This will be a on going list I will add to regularly. If you have tips to add, by all means please send them to us. It is not meant to be a all inclusive list but hopefully it will help you on your next adventure, whether it be camping, hiking, trekking, bike touring, mountain biking climbing, paddle or whatever activity you choose.
NEW ITEMS ARE IN ITALICS
Before you go:
- Know the weather for the day(s) of your adventure.
- Know your gear before you going out in the woods.
- Check fuel bottles to make sure you have enough fuel.
- Check with local hiking clubs to see about fires or other closures that could effect your plans.
- Check the batteries in your flashlight or headlamp.
- Make sure your car or truck is in good working order. Finishing a hike only to be stranded in the woods because your car won’t start is no fun and dangerous.
- Bring the following with you on your hike: a photo ID, insurance card, and credit card. Before a long trek, taking digital photos or photo copies of your documentation and emailing it to yourself can be helpful if they are lost or stolen. Easy access to a copy of the document may aid in getting replacements faster.
- It’s not a great thing to consider but if you’re going on a long trek think about filling out a living will. Anything can happen at any time.
- Always tell some where your going and your plan.
- Have a back up plan if the trail is closed or the campsite you plan to stay at is full.
- Make sure more than one person in the group knows the plan in case you get split up.
- If your using a GPS for navigation be sue to have a paper map as a back up.
- Leave the cotton at home, use wool or a synthetic material.
- Have a place for each item in your pack and stick to the system. It will make finding things much easier.
- Save money by using a heavy duty trash bag as a pack liner (pack covers don’t work and cost a lot for what they are).
- Never store your sleeping bag in it’s stuff sack.
- Your shoes might look new but most running shoes should be replaced after 300-500 miles.
- When you switch out your shoes replace your insoles and socks.
- Don’t fold your tent but stuff it. Over time folding it can stress the fabric making it fail.
- Always carry some sort of rope or cord to make repairs or replace laces.
- Dry your tent and other gear thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew.
- Transfer items like sunscreen, insect repellent, dish soap and others in smaller dropper bottles to save weight and bulk.
- Rubbermade storage bins are great for storing sleeping bags if you don’t have the room to hang them.
- Carry a map/compass and or GPS (know how to use them both)
- Bring along a first aid kit (check it’s contents regularly for expirations and quantity)
- Carry a lighter or matches, just in case.
- Carry some sort of ID or medical form with you in case you get hurt. It will help rescuers in the event you need attention.
- Always have a dry set of clothes to wear in camp.
- If you lose the trail or haven’t seen a trail maker in more than 5 minutes back track to the last one and check your course.
- Know your limits and those with you.
- If your cold eating foods with lots of fat content, like nuts, will keep you warm during a long cold night.
During your adventure:
- Drink often in all conditions as dehydration can happen in any temperature.
- Prevent blisters before they start.
- Use sunscreen and a hat or long sleeves to prevent sunburn, even on cloudy or cold days.
- Snack regularly throughout the day. It will keep your energy stores up better than big meals.
- Keep a small notebook and pen at hand to make notes of faulty gear or items that need to be replaced or refilled.
- Try not to cook where you plan on sleeping. If you do make sure it’s upwind of camp and at least 300′ away.
- When packing put items like your rain jacket or insulating layer on top for easy access.
- If your pack has a top lid put small every day items that you will need throughout the day.
Get out there!