What things to bring hiking

11:43 p.m. on September 6, 2009 (EDT)
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I know I need boots, pack, first aid kit, map, compass

 

what else should I get? Should I get a Spyderco Knife

12:41 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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you don't need boots if you are staying on the trail and its well used. I hike all over the Smokies and have not worn boots on any trail, just trail shoes.

you also don't need a compass unless you are going off trail.

other useful items:

1. MSR water treatment

2. Food

3. Waterproof matches

4. sleeping pad

5. stuff sacks (the one you put your clothes in can double as a pillow)

6. 2 grocery bags (plastic) for your trash

7. 3 or 4 ziplock bags to keep important items dry

8. glow sticks (for at night - help you remember where your tent/hiking partners are)

9. good book or two

1:29 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Bad advice by travelnate you should never go with out a map & compass and knowing how to use it regardless if you are or aren't going off trail.

A water treatment system is a good idea but it doesn't have to be MSR there are many brands out there to chose from

Matches, food, sleeping gear, shelter, knife, pack liner (trash bag), Flashlight (led), Water container's, cook-set + utensils, stove & fuel if you like, Dry-bag for small items that need to stay dry (zip-loc bag),

Your knife doesn't need to be a spyderco just a good dependable one and it is not necessary for it to resemble a Rambo knife either.

2:04 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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LOL @ Rambo.

 

How much should I spend on the knife? Yea I have a compass already so why I wouldn't bring it I don't know, so don't worry about that.

Yea I have a habit of picking up other people's trash, I don't really have any of my own.

Thank you for advice, I've got some things to get I see.

2:57 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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There isn't really a set amount of money or brand of knife its more like what you feel comfortable with.

You can also look up on the web the 10 Essentials for hiking or the 10 Essentials backpacking if you do a Google search on thous two terms you will get a bunch of links that are similar but different and will give you ideas of what to bring for different areas and times of year.

Also remember that what you bring will partially depend on where you are going and when you are going.

9:28 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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We had a good discussion a while back about gear lists. Most of the lists were comprehensive. I mean that you would look at it and decide what you needed to take for a particular trip; you would not want to pack all that stuff for every trip. Here is a link:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/backcountry/topics/59013.html

9:46 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Here is the 'Ten Essentials' article here on Trailspace:

http://www.trailspace.com/articles/ten-essentials.html

Even for day hiking you need a light with extra batteries & a way to start a fire, preferably two ways, along with extra clothing appropriate for the season, and extra food.

While travelnate is correct that you do not need a compass to follow a blazed trail, it is my opinion that the best time to familiarize yourself with map and compass is while you are out in the woods and already know where you are, and where your are headed.

This lets you learn in a realistic but relaxed setting, you DO NOT want to try to figure this out in the dark while lost. Heck it doesn't work that way anyway, you'll probably just get more lost (ask me how I know)!

That's not to say you shouldn't take a course in navigation, or read a book, etc. But for actual practice, do it in a known location, in a realistic setting with a base plate compass and a 7.5 minute topographic map of the area. Having a person already experienced in navigation who can go with you and explain things is the best way IMO. Of course that doesn't mean your Uncle Ed who used to have a compass and went camping down by the river a few times.

If you're not sure about how or where to get the maps, or how to get started learning, many members here on Trailspace would be more than happy to help. If you already have that covered that's cool too, just offering help.

10:53 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Even for day hikes you should be doubly prepared for worst case scenario. A day before one of my hikes I look up stories about the area I am hiking and possible things that can go wrong: ankle sprains, the usual cuts and scrapes(possible infection if left untreated), taking a wrong turn, falling in some body of water(disabling electronics), unexpected weather & temperature drops, getting lost in general!, and a myriad of other things. so I take extra precaution for these unexpected things, a couple of these have happened already(thankfully no bodily injuries).

