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Old 09-30-2017, 10:25 AM
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
16,427 posts, read 9,946,796 times
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Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
If this is the wrong place to post this please move it but was unsure where else to put it?

What would you recommend someone bring on a hike (nothing major, under 5 miles, probably 2-3 hour hike) if they were new to hiking? Also, what do you recommend to wear if it were going to be about 65-70 degrees.

I've been hiking for some 10 years now and I always tend to take more or less what I would if I was going out for the weekend hike. Water. and water. proof matches, towel snacks even something to eat that will keep for two or three days. Something in case you get caught out in the rain up here where we live in the mountains the weather can change in less then an hour at higher elevations. Rain jacket for sure and a way to keep your pack dry.

IF you get lost/hurt stay where you are don't try to keep moving tell someone where your going and leave a note in your car on your dashboard letting someone know what trail your hiking and when you expect to be back.

While we don't always take our tents we might take a tarp to make a shelter so take a rope with you. Some might say I'm being over cautious but all it takes it one time to get caught in bad weather or take a bad fall. Speaking of taking a fall might want to get a Para cord bracelet to keep on your wrist not your pack. Things happen fast out there. I could go on but I think you get the point.
One more thing make noise and taking a good walking stick.

Ok that's two things.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:30 AM
Location: San Diego
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Best to always file a plan with someone you must check in with later or they know you are safe. Have some type of communication even if it's cheap walkie talkie. I help people all the time that think their cell phone will work and it doesn't. I study google earth a lot if I want to try a new area.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:03 PM
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Bring as much food and water as you can carry. Cell phone and additional battery pack/charger and/or solar charger. Map and compass and know how to use them. Flashlight (with fresh batteries) Matches or another way to start a fire. Knife. Small emergency blanket.

Better to be over prepared then underprepared if you are new to hiking. I live in southern california and every year there are a few cases near me where some inexperienced people go off on a hike (usually wearing minimal amounts of clothing and carrying a single 16 oz bottle of water) and they get lost, it gets late and it gets dark and next thing you know they are lost in the woods overnight or longer. Even in southern california over the summer temperatures can drop to the point where you can get hypothermia if you are outside all night in shorts and a tank top.

Also bring another person (preferably with more experience). I had a friend of friend who was an inexperienced hiker and decided to try to do Mt Baldy by themselves a couple of years ago. They left too late, it took longer then they thought and they came down the mountain in the dark by themselves and tripped and broke their ankle. Finally someone called the police when they never came home at night and they had to send out search and rescue team in the middle of the night to find her and then get a helicopter to airlift her off the mountain at first light. So basically, don't underestimate the wilderness even if you are right next to civilzation
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:19 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,587,794 times
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most important thing to bring - Common sense. The people who get into trouble almost invariably did something stupid.

Second thing to bring - a partner or ten. there is safety in numbers. Hiking alone bears risks. Join a club for your first hikes, but there is a risk there too. they may convince you to buy a bunch of pricy and really stupid trinkets that sound like a great idea and absolutely necessary. (like a compass or magnifying glass or a waterproof canister of matches. You are not hiking to the south pole. You probably are not even hiking out of cell range. Your biggest threats are your own stupidity and potentially other people although neither one is a likely risk. Basically you are going for a walk.

Hiking boots. This is the one place you will want to spend some money. Get good ones and put padded inserts in them. I use the inserts made for planar facitis, but if you do not have planar facitis, the regular inserts are fine. I hate the gel ones, they give me blisters. Make sure your feet and the pads do not slide around. Break the boots in a little. The boots should be comfortable and a joy to wear. Get the high top ones unless you will only be on paved or well worn trails. For special hikes you may want hiking sandals or water shoes, but you mostly want really good boots. Boots not only keep your feet form hurting, they protect you from sharp rocks, thorns, thistles, poison ivy, stinging nettle, poison oak, poison sumac, sharp sticks, broken glass, snake bites, tics and other bugs and dog poop. Your hiking boots are really the only special thing you need for serious hiking.

Convertible outdoors pants (forget what they are called). the legs zip off and on so they can be shorts or pants as needed and they are made of something that dries very quickly and is extremely durable. The have a lot of different pockets with closing tops or zippers. You can buy fancy brands for $100 or more at sporting goods places or get the same thing at Target on sale for $20. They are all made in the same sweatshops and just have different tags and pockets.

A sort sleeve shirt covered by a long sleeve shirt 100% Cotton or linen only They breathe. No synthetics (even though those hiking pants are probably synthetic).

A hat. Preferably with a full brim all the way around. I prefer felt because it cools you when it evaporates if you pour water on it.

Sunglasses (polarized).

Sunscreen. A small bottle. Do not get the one that has a belt clip. You do not need the extra weight.

