Make sure you’ve got the right gear before that big hike.
Sure, you’ll carry a peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of water on a day hike, but there’s more. What if you get a blister or, worse, lose your way? For your comfort and safety on the trail, we’ve come up with 10 essentials that fit well in a pack—for instance, one like Mountainsmith’s pocket-rich Clover (above). It’s $60, available at www.ebags.com ; AAA members get 15 percent off.
- GoLite’s Gamut Jacket blocks wind and rain—and makes a great picnic blanket. $100. www.golite.com .
- Coghlan’s Wind and Waterproof Matches, just in case. Two packs for $3.99. www.campmor.com .
- Lost? The Suunto A-10 Compass (and a trail map) can point you back to where you want to go. $13. www.rei.com .
- Plastic residues won’t leach into your H2O with a stainless steel Klean Kanteen. $24. www.kleankanteen.com .
- Nuts, dried fruits, spices, and nothing more are packed into Larabars. $2 at many markets. www.larabar.com .
- Scraped knee? Bee sting? Never fear: Lifeline’s First-Aid Kit is here. $6. AAA Travel stores, (888) 386-5386.
- Leatherman Juice S2’s four ounces of steel are all you need to slice salami and tweeze a tick. $40. www.toolup.com .
- Teko’s Ultralight Crew socks combine organic cotton and recycled pop bottles. $17. www.tekosocks.com .
- With four LED bulbs, Petzl’s Tikka Plus Headlamp can help you find your way in the dark. $35. www.rei.com .
- Neutrogena SPF 55 Sunblock fends off sun damage with its Helioplex formula. $10. www.drugstore.com .
Photography by Kevin Candland
This article was first published in July 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.