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Electronic Weather Stations & Accessories
Electronic Weather
Stations & Accessories

 

I frequently get comments from casual walkers when I hike with all my stuff... "You look like a real hiker." I'm not sure what the appropriate snappy answer should be, but, yes, I guess I am a real hiker. I typically use a smaller "hip pack" for my day hikes. I keep it stocked so it is always ready to go, and I always take it, even on short hikes of two hours or so. This works well if like me, you want to make going a "no brainer." I get irritable when I reach into my pack for sunscreen, etc. and find them missing, and so keeping the pack intact is key to safe, happy day hikes.

Here's my inventory:

  • First aid kit (including moleskin for blisters)

  • Socks (extra pair in case of rips, wetness, or to equalize fit when one shoe is too loose)

  • Tissues or wipes

  • Food/Snacks (bring extra)

  • Sun block

  • Insect repellant

  • Plastic Ziplock bags

  • Trash bag (makes an adequate poncho)

  • Leatherman-type tool (or Swiss Army tool)

  • Compass and GPS

  • Digital voice recorder

  • Emergency space blanket

  • Waterproof matches

  • Flashlight & extra batteries

  • Mirror for signaling

  • Whistle (to scare off animals or to use as a signaling device)

  • Firestarter

  • Nylon filament

  • Pen

  • Small notebook

  • Trail map(s)

  • Sunglasses

  • Cell phone (keep off unless needed)

  • Camera(s)

  • Jacket/pullover and/or raingear

  • Gloves

  • Water purification tablets

  • 2 bottles of water (.5 or 1 liter sizes depending on the effort/distance to be traveled)

I don't see any of these items as negotiable. Some of this stuff may seem overkill for day hiking, but you never know what could happen out there. Always allow for bad weather and for the possibility that you may be forced to spend a night outdoors unexpectedly. I hike by myself so frequently that I plan to be self-reliant no matter what. If I wander off the trail and get lost, or fall and break my leg, with the equipment I carry I would be able to signal for help with a flashlight or whistle, call of help on my cell phone, light a fire if necessary, stay warm, and hydrated.

It's also a good idea to assemble a separate "survival pack" for each hiker to have at all times. In a small waterproof container, place a pocket knife, compass, whistle, space blanket, nylon filament, water purification tablets, matches and candle. With these items, the chances of being able to survive in the wild are greatly improved.

From DayHiker.com:

FOOD

Trail Mix may not be the best food on the trail for a hike that has high levels of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Nuts and other oily, fatty foods are harder to digest when your body is using your oxygen elsewhere. Also, fruit in excess can cause digestive distress. DayHiker has found the best foods on the trail are the new sport bars including Promax, Balance Outdoor, GeniSoy 40.30.30, BioProtein, Extra Protein, Balance Bar, and Pure Protein.

WATER

By studying the weather, the water sources, the trail, one can carry the minimum amount of water, which is probably the heaviest thing one carries on a day hike. An interesting idea is to stash water bottles on the way, to be retrieved on the way back. A water filter may be an efficient way to go to minimize weight of carried water. The disadvantage is the time it takes to find water, stop and pump. For day hikes, my advice is to carry your water with you and leave the filter for overnight hikes.

TREKKING POLES

This is the best-kept secret for success on any kind of hike. Common in Europe and mandatory equipment for mountain climbers, trekking poles give an advantage, which most people donít understand until they try them. The uninformed usually comment or think, "Whereís the snow?" "Arenít they heavy?" "Do they help? "Are you really a wimp?"

It is estimated the use of trekking poles can add up to 20% efficiency to the body by transferring some of the load to your arms. Even more significant is the stability the poles provide, greatly reducing the need for leg muscles to continually provide balance. The chances of a sprained or broken ankle, the bane of a hiker a long way from help, is greatly reduced by the use of poles. Stream crossings, wet rocks or logs, ice, loose rocks, and steep areas are made safer.

A single walking stick is better than nothing, but is more awkward than two lightweight trekking poles. Additionally, telescoping poles can be stowed in your daypack at times when they are not needed. Some models have shock absorbers built in which allows less stress on the wrists when stroking hard with the poles. Another feature recently is a slight taper on the hand grips which make for a more ergonomic grasp.

As far as I'm concerned, trekking poles are a MUST HAVE! And use fingerless athletic or mountain biking gloves to help cushion your hands while using the poles.

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