Day Hiking In The Mountains: And Equipment List

Going to the mountains for a short day hike? Here is an informative equipment list.

Planning a short backpacking trip is a serious affair since you're going to the leave the safety of civilization and head out into he the wild. The three most important things to consider are: what to take, what not take, and how to arrange all of it for the sake of convenience. A lot of thinking on your part is necessary so you can be safe and try and have some fun while you're at it.

The first thing to consider is what should you bring. I assume you'll be hiking the nearest mountain range since its obviously the closest mountain range and the examples I'll use are based on your average two to three day hike. The first two things I suggest you take is warm clothing and water. Depending on how fast you hike, you'll sweat so much that you'll need water for replenishing. It helps to have a good, well-insulated sleeping bag since temperatures at night drop below thirty degrees Fahrenheit. Bring aspirin and band-aids since the thin atmosphere of the mountains might give you a headache; not only that, but the mountain climbing might leave you with a few cuts. By all means, bring a tent so you don't get molested by rain and mosquitoes. Knowing what to bring will save you minor aggravation.

Don't bring anything you won't use. A good example is camera equipment; some people I've seen think they're wild-life photographers and haul about sixty pounds of camera equipment. Just bring a camera (zoom lens preferable) and two rolls of film; trust me, you'll be too tired to even think about taking pictures, so two rolls is plenty. Don't overload yourself with food because you'll be too tired to eat most of it. Another word of warning: don't leave food in your tent because if a bear can rip a door off a car then its safe to assume that they can mess you up just as bad. By sparing yourself from excess items now, you'll spare yourself from excess hardships later.

Now that you have the essentials, how are you going to arrange them? Begin by renting an external frame outdoors backpack. After you sign the rental agreement and drop a few bucks for it (for me it was $30-$50 for three days), bring it home and start packing the heavy stuff first. Clothes, your tent, sleeping bag, and water go up top with all the light stuff like flashlights, books, maps, and other gear at the bottom. If you pack all the heavy stuff at the bottom, it'll be like walking up hill with an anchor tied to your feet. It's recommended that you shouldn't carry more than one third of your body weight. Carrying more means you sweat more and might lead to dehydration. Knowing how to carry your things is very important when you're out there huffing on the trail.

With that said, you trip will be more enjoyable. By knowing what and what not to carry and how to carry it, your troubles have somewhat diminished. You still run the risk of getting lost, getting eaten, or having a leg break, but that's another lecture for another time. At least you'll have the essentials. Enjoy the mountains and don't do anything rash because bad decisions in the wild cost lives. Enjoy the landscape, enjoy the purity of nature, and most important of all: have fun.

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