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- Smart Phone
The thing I love about hiking is the escape from the real world that it offers, so it may sound strange that ‘Smart Phone’ is on my list of must take hiking items. Your phone can act as a GPS and track your route, distance, elevation, pace and calories burned during your hike. Of course there is the safety element of taking your phone with you hiking, if something goes wrong you can phone for help (even if you don’t have signal just call 112). The cameras on smart phones these days are quite impressive too, so using your phone to take snaps of the scenery along the trail is a nice touch.
Water is a pretty obvious contender as an essential hiking item, but how much will you need? This is dependent on many things such as the hike distance, level of difficulty and temperature. At a minimum I would suggest 1-2ltrs for shorter hikes and 3ltrs for longer day hikes. Water loading before you hike, means you will carry less but will help you to stay hydrated.
Trail Mix is my go-to hiking snack. The beauty of trail mix is that it provides loads of energy, doesn’t take up much room and is delicious! For longer day hikes something a little more substantial such as a sandwich, protein bars and fruit will give you the sustenance you need to get over that next hill.
- First Aid
Let’s face it accidents happen when you least expect them to, so it is imperative you are prepared. A few essential first aid supplies such as bandaids, saline, antiseptic, paracetamol, bandages, strapping tape and tissues are all that you should need to sort out any minor falls or blisters. It’s no secret we live in the ‘sunburnt country’ so taking sunscreen with you is a pretty wise move too.
- Weather Protection
Hat/wooly hat, rain coat, windbreak jacket, spare socks and sunglasses are all important weather protection items to consider, dependant on your forecasted conditions. If you are heading down to the Stirling Ranges, I would recommend adding an extra layer of clothing. Whilst you may work up quite the sweat on your journey up the trail, once up the top the weather can turn very quickly and you could be faced with strong winds, heavy rain and even snow (yes snow)! It also goes without saying that comfortable hiking boots/shoes are an absolute must. A hot tip is to wear two pairs of socks, this will help to reducing the chance of blisters and keep your feet dry and happy.