Hike Planning

 

 

 

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Site Contents

In the 1930s, the Mountaineers, a Seattle-based hiking, climbing, and conservation organization, came up with a list of 10 essential items that no hiker should be without.

"The Ten Essentials"

Map: A map not only tells you where you are and how far you have to go, it can help you find campsites, water, and an emergency exit route in case of an accident.

Compass: A compass can help you find your way through unfamiliar terrain-especially in bad weather where you can't see the landmarks.

Water and a way to purify it:  Without enough water, your body's muscles and organs simply can't perform as well: You'll be susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness. not to mention the abject misery of raging thirst.

Extra food:  Any number of things could keep you out longer than expected: a lengthy detour, getting lost, an injury, difficult terrain. A few ounces of extra food will help keep up energy and morale.

Rain gear and extra clothing:  Because the weatherman is not always right. Especially above tree line, bring along extra layers. Two rules: Avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin), and always carry a hat.

Fire starter and matches: The warmth of a fire and a hot drink can help prevent an encounter with hypothermia, and help you feel more secure.  Fires are also a great way to signal for help if you get lost.

First aid kit:  Prepackaged first aid kits for hikers are available at outfitters. Double your effectiveness with knowledge: Take a basic first aid class with the American Red Cross or a Wilderness First Aid class, offered by many hiking organizations.

Army knife or multi-purpose tool:  These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, fix broken eyeglasses, and perform a whole host of repairs on malfunctioning gear-not to mention cut cheese and open cans.

Flashlight and extra bulbs:  For finding your way in the dark and signaling for help.

Sun screen and sun glasses:  Especially above tree line when there is a skin-scorching combination of sun and snow, you'll need sunglasses to prevent snow blindness, and sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

You should also have a whistle!

Before you hit the trail, here are a few items you should consider:

Consult a map or a guidebook to get an idea of the terrain. You need to know whether you're in for an easy stroll or muscle-wrenching climb. Guidebooks and maps will also tell you about rest stops, distances between them, elevation gain and loss, and water sources.

Get a weather forecast (remember that valley forecasts do not apply to a ridge 5,000 feet up a mountain!) You should also know what the average conditions are, as well as the possible extremes. Can it snow in August? You'll need a hat and warm clothes. Do the springs run dry during a drought? Bring an extra water bottle.

Know how far you have to walk. Municipal regulations, time restrictions, or the terrain may dictate local trail use. Be sure you can make the distance! Some parks close the gate at sundown, so you want to be back before then.

Pack enough food (plus a little extra for the time you intend to be out).

Leave your itinerary (however detailed it may or may not be ) with someone at home. Let them know when you'll be back, and what to do if you don't show.

See Also:

Hike Precautions

Seton's "Hiking"

Camping Gear Checklists

The Traditional Handbook

 

 

   

 

 


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Peer- Level Topic Links:
Activities ] Archery ] Axe, Boy Scout ] Axe, Saw, Forestry ] Axe, Saw,  Knife ] Axe Use: Beard ] Axe Use: Seton ] Axe Use: Traditional ] Axe Throwing ] Beds, Woodcraft ] Bedding Materials ] Bicycle Maintenance ] Birch-Bark Torch ] Birds ] Bird Houses ] Blocks Tackles Purchase ] Blood Red Cross ] Broom: Camp or Witch's ] Buttons ] Campcraft ] Camp Hygiene ] Camp Planning ] Campfire Programs ] Catapult ] Chainsaws ] Checklists ] Chuck Box Riddance! ] City-Craft ] Compass Bear Song ] Compass, Home-Made ] Cooking ] Cotton Kills Bear Song ] Deduction in Tracking ] Deduction & Detective ] Drum ] Dyes ] Edible Plants ] Equipment, Leader ] Equipment, Personal ] Equipment Maintenance ] Equipment, Lightweight ] Equip, Pickle Bucket Camp ] Estimation ] Field Signals ] Fire-Building ] Fire Building ] Fire Laying ] Fire Lighting ] Fire Starters ] Fire: Rubbing-Stick ] Fire Types, Wood Types ] Fire Council Ring ] Fires: Woodcraft ] First Aid ] First Class Journey ] Flint & Steel ] Flowers ] Forest ] Gesture Signals ] Ground to Air Signals ] Handicraft Stunts ] High Adventure ] Hiking ] [ Hike Planning ] Indian Sundial Clock ] Insect Collecting ] Insect Preserve ] Indian Well ] Knife & Hatchet ] Knots, Bends, Hitches ] Knots: Diamond Hitch ] Knots: Lashings ] Knots: Rope Work ] Knots: Seton ] Knots: Traditional ] Knots & Whipping ] Lashings ] Lashing Practice Box ] Lace or Thong ] Learn by Doing ] Leave No Trace ] Leave No Trace ] Lights ] Local Knowledge ] Log Ladders, Notched ] Log-Rolling ] Logs: Cut Notch ] Logs Split with Axe ] Loom and Grass Mats ] Lost in the Woods ] Manners ] Maps ] Map & Compass ] Maps: Without Compass ] Measurement ] Measurement Estimation ] Menu Worksheet ] Menu (Adult IOLS) ] Mosquitoes ] Mushrooms ] Night Tracking ] Observation ] Old Trails ] Paints ] Pioneering, Basic ] Pioneering Models ] Plaster Casts ] Preparations ] Proverbs ] Rake ] Rope Care ] Rope Making ] Rope Spinning ] Scout Reports ] Signal & Sign ] Sign Language ] Silent Scout Signals ] Smoke Prints ] Snakes ] Spanish Windlass ] Spoons ] Staff/Stave Making ] Stalking Skills ] Stalking & Observation ] Stars ] Stools ] Story Telling ] Stoves & Lanterns ] Summoning Help ] Sun Dial: Scientific ] Survival Kit ] Tarp Poles ] Teepee (4 Pole) ] Tent Care ] Tent Pitching ] Tom-Tom ] Tomahawk Throwing ] Tomahawk Targets ] Totem Making ] Totem Animals ] Totem Poles ] Training in Tracking ] Tracks, Ground, Weather ] Tracking & Trailing ] Trail Following ] Trail Signs & Blazes ] Trail Signs of Direction ] Trail Signs: Traditional ] Trail Signs for Help ] Trees of the NE ] Wall Hangings ] Watch Compass ] Weather Wisdom ] Wild Things ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.