It took me a while to understand, compile and build this checklist. Now you may not need or feel like carrying everything thats listed out here. But it is always a good idea to go through the checklist before leaving anything behind.
Never set out without a map especially if the trail is not well marked. It is very easy to get lost in an easy to explore wilderness and do not count on wireless phone signal or the phone GPS for help. A map that has the trail path on it is a plus.
Always helps to carry a compass to complement the map.
Compact high energy snacks like energy bars are good. We dont realize but a hike no matter how easy/difficult and long/short will make the hiker hungry by the time the hike is complete.
Although a personal choice, warm, rain and windshell clothing is always prefered.
Hiking shoes always recommended. You can find some good hiking shoes at REI or other sports shops.
Helps with the bright light at altitudes, avoids the snow blindness and helps with good looks in pictures.
Never start without one.
- First aid
Always carry atleast the basic firstaid kit.
- Pocket knife
A multipurpose knife with the likeness of the swiss knife is recommended.
Matches or lighters are a must if it is a multi day hike. Day hikers may not need matches as much unless they plan on day camping.
- Firestarter and wood
Similar to matches.
Always carry enough water for the entire hike. The way we do it is carry two sets of water bottles with cold water in one and the other is half frozen. We drink the cold water on the way to the hike. The frozen water starts melting by the time we head back and we have cold water for the way back too.
- Bug repellent
If the hike is through a lot of thick growth, bug repellents are a must.
- Walking stick
Depending on the difficulty of the hike, walking sticks are a must. Most people find using a walking stick makes their life easier even for a hike rated 1.
- Blanket (throw)
We always carry a blanket to use when we reach the destination. Most of the hikes dont have a place to sit once you reach the point. Having a blanket on hand makes it easier to sit down and relax for a while before heading back to the trail head.