I always carry a rain jacket(go light prophets preach that this can double as a windbreaker and can replace a heavy fleece)

always carry a flashlight or headlamp(easier) with extra batteries.

always have first aid( Duh)

compass, map, and knowledge on their use is a grand idea.

knife, good idea, but like Mike068 said it doesn't need to be a rambo knife

water purification- if you don't want to carry a water filter, take coffee filters and tablets, and If for some strange reason you don't want to do this, make sure you have a stove or something for emergency boiling. Bottom line- water is essential!

I like to carry an extra source of food just in case I take a wrong turn and the trail takes 3 extra hours. To save weight this could just be a drink mix or granola bar, taking another mountain house meal might be a little over the top.

check out the ten essentials somewhere on this site because I know I am forgetting something obvious. And of maximum priority- inform someone of your whereabouts and length of stay!

11:42 a.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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While travelnate is correct that you do not need a compass to follow a blazed trail, it is my opinion that the best time to familiarize yourself with map and compass is while you are out in the woods and already know where you are, and where your are headed.

"This lets you learn in a realistic but relaxed setting, you DO NOT want to try to figure this out in the dark while lost. Heck it doesn't work that way anyway, you'll probably just get more lost (ask me how I know)!

That's not to say you shouldn't take a course in navigation, or read a book, etc. But for actual practice, do it in a known location, in a realistic setting with a base plate compass and a 7.5 minute topographic map of the area. Having a person already experienced in navigation who can go with you and explain things is the best way IMO. Of course that doesn't mean your Uncle Ed who used to have a compass and went camping down by the river a few times."

 

Trout's right, learning navigation in the field is invaluable. Navigation courses are only the first step in learning about how to get familiar with reading maps. After all, we all want to continue to learn as we grow, I hope. ;-)

12:38 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Ill agree that fine tuning you map & compass skills in the woods is relaxing and you will probably learn it faster while your able to learn ir hands on. But I will stand by my original statement if you going hiking, when you leave the parking lot you need to have map & compass in you pack. Now like I said before you need to know how to use it let me rephrase you need to know the basics and you can work on you skills while you in the woods. Which hands on is a much easier way to learn for me anyway.

8:44 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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I pack up my Camelback Rimrunner with a first aid kit (mine contains gauze, tape, neosporin, a garbage bag, 1 meter of duct tape, 20 feet of fishing line, four hooks, tinder (dried oak moss, wood dust, magnesium oxide, and lint) layered into a film canister, a storm lighter, a vile of brandy, lanolin, a signal mirror, a pack of razor blades, an ace bandage, 800mg tylenol, and dental floss) packed into a military surplus hip pouch, a 26"x 2.25" bicycle tube and a Co2 inflator ( the many uses include being friendly and creating a turnicate), a pocket guide on fauna of northern california, a guide of flora of the aforementioned region, a sierra club cup, my opinel pruning knife, leatherman juice, a bar of Dr. Bronners soap (it works as well as technu for me) a map of the region I will be hiking in, nikon p90, orienteering compass, a few small jam jars and ziploc's for plants (I collect them for homeopathic medications), a insulated pocket poncho, a space blanket, and any trash I find on the trail.

 

I know it's total overkill for a day trip, but I have gotten into some situations where it would have been helpful to have any of these.

9:02 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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I did, however leave out the obvious: ID including medical information, Cell phone (if even if you don't get coverage the government are liars and have tracking devices in 'em all, hahahaha), at least $10, a flashlight, and chapstick.

10:10 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Ill agree that fine tuning you map & compass skills in the woods is relaxing and you will probably learn it faster while your able to learn ir hands on. But I will stand by my original statement if you going hiking, when you leave the parking lot you need to have map & compass in you pack. Now like I said before you need to know how to use it let me rephrase you need to know the basics and you can work on you skills while you in the woods. Which hands on is a much easier way to learn for me anyway.

Yes I agree, but it is not necessary for following blazed trails as travelnate says. It is wise to always have map and compass though.

I only draw the distinction because so many people on trails like the AT do not carry maps or a compass, they dismiss them as dead weight.

I personally carry map and compass every time.

