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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
Around 59 million people in the United States go hiking yearly and that’s not surprising at all. Hiking is an enthralling outdoor experience that comes with a lot of benefits — nature exploration, physical activity, and connection with outstanding outdoors.
Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a newbie, it is essential to prep comprehensively for your next adventure. This guide can help you prepare everything you’ll need for your next hiking trip to ensure not just your safety but the best experience possible too.
1. Weather-Based Clothing
Before going hiking, you need to consider the weather and the temperature. For instance, even on warm days, the temperature can drastically drop at some point at higher elevations or in the shade.
Always have a lightweight, warm jacket or fleece with you to stay warm if the weather changes. To keep your hands, feet, and neck warm, think about packing gloves, a hat, and a neck gaiter.
For any hike, rain gear is necessary, especially in regions where it rains frequently. Consider bringing an umbrella or poncho aside from having rain gear. If it's raining, wearing a waterproof jacket and a pair of pants will keep you dry and cozy.
2. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an essential item for any hike. It should include basic things such as bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, pain relievers, tweezers, and scissors. Consider adding items such as blister treatments and insect repellent to your kit based on the conditions of your hike.
Moreover, you must bring vital oral medications like an antihistamine, aspirin, pain relief medicine, rehydration salts, anti-diarrheal pills, and prescription medications.
3. Personal Hygiene Kit
A personal hygiene kit should include hand sanitizer, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and toilet paper. Consider bringing wet wipes or a small towel for cleaning up after a long day on the trail.
4. Water and Hydration System
Staying hydrated while hiking is critical, especially in hot weather. A hydration system is a convenient and hands-free way to stay hydrated while on the trail. Always carry enough water to last the entire hike, plus an extra bottle or hydration system.
5. Navigation Tools
A map and compass are essential navigation tools for any hike. A GPS device is also a helpful addition, especially if you are hiking in unfamiliar territory. You can have wearables like smartwatches that have a navigation feature too.
Warning and locating tools like a mirror or a fog stick in an emergency. A headlamp or flashlight is a must, especially when you hike in the early morning or late afternoon. Always carry a backup battery or power source for said electronic devices.
6. Fire-Starting Tools
Bring fire-starting tools such as waterproof matches or a lighter in emergencies. If you plan to cook while on the trail, make sure to pack a small stove or campfire starter.
A multi-tool or knife is a valuable item for any hike. It can be used for various tasks, including cutting rope, opening the packaging, and making repairs. You can also use this for prepping ingredients when cooking.
A lightweight, compact tent or tarp is a great option for overnight hikes. However, it is suggested to situation a temporary shelter in a safe space free from wild animals.
This is why most hikers prefer buying high-quality tents to enclose and protect them at night. A bivy sack or emergency blanket can also be used for emergency shelter in case of unexpected weather changes. Try bringing electric warming blankets too.
9. Sun Protection
Did you know that UV rays are intense at higher latitudes? A high-SPF sunscreen is recommended for maximum protection.
Considering that, pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect your skin and eyes from sun exposure. Also, clothing gear for hiking is manufactured to filter UV rays.
10. INCH Backpack
If you plan to go on a series of hikes where you will be gone for more than three days, then you need to bring an INCH backpack rather than just a bugout bag. The INCH Backpack is a term that may refer to a specific type of hiking backpack designed to carry the "10 Essentials" or "12 Essentials" of gear that every hiker should carry on the trail.
The INCH Bag is likely designed to be compact, lightweight, and functional, with enough room to carry the essential items needed for a safe and enjoyable hike, such as water and hydration system, food and snacks, first aid kit, navigation tools, sun protection, warm clothing, rain gear, headlamp or flashlight, shelter, fire-starting tools, multi-tool, and personal hygiene kit.
Why Pack Light and Complete?
Packing light and complete for hiking is crucial to enjoying a safe and successful hiking experience. The essence of packing light for hiking is to carry only the necessary items required for the particular hike, avoiding excess weight that could slow you down and tire you out.
On the other hand, packing complete means making sure that you have all the necessary items for the hike, including the water and hydration system, food and snacks, first aid kit, navigation tools, sun protection, warm clothing, rain gear, headlamp or flashlight, shelter, fire-starting tools, multi-tool, and personal hygiene kit.
In conclusion, the list of hiking essentials is a crucial guide for anyone who wants to embark on a safe and successful hiking experience. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a beginner, having the right gear and knowledge can make all the difference in the world. So make sure to pack wisely, and happy hiking!
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV