What to Bring on a Hike
Here we have a compilation of items to bring
on a hike. Of course you would not need all of this for hiking the Highline
Canal, but most people go way too light. If you are attempting to climb the
fourteeners, then before you have climbed all 54 you probably will have needed
every item listed here.
We start with the old standard Ten Essentials followed by
outdoor clothing. Then expand on the essentials with a
list of equipment for handling backcountry emergencies. A list of contents for a
minimum first aid kit finishes this section.
The special items most hikers believe should
always be with you. This compilation comes from Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills. The
- Extra food
- Extra clothing
- First aid supplies
- Pocket knife
- Fire starter
The following items are considered essential for a successful outing.
- Boots: Of heavy lug construction, they should fit comfortably snug with
free play for toes and with little or no slippage on the heel. The boots
should be weather proofed and broken in before hiking.
- Socks: Four pairs recommended; two of lightweight nylon and two of heavy
wool. Wear one pair of wool socks over one lightweight pair. The other two
pairs go into your pack in case you need dry socks.
- Pants: Constructed to be loose, warm, comfortable, and quick drying. For
added warmth, wear polypropylene underwear.
- Shirts: Light, man-made fiber - such as bunting or nylon pile -
recommended for good insulating quality and quick drying.
- Jacket: Mountain style with a hood, windproofed, waterproofed, and sized
large enough to cover more insulating clothes worn under it.
- Head Covering: Styled to retain body heat or provide shade as changing
- Gloves and Overshell Mittens.
- Rain Gear: A lightweight poncho, or rain pants and hooded parka.
The following list of items is designed to
support life under any trip emergency in the backcountry, regardless of the
season or weather conditions. Learn how to use it. Keep it always in your pack
and check the condition of these items periodically. Your life may depend on it.
- Fire starting kits. Bring two or three, each one different, plus cigarette
lighter. Make sure they all work in wet, cold, and windy conditions.
- Pocket knife and wire saw. The saw is for cutting large pieces of wood for
an emergency fire.
- Space blanket. The space blanket can be used as a wind breaker, heat
reflector, and as a signaling device for air rescue. Wave the red side up
when standing on snow; the silver side up when standing on dark grounds.
- 3 large plastic leaf bags. For quick rain and wind protection, put one bag
over your head, the second around your legs, and the third over your
backpack. Make a gap in the first for breathing.
- Low temperature electrician tape. This is handy for general repairs to
space blankets, clothing, tents, boots, etc.
- Ensolite pad. Reduce body heat loss by sitting or sleeping on pad instead
of cold ground.
- Head lamp with spare bulbs and batteries. A head lamp enables you to use
- Map and compass plus surveying (flagging) tape. Make sure that you remove
the tape on your way out.
- Extra clothing.
- Metal cup to melt snow.
- Extra safe (boiled or filtered) drinking water.
- Extra food.
- Whistle and signal mirror and 100 feet of parachute cord.
- Sun glasses and sun cream.
- First aid kit.
- Toilet paper.
- Snow shovel on trips where snow is expected.
Minimum First Aid Kit
- (2) Triangular Bandages: Hold compresses or splints in
- (1) "Ace" Bandage: Supports weakened limb
joints; holds compresses or splints in place
- (8) Sterile pads 4"X 4": Dress large
- (1) 4" bandage compress: Dresses large wounds
- (6) Band-aids: Treat small wounds
- (1) Roll of adhesive tape: Holds compress or splint in place
- (4) Moleskin tape squares: Prevent and treat blisters
- (1) Antiseptic soap: Cleans wounds
- (1) Tube of sunscreen: Prevents sunburn
- (1) Tube of chapstick: Prevents dry lips
- (1) Insect repellent: Keeps insects away
- (8) Aspirin: Relieves aches and pains
- (8) Antacid: Relieves nausea
- (1) Small scissors: Cuts moleskin and tape
- (3) Safety pins: Hold compresses or splints in place; Open blisters; Make arm sling from shirt
- (1) Tweezers: Remove splinters and ticks
- (1) Backpack medical guide
- (1) Bag or box: Holds all of the above
This checklist is courtesy of the Colorado Mountain Club Information Service