10 Things I Take on a Hike

Usually we don't take rocks with us on a hike...but this little guy decided it would be a good idea!

Usually we don’t take rocks with us on a hike…but this little guy decided it would be a good idea!

There are just some things I wouldn’t hike without.  Most items change depending on the weather, the trail, etc., but here are the top 10 things I rarely hike without.

 

 

The Top 10 Things I Take on a Hike (from most likely to less likely)

Water bottles, ready to be packed for a hike into Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Water bottles, ready to be packed for a hike into Bryce Canyon

1. Water. Maybe it’s just that I’ve run out of water a few too many times, but I tend to be hyper about making sure we take water with us, even on short strolls.

My camera

My camera

2. Camera. Even more than food, I want to make sure I get good pictures for blogging and my own enjoyment. You never know what you’ll see along the way!  (For a review of my camera, click here)

Lunch on the trail - he said he wanted a peanut butter and pretzel sandwich...

Lunch on the trail – he said he wanted a peanut butter and pretzel sandwich…

3. Food. Again, we’ve neglected to take lunch on too many trails… so the joke goes, “Oh, the hike’s only 10 miles long?  Do you really think we need lunch?”  Really, though, I try to pack calorie, protein, and sugar rich foods to keep up our energy while hiking (unless the hike is so short we really don’t need lunch!)

Coming prepared, even just to see Old Faithful...hats, snacks, water, camera...

Coming prepared, even just to see Old Faithful…hats, snacks, water, camera…

4. Extra batteries. Both my camera and GPS eat batteries fairly quickly, so I like to have extras on hand. Thankfully they both take AA’s!

My GPS

My GPS

5. GPS. Beyond liking to get all the data for blog posts, it’s a safety measure…Take me back to the parking area!  (For a review of my GPS, click here.)

You probably can't see the hiker in this picture, but sunscreen is even more important at higher elevations and when you're hiking on snow. Ptarmigan Ridge, Mt. Baker National Forest, Washington

You probably can’t see the hiker in this picture, but sunscreen is even more important at higher elevations and when you’re hiking on snow

6. Sunscreen. Most of the people in my group burn easily, so sunscreen is a must at least a couple times a day when we’re out in the sun.

Climbing down Angel's Landing...like our hats?

Climbing down Angel’s Landing…like our hats?

7. Hats. Chances are if you see me hiking, I’ll be wearing a baseball-type hat. Being light-skinned, I like the fact that it keeps the sun off my head (and out of my eyes).  And if it rains, it protects me…that’s especially nice when it begins hailing.

Well, I don't think a first aid kit would do much for you if you stumbled here...Angel's Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Well, I don’t think a first aid kit would do much for you if you stumbled here…

8. First aid kit. I always try to keep a first aid kit on hand. Although it does have band aids for blisters, Neosporin for cuts, and bandages for emergencies, it also has pain medication (especially useful for headaches at high elevations) and allergy medication for the one member of my group who is mildly allergic to bee stings.  Oh, and it also has water purification tablets for true emergencies.

Thankful for our coats on UN12812...we were in short sleeves in the parking area at Independence Pass, Colorado

Thankful for our coats on UN12812…we were in short sleeves in the parking area at Independence Pass

9. Jacket. Unless the day is extremely hot (say, Utah in June) I’m very likely to head out with a jacket for changing weather conditions or if it begins to rain.

I think we've taken studying maps to a whole new level!

I think we’ve taken studying maps to a whole new level!

10. Map. I also tend to bring a map of the area, especially if we’ll be hiking off-trail or on vague trails. It’s also good if my GPS battery goes or doesn’t have enough data to figure out where I am.

What items are you likely to take with you on the trail?

&nbps;