Whenever stepping out into the back-country, its always a good idea to pack all the essential equipment that you will need on your hike. There is no such thing as being over prepared, as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. All you need is a comfortable backpack to store all of your equipment, and you are good to go. Bellow you will find a list of some of the more important things you should bring on your hiking trip, everything you need can be divided into three categories: navigation, survival and first-aid supplies.
Having a compass and map are the two necessary components to being able to properly navigate an area, they are a must have when going on long hikes. Even if you are familiar with the terrain it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan to get back home, getting lost in the dark can become a huge problem as you wont be able to see crucial landmarks to orient yourself. It is a good to have a GPS receiver to help you navigate, but if you are looking to be lither, a compass coupled with map reading abilities is a much better option, plus a compass doesn’t need batteries to work and weighs next to nothing.
When it comes to this category the list can go on forever, but here I will try to mention only the most essential tools you will need. This category can be broken down into three subcategories and they are: fire starting equipment, repair kit and tools and emergency shelter.
-For fire starting equipment you will need matches, preferably waterproof matches if not they should be stored in a waterproof container also you will need a fire starter this can be a candle, priming paste or heat “nuggets”.
-The essential repair kit and tools include a knife, multi-tools and a hiking hammer. A good knife can be used for many tasks cutting branches for fire, cooking and many other different tasks. As for multi-tools tools they can come in very useful for repairing broken equipment, eating, splinter removal and much more depending on your multi-tool. A hiking hammer is very useful if you need to setup a tent. There are many lightweight designs that are easy to carry and will save you a lot of aggravation when you need to drive spikes into the ground for your tent or if you want to nail in supports for a clothes line.
– An emergency shelter is always a good idea to have with you if you have to spend the night in the outdoors, there are many tents that are lightweight and wont take up to much space in your backpack, they are easy to setup especially when coupled with the other survival equipment such as the knife and hiking hammer.
I left this category separate from the survival equipment, as many people have specialized first-aid kits that are pre-assembled only for them depending on their needs. However, every first-aid kit should include adhesive bandages of various sizes, several gauze pads, adhesive tape, disinfecting ointment, over-the-counter pain medication and pen and paper.