If you find yourself located in a remote mountain area or deep in a forest there will be essential equipment that would be necessary. When I go hiking in the wilderness, winter or summer, I always bring 9 essentials things in my backpack. I bring these equipments due to my own safety and comfort during the adventure. If you want to pack lightweight you have to be sure that you can use your equipment in a wide range of situations. I bring always these 9 articles along on a hike which I can use in different situations.
Map and Compass
Map and compass is one of the most essentials items I bring during a hike or expedition. There is nothing more reliable than a map or compass if you get lost in the wilderness. You can use this equipment in any kind of weather, and you won’t have to worry about batteries like you would on you cellphone or GPS. You need to learn how to find your location on the map, based on the landmarks and paths that are marked on it. The next thing you want to learn is how to find north that helps to orient your map so you can figure out where you are if you become lost.
I walk on the trails of our world all year around. The weather conditions turns during the different seasons and it’s important to bring equipment for protection agains the weather. I always bring sun protection both in the summer and the winter. During winter it’s even more important than summer, due to the reflections from the snow. When I’m climbing high mountains like Mera Peak, Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji or Elbrus is even more important due to the altitude. Sunglasses is another essential equipment to bring because it’s very helpful for your eyes, especially during the winter, to prevent snow blindness. I always bring a hat, or cap and you could consider wearing this for even more protection against the weather. A lip balm is also useful to prevent dry lips.
This one depends on your hike, whether you are hiking close by a city, or if you hike in the backcountry. The amount of extra clothing also depends on the average day and night temperature, and the weather conditions and the weather forecast. Before any of my hikes I look at different forecast to understand what kind of equipment that will come handy. After I get this information I choose to bring spare cloths based on the forecast, but also some extra just in case of bad weather. It’s clever of you to bring spare socks, wool sweaters. Keep them in something that can’t get wet, like a plastic bag or pack bags.
I always carry a headlamp and sometime a flashlight while I’m hiking. you should also bring some extra batteries and power banks, especially during cold winter hikes. This equipment is essentials because you want enough light that you can walk with after dark, if you have been delayed. Lights comes also handy when you set up a camp during the night if you decide to stop and wait until daylight appears.
It’s important to bring first aid supplies when you go hiking. This is important for yourself, and for the other people you are hiking with or people you meet on the trails. During a hike you can fall, wring your ankle or break your arm. It’s necessary to bring this equipment for your own safety and you will be able to help other people you meet while hiking.
Multi-tool and Repair Kit
Whether you are hiking in extreme locations or nearby your house you should bring necessary gear if you break something. A big knife is not always the best, but a scissor could be more of a necessity than a knife. A leatherman is something you always should bring on your hike. It’s a multi-tool that can help you repair almost everything. If you add some duct tape and safety pins you will be able to repair and patch up broken or torn gear.
You spend a lot of energy while hiking, in fact hiking is a great cardio workout that can do wonders. First of all it lower your risk of heart diseases. In additional hiking is a great way to build and strengthen your core along with other benefits. You need to eat while exploring our world to keep you body going for then a few hours. You should bring along healthy snacks with a good balance of carbs, protein and fat. Sometimes I even make a real meal like the picture, salmon on the campfire! You can bring your food from your house, in Norway we call this “Matpakke”. If you are hiking for several days, you should either bring your fishing rod, or dry food. If you are climbing high peaks, nutrition is an important key of your acclimatization to prevent altitude sickness.
When you hike, the body will generate heat and you will sweat. It’s very important to bring water, and you drink it liberally. I usually drink water before I go hiking, and then drink water every 20 minute. I use a camelback, to stay hydrated, and this will make you feel better. Fluids are important for your digesting and a must while hiking. If you don’t want to carry heavy water, you can supply yourself from a stream, at least in Norway, or you can bring Chlorine Dioxide tablets so you can purify water from lakes or snow. You can also purchase bottles that filter and purify your water, but I haven’t tested any of them.
The last essential equipment that you should bring is something I call what if. What if you don’t get home as planed and have to make a camp, or what if I get lost in the night? It’s useful to carry something you can create an emergency shelter with. You can use a sleeping bag, blankets or use the environment. If you need to camp out unexpectedly, you have to create a shelter that avoids you from lying directly on cold ground all night. If you lay directly to the ground, it will suck the heat out of your body really fast. You can either use branches or the blanket to avoid sleeping on the ground.