DEET based insect repellent. Small bottle. Higher DEET percentages last longer. They do not work better. So you can get low DEET levels (like 10%) and just put more on frequently, or you can get higher levels (up to 100%) and put it on less frequently. This is for mosquitos and some flies. It does nothing for blackflies or tics.

Treat you clothing with permerithan or whatever it is called so you can avoid ticks and having Lyme disease ruin your life.

Wool or cotton socks.

Water shoes if you will be wading or hiking in a stream.

A backpack. Fanny packs are awful IMO plus they do not hold enough. A backpack with some sort of ventilation is best. Again cotton if possible. Not Nylon. It is mostly for carrying water.

A better option is if you have a big dog, get a saddle pack for them and let them carry your junk.

Water. better to carry a few smaller sized water bottles so you can make room and lighten the load as you go. You need a lot of water, but you do not want to be too heavy.

A signaling device if you are going extreme wilderness bushwacking. Laser, flare, whistle, flasher etc.
Cell phone (they now work in most places).

An extra pair of white socks. They can serve lots of purposes if not used as socks.

Some people carry a map or compass. I have never needed one except when bushwacking. The trails are usually pretty obvious. I have only gotten lost once and that was because we left the trail, climbed into a ravine to look at an abandoned jeep that was down there and could not get back up.

Snacks. I like beef jerky. I prefer protein to carbs and beef jerky is loaded with energy, tastes good and keeps forever. Another great alternative is cooked peppered bacon in a zip lock bag. Do not carry messy, melty or smelly snacks. The reason should be obvious for each. Fruit makes a good snack if it is hard like an apple, not soft like a banana.

A trowel and toilet paper if you are going to be out long enough that you have to poop.

Small powerful binoculars (not necessary but fun to have).

Depending on location a high powered pistol 357 mag or 45 something with some stopping power. This is not necessary in most locations. If you do not know how to use it extremely well, do not bring it. Frankly is it not likely to help you much against anything but humans. You are not going to hit a snake, have little chance of stopping a charging bear and if it is not charging the last thing you want to be doing is shooting at it. You will never see a mountain lion if it is near you. It can be useful to weigh you down and to shoot yourself in the foot. The real purpose would be for pears, but you do not have much chance if the bear is charging you, at least you have something. Just avoid bears. I have seen them, never had one charge. Mostly they run away and you are lucky to see anything but their rear end. If you are hiking in wolf territory, it is possible a gun may be helpful in an emergency. Mostly though I only carried one (or rather my companion did) where there was a human threat (Azusa CA near Los Angeles - bridge to nowhere (beautiful hike), the first few miles is gang banger territory.

A multi tool is handy about once in every 150 day hikes.

A tiny plastic tube of Advil, or a couple of foil two packs. Usually you want 6 - 10 of them. Unless you are hiking alone. Aspirin is fine too if your body tolerates it. Also bring your huffer thing if you have asthma. Epi pen if you are allergic to stings.

A light windbreaker. I do not know what mine is made of, but it weighs about as much as a pen and folds into a tiny space. It is bright florescent yellow, has vents (important, waterproof wind proof. And usually keeps me warm enough to get back if I get caught out late and it gets cold.

I used to carry one of those plastic ponchos and it may be a good idea. However generally I do not mind the rain so I rarely carry them anymore. Last time it rained and I had one, it did not seem worth the trouble to get it out. I had my hat. I just left it in my backpack. That is when I stopped carrying one most of the time.

For black flies, you will need a hat with a mesh screen over your face and neck. The only protection from them is to have no exposed skin. None.

If you are really nervous wear a whistle. It can be used to attract attention if you get lost or scare an animal away. Mostly it will just rub a raw spot on your neck from the string.

Climbing hammer if you are going some place like Joshua tree and you know how to climb.

Later you may try extreme hiking. You will need some specialized gear, but by the time you are ready for that, you will know what you need. Extreme hiking is awesome. Best thing ever. (Zion Canyon!).

Most of the recommended gadgets and gizmos serve only to lighten your wallet and weigh down your backpack. There are not of any use. Even binoculars are dumb unless you are the type to look at birds or wildlife rather than just focusing on the hike itself.

I have been hiking all over the place in the USA. All types of terrain. On and off trails. With and without children or dogs. anywhere from a few hours to up to 30 plus hours (I do not do backpacking). Never had any major problems. People make a bigger deal of it than it is. Yes, 1 in 200,000 people do something really dumb and get lost, mess with a bear or whatever and die. Once in a blue moon there is some random and unpreventable like a mountain lion attacking a hiker or bike rider or a rattle snake bite, but you are probably more likely to win the lotto than have that happen. Nothing you can really do to prepare for any of that anyway.

It is fun, relax and enjoy it. Hiking clubs are cool but too many of the people are uptight about imagined or remote risks and try to convince you to buy all kinds of unnecessary gear. You do not need to buy a bunch of crap.

