When you venture out into the woods for a hike, you need to be prepared. Even if you’re only going to be gone for a couple of hours, you should still bring a bottle of water and some simple food provisions like a banana or granola bar. When I hiked Volcan Acatenango in Guatemala, my “guide”, who really doesn’t deserve that title, packed everything he needed, a bag full of beer. Needless to say my hiking partner and I left him and his converse sneakers behind. We found him on our way back down just a little further than where we left him. Maybe that was his plan all along.
But we’re talking about multiple days on the trail. So what should you bring? If you’re going to be hiking 10+ miles a day you need good nutrition and to stay hydrated. You’re not going to be bringing gallons of water with you because that would foolishly weigh you down (I’ve seen people do that). So you need a good water filter to make lake water and river water drinkable. you’re also going to want another way to clean your water in case your filter fails you, so some water purification tablets will work for this. you can always boil your water with your stove as well.
Food to bring:
- Granola bars
- Trail mix
- Power bars or gels
- Salt & pepper
- Dehydrated fruits
- Freeze dried/dehydrated food
- Canned tuna/sardines (just remember you’ll have to carry the empty cans out of the trail with you)
*Special Tip – Making your own jerky, whether it’s poultry or red meat, is much more cost efficient and satisfying. You should know how to make jerky anyway, So it will be good practice.
For clothing make sure you look at the weather ahead of time and plan accordingly. If there’s a chance of rain in the forecast bring a light rain jacket. Try not to bring anything too bulky and heavy. But if it’s going to be chilly make sure you layer up. Wear moisture wicking clothing for under layers. Even wearing a beanie at night helps your head stay warm. And Wearing dry socks, sometimes doubled up, will help your feet stay warm while sleeping as well.
Here’s a list to help get you started packing. Everything shown here I’ve used or have a version of and recommend. I will not tell you to use something if I think it sucks. Go ahead and click the links/pics for more info.
- Go Girl For the ladies of course
- Menstrual Cup Again, for the ladies
- Also grab a good book
- Map(s) pertaining to location
It’s also a good idea to acclimate your body prior to your trip and get it ready to carry 20 or 30+ lbs. on your back for 10+ miles a day for multiple days. The trail will get you acclimated one way or another.
Happy Hiking Out There!
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