What Are the Ten Essentials of Hiking and Backpacking?
You should have these Ten Essentials packed whenever you venture into the great outdoors:
- Fire starters
- Knife or multi-tool
- Sun protection
- First aid supplies
- Insulation and extra clothes
- Headlamp or illumination
Before your next trip into the outdoors, let’s unpack the Ten Essentials list and get a few personal additions from Meghan herself.
The Ten Essentials
A Few Essential Additions
- Personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite communication device: Should you get into trouble and need help while deep in the wilderness, the best thing you can do is make yourself easy to locate. And a PLB does just that. “We carry PLBs or satellite communication devices with us on most of our adventures these days,” says Young. She adds that these devices are not intended to be a substitute for smart planning, but they can add a certain level of peace of mind.
- Extra supplies to leave in the car: Your vehicle is your personal basecamp—stock it accordingly with dry clothes, as well as extra food and water. A warm hoodie and fresh bottle of water are nice treats to come back to before you hit the road. You’ll also be better prepared should your trip back be delayed due to mechanical issues or road conditions. TIP: Store your supplies out of view as best you can as vehicle break-ins are becoming more common in wilderness areas.
- Sharing a pre-trip plan: “Before you hit the trail, particularly for big objectives, you should let trusted people know a few key details,” advises Young. Make sure someone you know has each of the following details that can help rescuers locate your group should you run into trouble and require help:
- Where you’re going
- When you’re going
- What vehicle you’re taking
- When you plan to return
- Your planned route and daily distance goals
- Any other details (color of backpacks, jackets, etc.)