer, gloves, hat. Now, if the trip has been undertaken during winter or monsoon then you have to have protection against the elements. You do not wish to fall unwell in the midst of nowhere and with no forthcoming help.
- Illumination: Headlamp, extra batteries. It does get pretty dark in the wilderness, so be prepared to counter that. Light is also a significant deterrent to animals.
- First-aid supplies: The rugged terrains are unforgiving. You will fall, cut, and bruise yourself. But not fail to continue on your journey. The medical kit is your greatest asset here.
- Fire: Matches or a lighter – a bonfire maybe. Why not?
- Repair kit and tools: i.e. Knife or Swiss army knife, duct tape, etc. They can be used for a variety of purposes. So keep them handy.
- Nutrition: Hunger pangs strike. And strikes how.
- Hydration: Water bottle or bladder, water filter, or other treatment systems. Need I tell you more.
- Emergency shelter: Tarp or reflective blanket. To protect you from the rain, the snow, and many other things.
- Lunch for the hunger that strikes irrespective of the beautiful view you were so engrossed in.
- Water: Three liters for a day hike. I would suggest a bit more. Thirst is killing.
- Snacks: Energy bars, electrolytes, and gels for light snacking
- Poop Kit: Towel, toilet paper, baby wipes, hand sanitizer for the metabolism, which, by the way, gives a damn to your adventure.
- Bug spray because the wild is what they aptly call it.
- Trekking poles. To help you stabilize on rugged terrain. Also, to shoo away the occasional bear.
- Trail description or a map. A must.
- Hiking boots or shoes
- Wool hiking socks if the weather is cold.
- Watch, to see what time of the day it is. That is an excellent use of a watch.
- Camera for those lovely sceneries. You went there for that only. Isn’t it?
- Cellphone with an external battery charger. That is a luxury because in the middle of nowhere was coined because of the lack of communication.
- Emergency Beacon.
- Trip itinerary left with a friend. Someone who knows and shares your madness but wasn’t keen to travel with you.