Sunscreen and headgear are so important for health and longevity, so protection from the sun deserves the number one spot on any must-have outdoor list. Keep a spare hat, lip balm and travel-size waterproof sunscreen of SPF 50 or higher in your carrier at all times and you’ll be glad you thought ahead.
First Aid Kit
From blisters to cactus thorns to bumps and scrapes, you may run into trouble on the trail, so it’s important to be prepared. A small first aid kit is affordable and worth its weight. Tip: Pack a few zipper storage bags into your first aid kit for storing soiled bandages in your carrier until you’re back to civilization.
More Than Enough Water
Choose large, sensible, refillable water bottles and don’t hit the trail unless they’re full. We often don’t become aware of dehydration until our bodies are in crisis, so carrying more than enough water on your excursion will encourage you drink up while moving.
Pack along some protein and carbohydrates to refuel along the way. Easy-to-store options include nuts, grapes, hard boiled eggs, dried fruit, protein bars and granola. Try to keep salt and refined sugars to a minimum to obtain optimum nutrition while on the move.
Phone and Charger
Even though you’re getting away from it all, it’s still a good idea to keep a phone on you, especially when hiking solo. Navigation features can help you get oriented if you go off course, and you’ll have the ability to summon emergency help if needed. Plus, you’ll want to Instagram the amazing things you’re seeing along the way.
Trust me, you’ll be glad you brought it along. It’s lightweight, biodegradable and multifunctional – cleaning up much more than it was originally intended.
Protect against bites and stings from mosquitoes, ticks and other critters. Options include sweat-resistant insect repellant wipes, balms or sprays, and nets are available to protect your head and face.
Pocket Knife of Multi-Tool
Once you get the hang of using a knife or tool, you’ll find yourself reaching for it when something needs a quick fix. From tightening your glasses, to digging out the perfect piece of quartz, to peeling a fruit – you’ll find plenty of uses for your knife, and you’ll be glad you have it on-hand.
A decidedly low-tech addition to your carrier, but one that is essential when trying to get assistance on the trail.
Clothing LayersSweat-wicking clothing layers serve to insulate as temperatures quickly drop, as well as protect your skin from intense sun during the heat of the day. Having a spare shirt on hand will also save the day if you get snagged on a branch or rock along the way.