Everything You Need for a Summer Hiking Trip

Categories:Hiking | Hiking Advice

According to Outside, arriving unprepared is the real reason why hikers get into trouble, especially in areas like Mount Washington, where inclement weather and dangerous terrain puts hikers in danger. Heading out without the proper supplies, slick-soled sneakers and no emergency provisions can turn your hike into a disaster before you ever get started.

But as summer approaches, there are plenty of trails and state parks welcoming hikers to their open trails. Embrace the warm weather as an opportunity to head out to explore a new region. But, before heading out, take stock of your journey to better prepare for your hike and create a contingency plan in case of an emergency. Here’s how to get started.

Pack Some Protective Gear

Getting geared up and ready to hike starts with comfortable, quick wik hiking clothing and quality boots and socks. Pack extra wicking T-shirts or a long-sleeve top, along with a sun hat, to keep yourself cool and protected from the sun. During cooler months, bring along insulated fleece and pants. But your list should also include plenty of protective gear.

Load up on plenty of sunscreen, SPF-rated lip balm and sunglasses with UV protection. Rainy months require rain jackets and pants for unexpected weather. You should also remember that rain and heat breeds mosquitoes and requires mosquito net clothing and insect repellant to protect your skin.

Conduct a Thorough Car Prep

Doing a thorough car prep is just as important as the gear you bring for your hike. Get your car serviced by a qualified mechanic before heading out to a remote hiking spot. If your tread is low or tires have signs of dry rot, pick up a new pair that works as well on the highway as gravel roads, like the Falken Wildpeak. In fact, these tires are perfect for trucks, SUVs and bump terrain.

But that’s not all. To be prepared for an emergency, make sure to pack extra essentials in your trunk, including a flashlight and a solar-powered battery to give your smartphone a boost when you need it most. Check to see if your jumper cables are still in your car and pack some extra drinking water and protein bars in case you get stuck for the night.

Don’t Forget Supplies and Sustenance

Packing extra Clif Bars for your car is smart in an emergency, but you’ll still need extra sustenance and supplies on the trail in case you’re out longer than expected. For an overnight or a full day’s hike, try cooking a Mountain House fajita bowl as a quick meal on the trail. Bring along a portable water purifier like a SteriPen as well as Nuun hydration tablets in case the heat is stronger than expected and your water source is depleted.

Bring Plenty of Maps and Guides

Whether you’re a novice or expert trails enthusiast, don’t rely on national and state parks to have maps handy for your hiking excursion. Instead, download maps before you go, and bring along a GPS for your hike, like a Garmin to map out your hike. Trails.com also offers maps, guides and recommendations from other hikers who can give you tips on where to go and what to avoid on your next hike.

Be Prepared with a First-Aid Kit

With your car packed and ready for (most) everything it will encounter, your hiking pack should also include a first-aid kit with enough supplies for everyone in your group. Moosejaw sells first-aid kits designed for hikers in mind, including supplies to treat:

  • Blisters
  • Stomach aches
  • Sprains and wounds

Wherever you decide to hike this summer, make sure to have a contingency plan. That includes letting loved ones know where you’re headed and when to expect you to return (You might want to ask them to check in with you a few hours after you’re due back if they haven’t heard from you).

It’s also wise to make a note of area hospitals and local gas stations or rest stops, as well as come up with a meeting point if you and your hiking companions get separated.

Sign up for our Newsletter


Never miss an update! Subscribe to the Hiking The Trail Newsletter Now!