Thursday, August 21, 2014

What's In Your Backpack?

At our August 21, 2014 meeting, Ron Glaspie and Tom Snodderly from the Graham County Search and Rescue Squad shared some important tips for hiking.  One of the key topics was "what's in your backpack" when hiking.  Check and see how your pack measures up.
  • Canteen (water)
  • Food required number of meals (try to take an additional meal in case of emergency or to share with someone in need)
  • Matches (in water proof case)
  • Knife
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror
  • Candle (at least 3/4" in diameter)
  • First Aid kit
  • Poncho
  • Space Blanket (or large plastic bag)
  • Map
  • Extra pair of socks
Be prepared for your hike, but you don't need to take the kitchen sink!  Pack light so you can enjoy your hike but be prepared for an unseen emergency.

Additionally, make sure you're wearing appropriate clothing in bright colors and high top boots.    You can be physically prepared if you start hydrating the day before your hike.  Stick to drinking water.  Avoid alcohol, high energy drinks, and too many sodas.  Water is what your body needs.  Make sure to fuel your body with a good meal before your start your day.

Key to your survival in an emergency is telling someone else where you are going and when you plan on returning.  Remember cell phones aren't always reliable in mountain and wilderness areas.  If someone knows where you have gone, and that you are overdue, your chances of survival greatly improve. 

So wherever you hike, no matter what season, or whether it's a short hike or a multi-day trek, be prepared and be safe.