Seven Things You Should Pack on Your Next Hiking Trip

Contribution from freelance writer: Jenny Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two. She loves nothing more than getting away from it and taking her pet Labrador Bruce for long walks, something she can do a lot more now she’s left the corporate world behind.

We’ve all been there- you have reached your destination, settled into the hotel, and unpacked your bags only to find that you have forgotten that essential something or other. Maybe you left your new camera on the mantle or forgot those high-tech thermal socks in the dryer. Next time you are planning a hiking adventure, make sure that you come packed and prepared with these seven handy tips.

1. Appropriate Footwear

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There is nothing worse than starting the second day of your hiking trip with big blisters on your toes. Make sure to pack comfortable trail shoes or hiking boots, depending on the terrain that you’ll be traversing. It’s a good idea to break in new shoes before going on your trip. If you do not have time, though, pack some thick socks to add an extra layer of protection to your feet and keep warm in colder climates.

2. A Navigation System

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Even the best hikers get lost from time to time, so it is important to bring a map and compass with you on your hiking adventure. A GPS system can also come in handy, particularly if you are visiting a new or unfamiliar area.

3. Extra Water

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It’s important to stay hydrated during your hike, whether you are navigating through your backyard or the Appalachian Trail. If you are going on a flight, you may not be able to bring a supply of water bottles with you, but you can pack extra travel thermoses to carry plenty of water along on your hike.

4. Sun Protection

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No matter where you are planning to go hiking, chances are that you are going to see the sun at some point. You should always have sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to prevent sunburn and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

5. Insulated Rain Gear

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When the weather gets rough, it is a good idea to have extra layers of protection. You can keep yourself dry and warm, reducing the risk of hypothermia in an emergency situation. You should avoid wearing jeans or anything made of cotton, as it absorbs water and keeps moisture close to the skin.

6. A First-Aid Kit

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You never know what can happen in the wilderness, and it is always a good idea to have first-aid supplies handy in case of accidents or injuries. Some first-aid kits contain tweezers and other sharp objects, so you may want to check your kit before packing it in your carry-on luggage.

7. A Lamp and a Whistle

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Electric lamps and metal whistles are a great way to signal for help when you get lost during a hike, or to simply find your way around if you get caught out after dark. Better yet, both items are perfectly safe to bring with you on your flight.

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