10:34 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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I guess that's where the AT differs form the ADK or other wilderness locations. You may start out on a marked trail but as you go I have been on some trails that turn into a unmarked overgrown animal path. But that's the kind if place I look for. I like to go to the places that have the least human traffic. Like a few weeks ago I was at a state forest that is not used that much, it has about 17 miles of trails and one 4-5 mile section is very overgrown I went approximately 1 mile with out seeing any trail markers of any type, I ended up getting of the trail twice and had to do a bit of backtracking. That's why I say never hit the woods with out a map & compass.

Also I am planning a trip that will be on a section of the North Eastern ADK that has a 17 mile loop trail that has been abandon by the state for years from what I am told the only thing that is left is a overgrown animal path so I think in this case a map & compass will be a necessity.

10:43 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Yes a lot of places I go to are like that as well. It is easy to get turned around If you don't pay attention and keep up with where you are on your map.

10:58 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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That's where the coolest stuff is!

11:18 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Welcome JakeOlsan!

Your right the coolest stuff is sometimes not in a trail guide, but much care is needed to tread lightly in these areas, I'm sure you would agree.

11:25 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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boo!

for a first time hiker, I'm not sure sending them on an unmarked or lightly used trail is a good idea. I've taken people with me on hikes and they have the gps, compass, map, etc and never use them. I typically will take a map with me if I don't know where I'm going, but I spend a lot of time knowing where I'm going, ways out, where the trail junctions are and where those trails go, etc.

 

But yes, I was talking about overall weight.

 

(back to my cave)

12:11 a.m. on September 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Cave is safest place to be in a hurricane! haha.

sorry, just couldn't help it.

12:52 a.m. on September 8, 2009 (EDT)
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1:09 a.m. on September 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Survival Kit !!! you take all the fun out of getting geographically misplaced lol

Just kidding that is a nice compact kit

2:13 a.m. on September 8, 2009 (EDT)
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Survival Kit !!! you take all the fun out of getting geographically misplaced lol

Just kidding that is a nice compact kit

 

Haha, that's funny. Yea, a little overboard I guess...

2:31 a.m. on September 8, 2009 (EDT)
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If you are truly clueless as to what you need, the first thing you need to do is read a good book on hiking and camping such as the latest edition of "The Complete Walker", which is widely considered "the Bible" of hiking books. "Freedom of the Hills" which is about hiking and mountaineering is another excellent choice.

You need to understand what you need before considering brands or specifics. Other factors include where and when you will be doing your hiking and camping.

Camping gear can be broken down into systems (The Complete Walker does this). You have shelter, sleeping, clothing, kitchen, navigation, personal safety and probably a couple I can't remember offhand, but you get the idea.

You want the individual pieces of gear (clothes included) to complement each other, not just be random stuff that someone gave you or you bought because it looked cool. This is especially important with clothing, where layering for cold weather is the tried and true method. I carry enough layers in winter to go from a hot sunny day in the 50's or 60's to around -20F or so.

For example, I have a Swiss Army knife. I bought my particular model because it has a phillips head screwdriver that fits the screws on a bike derailleur. I have a ratchet screwdriver with torx bits to fix my ski bindings, also not something most people would need. Much of my gear is tailored for the Sierra in winter, so giving you my gear list would be next to worthless for someone not doing what I do.

I have no need for a Spyderco or any other Rambo sized knife for any reason. I do have a fairly big fixed blade knife I bought to take whitewater rafting, but I consider it a special purpose knife and I have no reason to take it camping. I learned this lesson when I bought something the size of a Bowie knife when I first took up scuba diving. As time went by and I got a lot smarter, I bought something much more useful and about 1/3 the size.

My knife does most everything a Spyderco will do (like cutting up cheese) and much more because of the tools on it. I probably couldn't field dress a deer with it, but I couldn't do that with anything anyway no matter what it was and unless I hit one with my car, my need to be able to do that is zero. And unlike Han Solo, I have no plans to be cutting up some huge animal and climbing inside it to keep warm. That's what my sleeping bag is for. On the other hand, the little scissors, screwdrivers, and bottle opener are pretty handy. So is the little magnifying glass for looking at splinters in your finger.

