First and foremost, you must take safety seriously. Bear in mind that if you suffer a medical emergency when you’re miles away from civilization, you can’t simply pop into a pharmacy to stock up on supplies. Fortunately, healthcare equipment suppliers are well aware of this fact and they have developed lightweight travel first aid kits that are ideal for hikers and campers. For example, the wholesaler Steroplast offers kits complete with items including bandages, dressing pads, plasters, sterile wipes and more. By taking a kit like this with you, you can rest assured you’ll be able to deal with a range of medical problems.
Be sure to do your research before setting off on your trips too, and pay particular attention to issues like whether you may encounter potentially dangerous animals or insects in the area you’re traveling to. Check to see if the terrain or weather will pose any challenges too.
It’s also a good idea to leave a plan of your route with a friend or family member, detailing things like where you’re going, who you’re going with and when you plan to be back.
Choose your clothing with care
Getting badly sunburned in short sleeves or trying to trek up a steep hill in soggy jeans isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, so it’s important that you pack the right clothes. Lightweight, quick drying trousers, shorts and tops made using breathable fabrics like Goretex are ideal, and a wind and rainproof jacket is a must if you might face inclement conditions.
Your footwear should be up to the job too. Make sure you choose shoes or boots that provide suitable grip and support, and if they’re new, it’s a good idea to wear them in before setting off on your trip.
Get the right gear
There are certain essential items for treks and camping trips too. For example, you should always have either water bottles or hydration packs with you. A GPS could prove useful as well. While you might be able to use your smartphone to navigate, many of the apps available for these devices aren’t designed for hiking and they can drain your battery quickly. If you’re serious about your walking, it’s worth investing in a rugged handheld GPS unit complete with detailed topographic maps. These devices can withstand being dropped and getting wet.
If you’re staying out in the elements overnight, you’ll benefit from having a good quality tent. Alternatively, if you need to travel light and don’t want to spend time putting a shelter up and taking it down each night, consider taking a bivouac sack or bedroll instead. These compact waterproof canvases can be set up in seconds. Of course, you’ll need a sleeping bag too, and be sure to select one that’s designed for the relevant weather conditions. A lightweight sleeping mat is always welcome as well. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to cook, you’ll need a decent camping stove that’s easy to set up and use - and don’t forget the fuel, or the food for that matter!
By following tips like these, you should be able to get maximum enjoyment from your hiking and camping adventures.
(Photo by cmichel67 via Flickr)
Article written by Gail N.