10 ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR NEXT HIKE

It’s the perfect time to hit the trails, get some fresh air in your lungs, and experience a new hiking adventure near Escalante Escapes, the premier place to stay in Escalante, Utah.  

You may not think you need many supplies if you are only going for a  routine day hike and although your intentions can be predictable, the outcome is always up to the universe and mother nature. 

It is always best to be prepared in the unlikely event of something happening, because having peace of mind on your hike makes the experience more enjoyable for you and your family. 

Fortunately for you, in 1930, a group of mountaineers in the Seattle Area developed a list of the basic essentials you should have on any type of outdoor excursion.  Although the list of supplies becomes more complex as your hike gets more rigorous and extended, it is paramount that even if you are just going out for the day, you should have these bare necessities (like Balou the bear says) on you. 

So here are the Top 10 Essentials You Should Have on Your Hike next time you are in Escalante, Utah

1. Water

Probably considered the most important essential to have on your hike, it’s always a guessing game on how much water you should have on you for a day hike. Water is not necessary light when carrying it on long distances, but being thirsty is not very pleasant. 

It is recommended that you should consume a half a liter for every hour of activity. So that means doing an 8 hour hike equates to 4 liters of water. How do you carry enough water if you are doing a two day hike or longer? Consider buying a portable filter straw in which you can use in nearby streams and waterfalls. 

2. Food 

It may be safe to say that this could be the second most essential item. It is recommended that you always pack an extra days worth of food regardless of the length of hike you go on. Always choose healthy items with substantial calories such as jerky, energy bars, or MRE’s (meals ready to eat). 

3. Sun Protection 

You know one thing for sure, Escalante will not cheat you for vitamin D. It is paramount that you have sunscreen with at least 30 spf with UVA and UVB protection. Sunglasses with UV protection and polarization is recommended (you will not be happy with cheapies), and always make sure to take a hat with you that covers your entire face and neck. Sun stroke and heat exhaustion are no joke and they can kick in and be deadly within hours. 

4. First Aid

 Take the guesswork out of what to carry in your first aid kit, and buy a proper one from your local camping/sports store. It should include at a minimum: adhesive bandages of various sizes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, disinfecting ointment, over-the-counter pain medication, pen and paper,nitrile gloves,tweezers, alcohol wipes, as well as antihistamines.

5. Knife 

You don’t have to be David Bowie or carry a machete, but a good quality knife should be on the list. It can accomplish numerous tasks and without a proper one you could find a simple solution turn into life and death. Leatherman’s (multi-tools) are an excellent idea, but it is recommended to have at least a 6inch knife as well as a multi-tool. 

6. Emergency Shelter 

If you plan on making it a multi-day hike then more than likely you will be taking a tent with you. If you plan on just a day hike, it would be a smart idea to have a space blanket for each person in your hiking party. This 2 dollar purchase could be the wisest investment you ever made if your life depends on it. If you have extra space, you can take a tarp with you. You may even use it to hang out next to a waterfall (like Calf Creek Falls) for the day as a way to get out of the sun. 

7. Fire

If you do get stranded, you don’t want to be without the one thing that will keep you warm in the cool desert night and provide protection against predators. Although matches do make fire, they are prone to getting wet (unless they are waterproof). Butane lighters work well being wind resistant. Carrying hand sanitizer (with alcohol), lint from a dryer, and dry tinder all in a plastic bag is an excellent idea to get your fire going.  

8. Clothes

You have heard it before, always dress in layers. Overheating is just as dangerous as hypothermia. It would be a smart idea to have clothing that is also UV protected. This type of clothing is usually very light and breathable in nature as well. Always pack a second change of clothes in case your clothes get wet or damaged. Having a pair of shorts and pants is a good idea. 

9. Headlamp

Self explanatory, it lights up the night. It’s not a good feeling when you hear the twigs crack in the night and you cant spot the culprit. If you want to go one step forward, have a blacklight headlamp on you so you can see any scorpions that may be creeping your way. 

10. GPS

In the digital age we think smartphones can do all, but that’s not true. Prone to water damage, being dropped, dead battery, or simply no signal can be devastating. A map is is always a good idea, with a GPS with spare batteries being ideal. Always make sure you understand the path you are taking, noting landmarks in each direction in case you do accidently divert.