There are many sites with gear lists for different types of hiking and different weather conditions. Check them out, but start by reading a good book. It will be worth it.

9:08 a.m. on September 8, 2009 (EDT)
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After years of trying this and that, based on formative years in the Scouts, books by Colin Fletcher, Harvey Manning, Chris Townsend and their ilk, and a lot of trial and error, I finally pretty well solved the what-to-take problem by developing several pre-loaded backpacks. One is a Bianchi Endurance daypack (unfortunately discontinued) that is loaded for hunting needs. One is a Gregory G-pack that works well as a daypack but can be used for longer trips of several nights. The third is a JanSport Carson that is used for more demanding hikes, or (like in winter) when things get bulky. Each of them has certain basic equipment that just stays there because I know I'm gong to need it. All of them carry the 10 Essentials. I did not go out and buy this stuff all at once but collected it over the years ("let's try that kind of compass -- works well enough -- goes in the hunting pack"). Some gear gets shifted into whatever is going to be used. Like I don't have a tent in each ha ha.

This means I can often just grab-and-go without any gear swapping or packing at all. Add water and food, hit the trail.

But like I say, it didn't happen overnight, and I sure wouldn't recommend that anyone do it that way. For one thing, money doesn't grow on trees. For another, it took some experimentation to find out what I really wanted. Sometimes what I thought I wanted was wrong.

9:21 a.m. on September 8, 2009 (EDT)
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No caves in Florida - at least that we know of. But lots up here in Kentucky, so if there's ever a hurricane up here in KY, I'm in good shape.

 

Speaking of hurricanes, whatever happened to the poster who was obsessed with putting up a tent in the direct path of a hurricane and riding it out? Or was he blown away?

8:46 p.m. on September 10, 2009 (EDT)
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1:35 a.m. on September 11, 2009 (EDT)
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Your first choice seems ok for day use your second choice has no room the store any gear. Also Calmelbak makes good quality hydration system.

11:47 p.m. on September 11, 2009 (EDT)
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My basic list of items to take- the most basic stuff that I take whether on a day hike or an overnighter- has not changed much since I started in 1974. Ok, when my old cagoule finally dies or rots away, it will be replaced with a similar weight gortex type jacket; and the still alive 60/40 will go away at some point, maybe; I have fell in love with a soft shell my kids got for me. The mid-weight wool pendlelton shirt may go away for a mid-weight synthetic patagonia thing (although that is doubtful),,,so what is left? The most basic items. I just past 60 and no way I am gonna carry anything that is not functional and have mutli uses. I am looking out for a much lighter day pack, and I reuse large "spring water" bottles that my kids bring home instead of a commercial item. Ok, the darn cell phone has to come in case I suffer an accident and am capable to seek help . The OM 1 got lost years ago, and I am using an hand -me- down digital camera given to me by my daughter; it is small, light weight, and shoots just fine. Toss in the meds I need, and , of course, the magic pill in case I get lucky, and away I go.

12:35 a.m. on September 12, 2009 (EDT)
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Out of all that's been said, one thing is worth remembering: keep it simple!!!

(and have fun...)

3:28 p.m. on September 30, 2009 (EDT)
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Every year in the nw you hear of someone going for a day hike with nothing extra and ending up lost,only hiking on a trail,hungry and cold.This is why you bring a "base"kit just incase.Once refined it weighs nothing and allow you to sleep at home in your own bed instead of in the dirt and cold.And if you still have to spend an unplaned night out it will be much more enjoyable with the kit rather than without.

12:23 a.m. on October 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Hamshank had a short list at the start, and that was good. One thing just in addition to all the good advice above. GO OUT AND TRY. Nothing will be as educative as your own experience. Start with a short trip, one night then back home. Expand by and by. Then you find out what YUO like/need.

Someone could tell you to remember say to have whole socks when hiking. But when you have walked one day with blisters because you forgot, you are sure to always remember this for the rest of your life.

Have fun, make it simple.

November 27, 2014
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