Hikers like to be prepared. We have created this list for the hiker who is looking to be safe with their friends on their days trekking in the hills.
See below for our list of top things to remember to take hiking with you:
- 1) Navigation (Map) – Even in today’s high-tech world of GPS, all hikers should learn to use a map and compass. A lot of the GPS kit can be expensive, and may not always be effective in all weather conditions. Plus you need to remember to have it charged up! With regard to maps - always remember to have a see through map wallet with you. Everyone knows the weather can quickly change in UK!
- 2) Navigation (Compass) – The perfect pairing with a map. Make sure it is working before starting out – face the direction you know to be north, and check the needle is pointing that way. If you need an update on using a compass, take a refresher tutorial online.
- 3) Hydration – Staying hydrated when up in the hills is vitally important. Take enough water for a whole day – 2 litres each – even if you don’t anticipate staying out that long. You never know what can happen and how long you will be out. Using a filtration water bottle is a great way to save money on bottled water, whilst maintaining the water quality. The Independent recently had a feature on the 10 best water bottles, including filtration containers.
- 4) Sun Protection – Think high factor sun-cream, lip balm, and sunglasses – yes it does get sunny in the UK in the summer! The sun is stronger in the hills than at ground level, so be aware. Always give a high SP Factor cream to kids, as they are especially vulnerable to skin damage from the sun.
- 5) Emergency First Aid – Your First Aid Kit should be small enough to fit in your rucksack, but big enough to service your needs on the mountainside. What should it contain? Well, this will vary according to needs of your group, but things you should certainly have: bandages, plasters, scissors, tweezers, vinyl gloves, antiseptic wipes and paracetamol. See here for more info.
- 6) Nutrition – You’ll need to bring a packed lunch if spending the whole day out on the mountain. If going with a packed lunch, it’s probably best to have a mixture of foods – carbs, nuts, fruit and chocolate for energy. Pro tip: try taking energy gels for when morale is low in mid-afternoon. Energy gels have emerged in the last 10 years as sports nutrition has become more sophisticated. They are energy-packed, and give a quick boost of energy when it’s needed. See this post for more info about energy gels.
- 7) Footwear – The goal here is not to choose the flashiest pair in the shop, but rather the ones that are comfortable for you. If you are climbing on rocky terrain, it’s usually best to have a high ankle boot rather than a standard shoe. We recommend water proof and Gore-Tex for everything but the lightest terrain.
- 8) Technology - What used to be a bulky extra to take up space in your bag, is now a much lighter extra with any mobile phone. Take advantage of this portability and make space for some of the other essentials listed above. Unless of course you love your SLR camera and the pictures it takes, in which case, take your equipment for some great shots!
Hiking on the mountains can be a risky business – sunburn, dehydration, the risk of falls, potentially getting lost. With this list you should at least have the basics for being safe and prepared on the mountains. Our friends over at REI have compiled a list that is complementary to ours, check it out.