Water is life. A cliche I know. But when you’re hiking and it’s hot, the cliché holds true.
Hikers need about half a liter of water per hour, depending on the difficulty of the hike and the climate, and with long day hikes, especially in the backcountry, this water will need to come from from a safe and clean place.
There aren’t many water fountains in the backcountry, so a good purifier or filter will be your lifesaver.
Like first aid kits, filters and purifiers come in all shapes and sizes and are broadly categorized by the amount of water they can treat.
Some filters and purifiers are strictly for one person, others can treat water for large groups at a time. As a new hiker, I would suggest choosing a compact, inexpensive, and easy to use filter or purifier like the Sawyer Squeeze Filter or the Grayl Water Purifier Bottle.
Maps, GPS beacon or GPS app
I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but maps and navigational gear are often the last things people consider when hiking – getting lost isn’t much fun. If you are new to hiking and unfamiliar with the hiking spots in your community, you should always have a map, navigation, and a plan for the adventure you are embarking on.
Paper maps are great, GPS maps are fine (assuming you have battery and cell service), but my rule of thumb is to always have two ways to navigate no matter where I go.
Sometimes, especially as new hikers or backpackers, our time on the trail seems to pass quicker than expected, and the sun is already starting to set while we still have miles to go.
In such cases, and in many other cases in the backcountry, it is good to have a reliable light source that leaves your hands free to carry objects, react to situations and walk in the dark.
If you’ve never used a headlamp and you’ve only ever used traditional flashlights, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise, as they’re convenient, easy to use, and fit easily into a backpack, purse or glove box to use in any situation.
To start, look for a comfortable headlamp with a narrow beam, high lumen count, and a few different features like red light, strobe, and water resistance, which should be about all you’ll need at the moment. beginning of your hiking route.