Checklist Of Essential Items For Distance Hiking

Checklist of Essential Items for distance hiking. A hiking first aid kit is recommended because it can help with scrapes, sprained ankles and even broken bones. With electronic devices such as IPods, MP3...

With electronic devices such as IPods, MP3 players and Tivo systems becoming an everyday item in most households, very rarely will people be able to find a spot where the electronic world slows down.

But one place that the rush of the electronic world can be put on hold is on a hiking trip.

Bill Marriner is the owner and founder of the World Outdoor hiking company. In his more than 40 years of hiking, Marriner has hiked in areas including the United States, Asia, South America, Europe and Central America.

Marriner said that he agrees with other experts when they say there is a list of essential items one should bring on a hiking trip. That list includes items from maps and compasses to first-aid kits and extra clothing.

The first and most important item on the essential list is a map. No matter how experienced a hiker is or how many times they have hiked a certain trail, bringing a map is vital to the success of the hiking trip.

Maps can also help you find other campsites, water areas and emergency roads that may be nearby.

Going right along with the map is a compass. Obviously, it doesn't make much sense to have a very detailed and precise map if you don't know which direction to go.

The next item on the essential list is a first-aid kit. Marriner said that first-aid kits could be the difference in making it back on time and being stranded on a hiking path.

"If you are going to be going any distance away from society, or away from an area where you could receive expert medical care, then I think it is critical that you take along at least a rudimentary first-aid kit," Marriner said. "We certainly carry them on every hike that we do, because you can get scrapes, sprained ankles, or even broken bones."

Pre-packaged hiking first-aid kits are available at hiking outfitters around the country.
Next on the list of items to bring on a hiking trip is water and a way to purify it.

Obviously, water is essential in any situation where the body will be working at a high capacity. Having water can help to reduce heat exhaustion and keep the body's muscles working properly.

Also, experts suggest that hikers should bring extra water in case they get lost.

Other items that should be brought on a hiking trip include: matches, extra food, sunscreen or sunglasses, a multi-purpose tool or knife and extra clothing.

Specifically in the area of clothing, Marriner said that hikers should stay away from wearing new boots on a hiking trip.

"People buy a new pair of boots and go out on a big hike and get blisters," he said. "So, the single biggest thing we watch for when we are on the first day of the trip is if people show up in boots that are broken in or not. Then we make sure they alert us if they start to feel hotspots, because nothing can ruin your hike or your trip more than getting a nasty blister on the very first day of the trip."

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