Hiking is serious business. Leaving home without the essentials and knowing how to use them is not a good idea. No real adventurer would leave home without these basics:
If you can’t read a map, and read it well, you don’t belong in the wilderness. Good, colour contoured maps that show elevation, latitude, and longitude are essential. If you’re clueless on how to read it, check out a map reading guides on the net or contact local hiking clubs and societies for a course.
If you don’t know your north from your south, you can get yourself into trouble in the great outdoors. Again, local hiking clubs and societies might have a course to teach you how to orient yourself to the map using a compass. There’s no need to go overboard when you buy one – all you really need to know is where north is. Our compasses are reliable compasses that works well.
Swiss Army knife or multi-purpose tool
I’m partial to the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Multi Tool and am firmly convinced that you could brave the ugliest situations with this trusty companion. A good Swiss Army knife also does a great job of tackling the great outdoors and are renowned for they reliability. Open cans, cut bandages, eat with it, repair your gear, fix blisters, and remove splinters…Is there anything it can’t do?!
First aid kit
If you don’t know a bite from a bruise, clue yourself up on first aid. Be it a proper course or asking our good friend Google for some online guides – don’t venture out without basic knowledge. Good, small, lightweight first aid kits are available from most places that sell camping gear.
Torch or head lamp
Useful for finding your way in the dark, map reading and signalling for help at night. You can find some great Head Torches here.
Water and purification kit
Water is essential but what if you run out? A water purification kit is a great way to be able to drink just about any water. Finding out where your water sources are before you start a big trip is also useful.
Waterproof clothing and spare dry clothes.
You can always shed clothing if it’s too hot but not having it when you need it can be life-threatening. Take spare socks too in case your feet get wet.
A way to start a fire
There are several good commercial fire starter kits, or make your own with some lint from your dryer and waterproof matches.
Plan what you will need and then bring more. Kendal Mint Cake is especially delicious and keeps the energy up.
Sunglasses and sun screen
Essential for trips in hot weather but even more essential if you are in the mountains above the clouds surrounded by snow.