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.
- Appropriate footwear. Wear boots or tennis shoes. Do not wear flip-flops or shoes with heels.
- Printed map and compass. We recommend the National Geographic Columbia River Gorge trails map.
- Extra water and chlorine dioxide tablets or other method for purifying water.
- Extra food. Energy bars and trail mix are good sources of protein and calories.
- 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.
- 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.
- First aid kit. Many outdoor stores sell compact hiker’s first-aid kits. If you are creating your own first aid kit, the Washington Trails Association has a great list.
- Knife or multi-purpose tool.
- Sunscreen, a sun hat and sunglasses. These items will help you avoid sunburn.
- 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.