If you’ve been reading my blog for any short amount of time, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I love hiking. If I could choose my ideal way to spend a weekend, it will involve being outdoors, exploring some new trail. Since Austin and I are currently traveling around the country, we constantly are trying new hikes. (Read about our hiking adventures here!) Unknown and unfamiliar trails come with their own challenges though, and I like to make sure that my hiking pack contains all essentials so we can be prepared for whatever we encounter.
You may have heard about the Hikers’ Ten Essentials. They are as follows:
- Sun Protection
Now, I don’t bring emergency shelter with me on our short day hikes, and I couldn’t if I wanted to since we aren’t traveling with the necessary equipment. Aside from that, I strive to always carry something from the other nine categories.
To start, when Austin and I began traveling, I knew I would need the perfect adventure backpack. Something that was lightweight and small enough to be a simple daypack, but something that was also spacious and durable enough to use on a trail. Once I discovered the Fjällräven Kånken, I knew I had found the perfect hiking pack. Even though I am aware that this is not a proper backpacking pack, my Kånken has proven itself perfect for day hikes and its versatility makes it ideal for the season of life that we are currently in. (Find the Kånken at Nordstrom and Zappos)
Kånken was launched in 1978 to spare the backs of school children and is made out of durable, lightweight Vinylon F. Fjällräven makes functional, timeless and long-lasting outdoor equipment – all in order to have the lowest negative impact on the environment as possible. Our goal is a healthier outdoor life, now and for future generations.
For Navigation and Illumination, I always have my phone with me. Before I hike, I turn it onto Airplane Mode to conserve my battery (since I don’t need email or Instagram notifications while I’m out enjoying nature anyway.) I download the trail map to my phone before leaving on a trek in case there aren’t any paper maps available. Or I’ll snap a picture of a map in the parking lot or trailhead that I can refer to later on the hike. Also, the flashlight on my phone has come in handy on several hikes already. A proper GPS, compass, and flashlight are on list of things-to-purchase-once-we-settle-down.
We take safety seriously with these new natural sunscreen formulas. In our SPF 33 sunscreen sport we have the safest sun protection ingredient: pure non-nano zinc oxide. Safe for coral reefs, safe for kids and safe for you. Slather it on and don’t worry, you won’t find white residue left behind. Play in the sun, relax and remember safety comes first! All Good Products | Zinc Sunscreen
I also apply their SPF 15 Good Lips Balm before going outdoors and into the sun.
Insulation isn’t always needed on summer hikes, but it never hurts to be prepared. As a result, I usually throw a jacket or sweatshirt and a cozy knit hat into my hiking pack in case we encounter unexpected wind, rain, or frigid temperatures. Also, having an extra pair of socks is awesome in case your feet get wet. Make sure that you’re hiking in wool socks – they dry quickly and are cushioned and help prevent blisters. Cotton and synthetic socks will stay wet and cause hot spots on blisters on long hikes. My favorite hiking socks are these Smartwool Hiking Light Crew Socks and these Darn Tough Vermont Hiker 1/4 Cushion Socks.
Having my hiking First Aid kit on hand always gives me peace-of-mind while hiking. I carry the REI Day Hiker First Aid Kit and it contains everything we need. It’s made in the USA and contains adhesive bandages (I’ve added some of my own to the kit,) an assortment of gauze pads, a roll of gauze, a roll of medical tape, antiseptic towelettes, triple-antibiotic ointment, sting-relief wipes, antacid tablets, ibuprofen tablets, acetaminophen tablets, allergy-relief tablets, and moleskin for the prevention and treatment of blisters. Included equipment are a pair of bandage scissors and a splinter-removal tool. In addition to the Day Hiker kit, I always have some bug spray (because I always get bitten), Ursa Major Face Wipes, and All Good Goop Organic Healing Balm.
All Good Goop is amazing for everything. Its organic skincare formula mixes essential oils with medicinal plants to make it strong enough for a climber’s raw knuckles and gentle enough for a baby’s bottom. This healing balm is great for; Cuts, Scrapes, Abrasions, Minor Burns, Sunburns, Insect Bites, Stings, Dry and Irritated Skin, Chapped Lips, Blisters, Cracked or Calloused Hands, Scars… and much more.
All Good Products | Goop
Fire isn’t something I typically need on a hike, but it never hurts to be prepared so I always have matches inside my first aid kit. I have better waterproof matches and fire starting kits, but they are currently in storage and I didn’t bring them along on our nomadic adventures.
For healthy, hiking pack-ready trail food and Nutrition, I love The Almond & Coconut KIND Bars and Cherry Pie Larabars. For longer hikes, when we need more protein, the Chomps Grass-Fed Beef Sticks are fantastic.
Hydration is of the utmost importance and it’s imperative to make sure that you bring water with you while hiking. My favorite water bottle is my 22-Ounce Glass Bottle from Lifefactory. It goes in the dishwasher, the wide-mount makes it easy to fill, and the handle is easy to carry or to clip onto a bag. (I wrote about this water bottle when I shared what’s in my bag.)
As regards other Miscellany and Odds and Ends, my hiking pack always has a notebook for taking record of observations or stories, a headband, (my favorites are from Sweaty Bands) and a hair tie.
What’s in your hiking pack?
Is there anything that you always bring that I didn’t include?