Taking A Hike
So, as usual I keep hearing on the news about lost hikers and the rescue efforts to find them. Some just wander off the trail and get lost, some get stuck somewhere, some get injured and are unable to go on. This next little bit of advice isn’t for the experienced hiker, although anyone can get lost or hurt hiking in the great outdoors. This is some advice for the novice hiker or day hiker that just wants to get out and enjoy nature.
First of all, always let somebody know where you are going and when you expect to be back. If you get lost or hurt it helps to know more or less where and when to start looking for you. I advise to at least take a backpack with you. Nothing extravagant, just something to carry small things you may need. Chances are if you’re going on a day hike you are not likely to be too far from civilization and are likely to be found within 24 to 48 hrs from being reported missing.
Water. Always make sure you have plenty of water and a little extra for your hike as you can survive without food for more than three weeks, (Although in a survival situation our body burns more fuel), but only three to five days without water. I would say if you’re wandering the wilderness it’s closer to three. An easy way to carry water is in the Camelback bladders that go in your pack nowadays. My advice is to throw a personal water filter in your pack, they are quite small and inexpensive nowadays and if you find a water source when lost, it will save you from possibly getting sick from microorganisms in the water. For this blog we will assume you are out hiking during the summer months but you still need to dress appropriately. Personally, I believe shorts are ridiculous to wear out hiking. First of all, your skin is exposed to the elements and the environment around you, making you susceptible to bug bites, sun burn, exposure, cuts and scrapes that can be avoided. Some say, “But It’s hot and i want to stay cool” truth is, your skin heats up quicker when it’s uncovered and raises your body temperature. That being said, toss a light long sleeve button up shirt in your pack. Trust me, It helps. I would advise a light pair of pants, the light ripstop nylon kind, they are great for outdoor activities, a compass or GPS, you can get apps on your phone for that nowadays for free. (I’ll try to find a link to get one for free on this blog , but I’m pretty sure you can find one in your phone’s app store), A map if possible and always make sure your phone is fully charged when you set out. It makes you easier for rescue personnel to find you if they can track your signal. Matches or a lighter, should you need to start a fire for warmth if you have to spend a night or two out in the wilderness, An emergency blanket. You know those foil blankets that fold up so small you can fit in your back pocket, an emergency shelter. It’s just a light sheet of plastic that you can fashion into a tent like shelter. They are cheap and again are folded up really small almost pocket size,a small LED flashlight or headlamp and of course something to eat. I recommend jerky because it’s light weight and doesn’t take up much space, granola bars, trail mix and the like and of course a first aid kit. One with disinfectant, a bandage, cortisone, burn cream, Aspirin or ibuprofen, tweezers and maybe a small pair of scissors. A pocket knife and paracord. ( you can find a link to get a free paracord bracelet fire starter combo for free on this site).
All this should be rather light and not hinder your hike one bit. You can keep all this in a pack in your car ready to go when you are. The key is, if you get lost and you know they will be looking for you, the best thing to do is stay in one place. Should you have to spend a night or two out in the wilderness, at least you will have protection from the elements, a way to stay warm, and a way to treat small injuries. Oh, I almost forgot to mention insect repellent. I’ll be covering Hiking and camping in more detail in other blogs.If you have any questions I believe you can comment on this blog. In the mean time, Have fun Folks!
You can click on the pictures below and it will take you to where you can get these items at a decent price.