Essentialsfor trekking The experience of adventure is wholesome, satisfying and safe when you have all the essentials with you. Here are a few tips on the‘must carry things’ for a trek. Happy trekking!!
Hiking Boots or Quality Walking ShoesPicking the right footwear for hiking is essential. Sandals are best suited for warmweather hikes on easy terrain. Hiking on tough terrain calls for wearing durable, shockabsorbing heavy boots. Ankle length shoes can be worn for support, while spikedfootwear gives good grip. Fits & comfort is key.
Matches/Disposable LighterMake sure to waterproof matches using turpentine, nail polish or even a candle beforeputting them into a waterproof container. A waterproof lighter is ideal for campers asit makes fire building easy in any weather, at any altitude. Fire can be a source of light,heat & comfort at night. The smoke & heat will chase away insects & wild animals too.
Compass or MapA cell phone is useful for emergencies, but range, reception & recharging can causeproblems. Carry a compass or make one with readily available material. Magnetise aneedle by rubbing silk on it. Put some oil onto it so that it floats on water. Remember,it points towards the South if you are in the Northern hemisphere & vice-versa!
Flashlight/HeadlampWhen it gets dark, a small flashlight or a headlamp will help you find your way around.Leaving your hands free while hiking at night can quickly change from a luxury to anecessity with surprising speed. Headlamps are essential for most backpackers.
Emergency RationNot good at hunting or identifying edible plants? Carry food supplies. Ensure to carry an extradays’ worth. If you get lost or delayed, this food can be vital. Carry bars of chocolate as they giveenergy & can be kept without spoiling. Biscuits, soup powder, tea bags, coffee sachets are alsovery important. Carry these in a metal mug which can be used for drinking, boiling water,cooking the soup etc.
Sunscreen and Insect RepellentSunlight can damage skin and cause dehydration which makes sunscreen extremelyessential. Also, make sure you drink a lot of water. In case you get wet, make sure youare carrying an extra pair of dry shoes/socks in order to prevent sores and infection.
First AidA small, personal-sized first aid kit is a must for hikes. Carry a roll of ductor athletic tape, blister pads, a small knife etc. A pair of gloves willprotect you while giving first aid to your companions. A pepper spraywill be handy if attacked by an animal!
Waterproof BagPack your First Aid kit, cell phone, camera, food ration etc. in waterproof punches tokeep moisture from getting at them. If you know you are going to encounter waterbodies or rainy weather, carry extra plastic bags or pouches to separate your wetclothes. Pack everything in separate pouches for ease of access.
Water or Sports DrinkA water bladder with a valve is important, but you will need an old fashioned waterbottle as well, for adding drink mixes and refilling without emptying half your pack.Moderate activity in a moderate climate requires 2 litres of drinking water perday. Some of the sturdiest, lightest weight bottles are recycled energy-drink bottles.
A Tent or TarpA tent is handy in every kind of terrain. In a desert, it can keep you safe from the coldnight air & protect you from the harsh, unforgiving sun. In a jungle, it will help keep outinsects & the rain. Since they come in a variety of sizes—from 1 to 3 person tents,carrying it in turns will help keep the load off one person. Another essential is sleepingbag- concise, compact & useful!
Ropes or Bungee CordsWhile trekking in regions with predators such as bears, using ropes & bungee cords to hang yourfood/toiletries a couple of feet up in a tree or off the edge of a cliff is very important to preventwildlife, primarily monkeys, from making a buffet of your rations. It can also replace brokenstraps on your pack, compress your sleeping bag, tent or be used as a makeshift clothesline.
WhistleBlowing a whistle to get attention is better as well as more convenient and effectivethan shouting as it uses less effort. The sound from the whistle also travels further. Theloud shrill from the whistle can also startle and scare away animals which may be closeor approaching you. And if you can get a whistle with a compass, nothing like it!
KnifeA knife is one of those "essentials" you need to take on any hiking or camping trip.Most of the time they get used for slicing dinner ingredients, or maybe cutting off alength of cord for a laundry line. When things go wrong you may need your knife tohelp you build a shelter, hunt or fix your gear.
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