Pack the Essentials

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Bring the 10 ESSENTIALS

Anything can happen when you head out for a day hike or overnight trip. Every time you head out for an adventure, be sure to pack the 10 essentials.

  1. Appropriate footwear. Wear boots or tennis shoes. Do not wear flip-flops or shoes with heels.
  2. Printed map and compass. We recommend the National Geographic Columbia River Gorge trails map.
  3. Extra water and chlorine dioxide tablets or other method for purifying water.
  4. Extra food. Energy bars and trail mix are good sources of protein and calories.
  5. Rain and wind gear, and extra clothing. Hypothermia is the #1 killer of outdoor enthusiasts. Always carry a windproof layer and a rain jacket (even in the summertime).
    Fast-drying, wicking fabrics such as polyester or wool are best. Avoid cotton.
  6. Emergency items: Firestarter and matches, headlamp, and a whistle. A headlamp will come in handy if you are trying to read your map or follow a trail at dusk. The whistle is a good tool for signaling distress (use 3 short bursts). Refrain from starting a fire unless you need it for warmth, which might be the case if you are hurt and can’t walk.
  7. First aid kit. Many outdoor stores sell compact hiker’s first-aid kits. If you hike often, consider taking a first-aid class.
  8. Knife or multi-purpose tool.
  9. Sunscreen, a sun hat and sunglasses. These items will help you avoid sunburn.
  10. Backpack. A comfortable pack will help you carry all the essentials, as well as litter you might find along the trail.+If you’re hiking with dogs, please remember to pack a leash and plastic bags for your dog’s waste.

    Sources: americanhiking.orggorgefriends.org/essentials BEFORE heading out, keep these additional tips in mind just in case you do get lost or injured.