Hiking and camping are fun ways to connect with yourself, others, and nature. For some people, it is an outlet for frustrations and pent-up emotions. There is something relaxing about knowing that you are away from the city and all that hustle and bustle. It awakens a sense of wonder you previously thought wasn’t there.
Being exposed to the elements of nature, you should be cautious and mindful of the things you should bring and you should be doing. Before you are allowed to pitch a tent, you need to know what you can expect in terms of weather, bugs, and terrain.
If you are planning on camping in the desert, you would need to make sure you have plenty of water for when the water supply is cut off or you suffer a disaster like a flash flood. If your camping trip should be in mountainous areas like the Himalayas, you would need to be prepared for extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms and blizzards.
No matter what conditions you might be getting yourself into, it is best to prepare for all situations. You never know what might happen and when you’re in the woods or up the mountains, emergency services will not be able to get to you in a timely manner.
What to do before the trip?
Here is a checklist of things you need to do before going camping/hiking:
- Pack all the essentials
- Research about the campsite to get a good idea of what the terrain will be like.
- Acquire the necessary permit required for the campsite.
- Check the weather forecast during the days of your trip.
- Talk to people who have tried camping on the specific site you want to visit to know their experience and learn from it.
- Have a way to communicate with people who are not part of your group in case of emergencies.
What to pack?
Being prepared means packing the right things and anticipating your needs during the trip. Our team has compiled a list of essentials any camper/hiker needs when going on an adventure into nature.
Probably the most important thing you could take with you besides food and water. If you are unfamiliar with the area, a map, compass, or GPS device could be the difference between an enjoyable trip and a disastrous one. You need to know where you are and where you are headed at all times.
Without water, your body will not be able to take on the demanding physical requirements of hiking. Packing enough water with you is vital. If you require a lot more water, do some research to see if there will be a water source and you can bring a purifier with you to provide more if needed.
Make sure to bring enough food to last you the whole trip. It is ideal to pack food that does not spoil easily and is ready to eat at any time.
Proper clothing to protect against extreme temperatures
Being out in the wilderness, temperatures can fluctuate from freezing to intense heat. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing that will help you keep warm or cold.
First Aid Kit
There have been a lot of instances where campers got hurt or injured and emergency services were not quick enough to respond. Having a first aid kit could be the difference between life and death.
You cannot predict the exact conditions of your camping trip so a basic first aid kit will suffice. It should comprise blister treatment, bandages, tape, antibiotic ointment, gauze pads, and any medications that you or your companions may need.
You may find yourself needing to cut pieces of wood up or pieces of cloth. It can also help in building a fire.
Flints, matches, or a specific tool that starts a fire without much effort. Fire can be your source of heat and means for you to feed yourself as well as keep unwanted guests from entering your space.
Toiletries and trash bag
You are going to end up sweaty and gross by the end of the day. Make sure to bring deodorant, a toothbrush, and something you can use to wipe off all the dirt and grime.
Since you are in nature, you wouldn’t want to pollute it. Make sure to be mindful of your trash and dispose of it properly. Carry a trash bag and dump it at the end of the trip at the appropriate place.
What not to do when camping and hiking
It is basic camping knowledge that you shouldn’t litter. Don’t just throw your trash anywhere in the woods. The earth is polluted enough, leave the wilderness a better place than when you arrived by cleaning up after yourself.
When you are camping it's not like you can just Google “cheapest junk removal NYC” like you might if you're at home in New York. There is no one to come and collect your trash.
Arrive at dark
Arriving at night time is not ideal because you won’t be able to get your bearings properly and set up would also be tough.
Be completely alone
It’s nice that you want to have some alone time but make sure that you let someone know where you are going and provide them with a means to contact you in case of emergency.
When in nature, you are in foreign territory. The wilderness is home to different creatures that could be harmless or not. If you encounter some of them, keep a respectful distance. Remember, you are in their home and not the other way around.