Watch the weather reports. Don't hike if lightening is expected. Winds can be a serious danger too between tree branches falling and the possibility of you getting blown off a mountain crag or cliff side trail.

Did I mention Zion canyon park? (Best hiking you will find. Stay out of the canyons if there is possible flooding, they fill quickly. There is plenty of incredible hiking not in the narrow gorges if it is rainey).
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:44 PM
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I think hiking boots are highly overrated. The trend these days is toward trail running shoes. I have been hiking for years in Merrell Trail Gloves and Vapor Gloves which are ultra lightweight minimalist trail shoes with zero drop heal and very little sole/padding. I much prefer having light weight footwear on trails over perceived advantages of a heavy uncomfortable boot. I do have some Keen boots and Adidas Terrex hiking shoes that I rarely wear. The only time I use those is if I am going to be in snow or other cold wet conditions.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:44 AM
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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Bring your five senses: The Country Today - Outdoors, not to mention your senses of curiosity & appreciation.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:13 PM
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* Wool socks. Don't wear cotton socks. You want moisture-wicking socks. Don't skimp on socks. You and both feet will be much happier. REI sells wool socks in various widths, so they're even suitable in hot weather. Keep feet dry. Clammy feet make blisters and bad memories. Boooooo!

* Good quality hiking shoes, suitable for the type of hiking you plan to do.

* A good quality insole does wonders. I use the Sole brand. Most excellent. I don't even need to break-in new hiking shoes w/these insoles (your mileage may vary).

* I cannot emphasize this enough: Skimp not on your feet. Treat your feet!

* Nylon pants. Prana makes an excellent pair. Haven't tried REI's brand. Don’t wear jeans b/c they don’t wick moisture and things can get soaky & rather unpleasanty imo.

* hat(s)

* A small, fully charged power bank (and your USB phone cable!) to charge your phone if needed

* Go with someone (preferably human). If you end up solo, tell someone (again, preferably human) where and when you're going.

* Start earlier in the day. It’s stressful enough to get lost in the wild. If you start your hike early, you’ll at least be lost in daylight. You don’wanna rush to nowhere b/c you’re a little panicked that the sun’s going down. If you are legally and/or completely blind, then that last part may not be as relevant. However, dusk also brings hungry carnivores. Best for everyone (of any level of vision) to exit the forest well before dusk, unless you are prepared to camp. In which case, I’m gonna shut up.

* Bring twice as many calories as you'd normally eat. You may not need to eat anything, but be prepared in case that’s not the case. Or in case someone else needs that food to simply survive the next hour. You’ll know when that’s the case.

* What guidoLaMoto said: your 5 senses.
Being here now is always recommended, but especially true when hiking. Be relaxed, yet alert. One breath & step at a time.

Enjoy being outside! The BEST!!
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:26 PM
1,088 posts, read 532,922 times
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I went to a local nature reserve park that’s about 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile in size and got lost in the woods. I planned to go from point A to point B that should take about 5 minutes of walk, but I spent almost an hour to get out.

Don’t laugh at me, here’s what went wrong for me: my iPhone worked with GPS and compass everything and I knew which direction I wanted to go, but there are obstacles of a small creek and some hills. Every time I avoided the obstacles, the direction did work — I did not plan waypoints, bearings, routes those complicated things. I ended up walking in circles a lot of times.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:43 AM
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Bring something with a high sugar content - not just high-protein stuff. I learned this the hard way. Tried to hike a Colorado 14er (several hours going up a mountainside and my first big mountain hike) and I crashed hard when I got back down because I had only taken "healthy" stuff like nuts, rice cakes and fruit. It was a hard hike, but not excruciating and I'm not THAT out of shape - still it took a lot out of me and when we got back down we went to a pizza place. By the time we got to the restaurant I was having odd pains in my neck, nearly collapsing from exhaustion and contemplating whether I needed to get to the ER. The pizza arrived just in time, and the simple carbs in it stabilized me. I was well-hydrated and had been munching on my trail mix the entire time - I was not hurting for calories or water and you would have thought the rice cakes and fruit would have done the trick with regard to sugar, but I actually needed junk food at that point, lol.

A chocolate bar is a beautiful thing.

Your hike won't be THAT dramatic, but make sure you've got some chocolate on hand just in case. It's an easy fix for that kind of situation.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:31 AM
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Some awesome posts in here..

Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
Wow im scared now haha. It will be in the adirondack area, specifically mount jo. And a few other even smaller ones. I will say my biggest worry is ticks - dont know if they are in the area but i was not even thinking about getting lost or being stranded. I assume the hikes have signs and whatnot.
As others noted .. the weather is you're biggest concern especially this time of year

Take a look at the webcam on top of WhiteFace today in the Adirondacks. (with post).
Would love to hear some weather posts from those of you in the region.

Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Gotta love mountain weather..
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