Much of the fun and excitement that you have on your hiking depends on the kind of hiking gear that you are traveling with. Experienced hikers have sworn by the twelve "must-haves" and generally if you have them with yourself you can feel much confident about the hike.
But before we start talking about the essentials we need to know about what kind of a backpack should we go for. Make sure that your backpack is reliable, strong, comfortable and has enough space for all the things you need to carry. Now, that you have got yourself your backpack, let us move on to the list of essentials.
1. A Plan: Before you even set your foot outside your door draw up a detailed plan of your trip. While you get your plan ready incorporate the details about the weather conditions and the trail conditions. Also make sure a friend or a relative knows about your plan.
2. A Map: Get a detailed map of the place you are going to. It is better if you can manage a map that is provided by the state or the national park you are planning to go hiking to. The map comes in handy if the trail you had planned to hike is found closed or you somehow hurt yourself and you would need to take a shortcut.
3. A Compass: Keep a compass with yourself. Also make sure how to use it. It is not an easy equipment to use if you are using it for the first time.
4. A Pocket Knife: I t has a million uses and you keep on discovering new ways of using it when the situation demands so. Remember to carry your pocket knife on your person and not inside your backpack.
5. A Whistle: At times it is invaluable. Helps us to send distress signals to a longer distance in a quicker time. Absolutely essential in case of an emergency.
6. A First Aid Kit: It should consist of the very basic thing like an antiseptic, bandages, cotton balls, etc.
7. A flashlight: Carry it even if you know you won't need it. You can always get stuck. Or may be you get a bit late. Before you buy your flashlight check for a few features like whether it is water resistant, if it allows for bright beam bulbs to fit. Always carry spare batteries and bulbs.
8. Extra Food: In case you are delayed by emergencies it is better to have one extra meal with you.
9. Extra Clothing: During your hike your clothes may get wet or the temperature may fall beyond what you had expected. Additional clothing would sure come in handy at such a point.
10. Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the intensity of mountain skies, ultraviolet rays by wearing a proper pair of sunglasses.
11. Waterproof Matches: Helps you to light a fire and keep yourself warm. Also needed if you plan to cook.
12. Water: Last but not the least carry as much water as possible.
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