10 Essentials for hiking



Important to be prepared and maintain best safety practices

hiking, essentials, prepared, backpack


With great fall weather upon us, let’s enjoy some of the great hiking venues the Hudson Valley offers. Hudson Valley Parent created lists of parks and trails that are appropriate for families with stroller kids to those with teens who are willing to take to the tougher trails.

But before you venture out, review the list below. The initial list was created by the Washington Trails Association (WTA). WTA began in 1966 as Signpost magazine and has grown into a diverse community of hikers speaking out for trails and wildlands.

WTA believes that exploring nature is good for people’s hearts, minds and bodies, and that hiking is a powerful way for everyone to connect with nature’s natural wonders.

Map or navigation tool

Familiarize yourself with the area you are going to hike by reviewing some maps of the region. Learn how to use a compass or the GPS on your phone. This is the number one item on lists we found for hiking. Getting lost is no fun and definitely not safe.

Water

Make sure you stay well-hydrated. Bottled water is fine. The natural water sources you may find on your adventure can often be contaminated. Consider bringing a container with a filtration system just in case you want to test out those “fresh” waters.

Food

Try to shoot for foods that are nutritious, portable and won’t spoil. Think nuts and dried fruits. Carrying a small cooler can be fine on shorter treks. Small packets of finger foods work great for the kids. Remember whatever you take into the park you must take out. Make sure not to litter and leave a mess for those that follow.

First Aid Kit

You never know when someone will scrape a knee or get a bug bite. Bandages and antibiotic ointment help keep a wound clean. Keep some insect repellent in there too. You can purchase a first aid kit for hikers at an outdoors store or just make your own.

Firestarter

A firestarter can be handy if something happens and you need to shelter for the night. Some dry kindling in a plastic bag helps get the fire started especially if the weather turns rainy. Learn if there are any weather advisories before you go. If the weather has been hot and dry, the fire you create to keep you warm may start an unintended forest fire. So be careful.


NYS DEC offers lots of tips on hiking safety. Click this image to see if full size.

Light source

Bring a flashlight and spare batteries. It gets dark fast in the woods. Each hiker should have at least one.

Tools

A multipurpose knife is helpful for cutting food and consider duck tape for repairing items such as a tent. Duct tape is handy because sticks to almost everything.

Sunscreen

Do we even need to say more? Use sunscreen even on shady days as your skin can still get burned. Little ones with a sunburn are no fun. Sunglasses are also essential when the sun is bright.

Shelter

A tarp or blanket can help block the elements if a storm comes up suddenly.

Outer protective gear

If our Hudson Valley weather guys predict a change of weather  remember to add rain gear. Fleece or anything to keep you warm and dry, is something you should not go without. Gloves and extra socks are also good to have.

 



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