With spring finally here, are you ready to explore the great outdoors, but don’t know which items you should take on a hike? Whether you're gearing up for your first day hike or you're veteran explorer, there are several essential items I always recommend having before wandering off into the great outdoors. While climate, length of the trip, and activities will dictate the specific gear you will want to have with you, these basics will help keep you safe, and make your trip something that is looked at with fondness as opposed to regret. After all, the memories of your hiking trip should be of great views, overcoming physical challenges, and bonding with the people hiking with you…not of the severe dehydration you suffered from not packing enough water. That said, here's my short list of the items you should take on a hike.
Water is the number one item on my list of essential items you should take on a hike. Research how long your hike is, it’s difficulty, and the weather for the day to calculate how much water you need to pack with you. The worst thing I see with inexperienced hikers is dehydration due to them packing an inefficient water supply. A fresh, safe water supply is not guaranteed in most places so always pack more than you think you will need. A water filter is a good emergency option, but should not be your choice for a primary source of water.