Hiking and Back Packing Clothing

One huge mistake many hikers make is undertaking a serious hike with the wrong clothing. It might be okay to go for a stroll in the woods or a walk around the park in ‘street’ clothes and gym shoes, but if you are going back country, even for a short walk you should dress appropriately. At the top of the list is footwear. Walking minimally improved trails is a different experience versus maintained trails in most city/county parks. Uneven terrain, wet or slipper surfaces, sharp inclines and descents all place a great deal of stress on the feet and ankles. One even slightly misplaced step can send you down an embankment or down on the ground in great pain.

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Depending on your location and the severity of your injury, you might need professional assistance getting out and medical attention once you do. That leads to the second, in my opinion, most important item you should have with you even on short hikes – your hiking fanny pack. It should contain the very basics of emergency supplies: an alert whistle, a basic first aid kit, a flashlight/headlamp, extra socks, some para-cord, some energy bars/emergency food, extra water, compass, a couple of survival blankets, a folded still new rain ponchoand a survival knife/tool. While that lists seems long – minus the water it is only a couple pounds. When carried in a properly fitting fanny or small backpack, you will hardly notice it. But without it, should you need it for yourself or another hiker on the trail – it could be critical supplies.

If you are planning a serious day hike such as to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, etc, then you will want to pack even more. Extensive survival equipment is discussed elsewhere. If you know you are going on a longer hike even of a few hours into remote or back country locations, consider dressing the part. And including more items in your back pack. And the proper clothing is even more important.

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Courtesy S. Ward – Mountains towering above the desert