Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Getting Ready -- The Ten Essentials

Whenever you go on a hike, whether it's a short walk or an extended wilderness trip, you should always bring these with you. It's hard to foresee what may happen or what you may need. Know your gear completely before setting out.

10 Hiking Essentials

1. Water
Water is the most vital necessity in a survival situation. You can' t live long without it, especially in the desert where you lose water rapidly through perspiration. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress and exertion. Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to maintain efficiency. You can live for up to a month without food, but only a few days without water.

2. Map
So you can get where you're going or communicate your location to rescuers. If you get lost you may be able to find features on the map to help pinpoint your location.

3. Compass
Critical for navigation!

4. Flashlight or Headlamp
Walking in the dark can be dangerous. Not seeing a pot hole or loose rock can make your situation even worse. Don't forget spare bulbs and batteries.

5. Extra Food
To generate warmth and increase strength.

6. Extra Clothing
Temperatures at night can drop dramatically. Wet clothes can deplete your body of essential heat. Having spare clothes can save your life.

7. Sunglasses
Eyes are especially vulnerable to bright sunlight and damaging UV rays typical in the desert and mountains. These can help avoid eye damage.

8. First Aid Supplies
A ready-made, store-bought kit may not have everything you need. It is best to construct your own, based on expert advice. Some standard elements include, but are not limited to:

sterile gauze pads
roll of 2" gauze
adhesive tape
triangular bandage
personal medication (if applicable)

9. Knife or Multi-tool
Can be incredibly versatile in time of need.

10. Matches or Fire Starter
Being able to start a fire can be the difference between life and death. Be sure to keep them in a waterproof container. A fire starter, such as a candle, kindling or chemical accelerant, increases your odds of successfully getting a blaze going. If you must start a fire, be responsible! Wildfires are a real threat to the Wilderness as well as to victims and rescuers!

This list of ten essentials started from the list I found here on the Superstition Search and Rescue site.

Water Report for Springs located in the Superstition Wilderness.
Map of the area.
Route description.

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