Hiking provides enthusiasts with some of the most tranquil, memorable, and fulfilling experiences of their lives. In my home of Corona, there are countless trails to explore and views to enjoy. However, regardless of whether you are hiking to the top of a rugged mountain for an incredible vista or meandering along a wooded trail to relax by a beautiful pond, there are essentials every hiker needs. When in the outdoors, taking care of your feet, staying hydrated, warm, and fed, as well as being prepared for emergencies are crucial to ensuring wilderness safety.

 

Before leaving civilization behind, every hiker should prepare by considering the following provisions, all of which are recommended by The American Hiking Society.

 

Appropriate Footwear

 

Footwear choice depends greatly on the type of hiking. Trail shoes are a great choice for short day hikes; however, if you are going to put on the mileage and tackle some rough terrain, a comfortable pair of hiking boots are essential. If you choose to go backpacking, you should find a pair of backpacking boots to carry you on your way – these are specifically designed for carrying heavy loads.

 

Navigation Equipment

 

No one enjoys being lost in the wood. Having a GPS on-hand can go a long way towards ensuring proper navigation and providing guidance if you become disoriented. A topo map and a compass should be brought along as well, given that wilderness areas don’t often have reliable GPS reception.

 

Water

 

Sometimes, the water you bring won’t be enough to keep you going. If you plan to be outside for an extended period of time, make sure that you pack reliable water purification gear. If you become lost or find yourself in the wilderness longer than planned, you may need to rely on water you find. Purification tablets and wilderness water filters can make the water you find in the wilderness safe to drink.

 

Extra food

 

Take lightweight, emergency food in case your stay is extended due to injury, being lost, or weather conditions. You will need to keep strong and a bite to eat always helps morale.

 

Rain Gear and Clothes

 

Heavy rains or cold snaps can strike when you least expect them. At the very minimum, you should have emergency rain gear and an emergency blanket. In the mountains or colder climates, always take layers of clothes that can see you through if you are unexpectedly stuck out in the wilderness at night.

 

Safety Gear

 

This includes a knife, first aid kit, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Also, make sure to have an emergency fire starting method (flint or waterproof matches) and a whistle. In you become lost, use the whistle to attract attention.

 

Camping out in the wilderness or spending a day on the trails can be thrilling – but you need to keep yourself safe! Never wander out without the proper gear.