Hiking is a year-round athletic activity. Hot summers and icy winters are not deterrents for hikers, but it is important to consider the weather conditions and climate when preparing for a hike regardless of the time of year. When venturing out on a hike in the summer, there are a number of precautions to take, and packing essential supplies could make a difference in your endurance, health, and safety.
Refillable Water Bottles
Water is one of the most important items to bring on a hike, and though it can be the heaviest supply in your pack, you should ensure that you pack enough water to last. Taking refillable bottles can eliminate the panic of running out of water, and packing a water filter can ease this anxiety, as well. Staying hydrated throughout your hike in the summer is crucial so that you do not risk getting heat stroke.
A day of hiking is going to require energy, so make sure you bring along snacks that will provide for your needs. Trail mix and granola bars are easy to carry and consume on the move, and you shouldn’t need to pack an entire meal for your hike.
Keeping your skin protected from the sun is also important. Pack sunscreen with a sufficiently high SPF to prevent sunburn and exposure. Additionally, you may want to bring sunglasses and a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes; harsh light, especially when unfiltered through foliage, can damage your retinas and inhibit your ability to navigate effectively.
If you are hiking somewhere new, make sure you research the trails ahead of time. Bringing a traditional map and compass is a wise idea. A GPS can be useful provided you are within range of cell towers or if you upload the proper maps to the device before departure.
Though you may intend on embarking on a day hike, it pays to be prepared for the trek to last longer. Rather than risk being stranded in the wilderness without sufficient supplies, make sure you pack a survival blanket or a small tent to protect you from the elements. It is better to add a few extra pounds to your pack than realize you have to find shelter at the last minute.