The last situation you’ll want to find yourself in on your next camping trip is being unprepared. When it comes to camping, things can be pretty unpredictable, especially during the summer. Inclement weather and rough terrain can be dangerous conditions for hikers. It’s important to take the appropriate precautions, pack accordingly and be well-equipped for both the expected and unexpected conditions you may experience on your hike.
Summer is the perfect opportunity to head out and explore new territories. But, before diving right into the fun, take inventory of what you have, don’t have, and most importantly, what you might not even know you may still need to make the best out of your next hiking experience.
What You Wear
While you want to be comfortable on your hike, you’ll also want to be smart about what it is you’re wearing. Quality boots and socks, a lightweight shirt (light-colored to reflect the sun’s rays) and a sun hat are all essentials. If the weather is cool, damp or rainy, insulated shirts and pants, or even fleece depending on how cold it really is, are all great substitutes.
It’s not just the clothes that count, though. Be sure to load up on sunscreen, SPF-rated lip balm and sunglasses with UV protection. If your hike is expected to be overcast and rainy, rain jackets and pants are necessary.
Map It Out
Don’t ever expect your anticipated hiking trail to have a readily available map for your convenience. While it is unlikely there won’t be any maps available, it’s best to prepare on your own time.
Whether you’re a hiking novice or an expert, you should consider downloading these maps and trails before you head out. It also might not be a bad idea to bring along a GPS or even a compass for your hike.
Let’s think for a second your hike turns into worst case scenario. Of course this isn’t anticipated and of course it’s not wanted, but it’s a possibility. What if you get lost? What if the weather prevents you from getting back? Now what?
Bring along a pop-up tent, tarp or reflective blanket. You’ll want to be prepared for any and every situation you may be faced with. Bringing along some overnight gear may not be the worst idea in the long run – especially if you’re expecting a particularly long hike.
What About Your Car?
Your car is probably something that didn’t even cross your mind when you’re going through your hiking checklist. However, a thorough car prep can be just as important as the gear your packing.
It’s recommended to get your car serviced by a qualified mechanic before you take on your hike in a remote location. Your tread should be high and tires should be well-equipped to handle gravel, rocks and more.
Your trunk is also a great place to store some of your essentials like flashlights, a headlight batteries, jumper cables, water, protein bars and even a first aid kit.
Get on the Go!
There’s no right or wrong way to pack for your summer hiking adventures, but there are definitely recommended methods for you to consider if you want to make the most out of your next experience.
The key is to expect the unexpected and prepare yourself to handle whatever curveballs mother nature may throw your way.