If you are new to hiking, check out the 7 best things to bring on a hike before hitting the trails.
Hiking has to be one of my very favorite pastimes in the Spring and Summer months. I am lucky enough to live in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, so there are always new opportunities and trails to explore. In fact, I haven't even explored all the ones near me yet, and I have lived here for 4 years! While I am not an expert level hiker, I do enjoy some challenging trails and there is nothing like getting to the top of a peak and looking at a valley below. Through my hikes, I have really learned a lot on what to bring and what was maybe a bit excessive. When you are hiking with even a small backpack, any added weight can be a literal pain. If you are hoping to hike some trails this season, you'll want to bring the best things to bring on a hike.
The 7 Best Things to Bring on a Hike
1. Plenty of Water – I like to bring a large bottle filled with water to drink from during the hike and a smaller one to carry in my backpack as a backup. Water is obviously needed for hydration, which is very important during exercise in hotter temperatures, but it can also come in handy for rinsing cuts clean, too. Make everyone in your party has enough water.
2. A Protein snack and a Carb snack – I bring a protein bar or other protein based snack on every hike because I find that by the time I have reached the top of my destination, I am starved and protein helps you feel fuller longer as well as aiding in muscle recovery. I also bring carbs to snack on for energy. My personal favorite is Goldfish crackers. They are easy to pack. Another snack to consider is a banana. I eat one before I start my hike to aid in stopping muscle cramps. I swear by it!
3. Bug Repellent and Sunscreen – You want to apply this beforehand, but I also like to carry travel size versions of each so I can reapply throughout the day as needed.
4. Lip Balm – There were too many times I was out on a hike and felt my lips getting uncomfortably dry due to exertion and heat. To me, this feeling is absolute torture. I always make sure I bring along a lip balm now and I make sure it has SPF in it, too.
5. An Umbrella or Rain Poncho – I don't know about where you live, but here in the Pacific Northwest, the weather is unpredictable. You could head out on a sunny day and suddenly find yourself in a rain storm. I carry a small, fold up rain poncho that is also a lightweight jacket as well as a small umbrella for really heavy storms.
6. Hand Sanitizer – If you will be having lunch or a snack at your destination, it's always a good idea to bring along hand sanitizer, especially with kiddos since they will most likely be exploring the woods with their hands. It's also great to have for after needing to do your “business” as I find that many potties at hiking trail heads have no access to a hand washing area.
7. A Small First Aid Kit – Since you are outside, you never know what will happen. You don't need to bring a huge kit with you, but some basics like ace bandages, triple antibacterial ointment, band aids and gauze can really come in handy.