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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Our Rendition of "The 10 Essentials"

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Using a map and compass while hiking

1️⃣ Always have a route plan with a bailout option. Sometimes we all need to get lost in the woods for a while, but *only for the prescribed amount of time!* Have a turnaround time - if you’re not at the destination by a certain time, head back. Remember, the top is only halfway!

2️⃣ Stalk the weather forecast for the exact area you’ll be, and know when to call it. Even if you’re already at the trailhead! Safety first, and sketchy weather is no joke. Hate to kill the vibe but people (and pets) can die!

3️⃣ Navigation is non-negotiable. AllTrails and Garmin InReach are dope, but *nothing* beats a physical map and compass and the knowledge to use them

4️⃣ Dress for success with moisture wicking material, and pack layers! Proper footwear (good tread, wide toebox, your preferred amount of ankle support), microspikes for icy/snowy patches, extra socks, sleeves, pants, hoodies, wind gear, rain gear, snow gear, appropriate pack for the mileage ahead (waist and chest straps FTW!), hats with an adjustable strap (one for warmth, one for fashun 💅 ), extra hair things, camp shoes for longer treks with hut access. Remember, cotton kills! (Smart) wool wins! 😉

Trail snacks - bring more than you think you'll need!

5️⃣ FOOD WATER AND SNACKS. More than you think you’ll need! Sandwiches, harbos, protein bars, trail mix, electrolyte chews, hot soup in a thermos, calorie dense goodies on long hikes, 1-3 Liters of water per person (and a way to purify it if you're refilling on the trail), and even more on hot days!

6️⃣ First Aid/Emergency Kit: Bandaids, NSAIDs, Tylenol, Aspirin, painkillers, p-cord, alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream, shears, multi-tool, medical tape, ace bandage, blister pads, gloves, saline syringe, toilet paper, tampons, diva cups, panty liners, ziplock bags, Pepto, Zofran, antihistamine, EpiPen, CPR skillz, bearproof bag, water purification (we love the Sawyer Squeeze), FIRE = lighter, matches, tinder, petroleum, paper, striker, SHELTER - bivvy sack, tarp

First Aid Kit for Hiking

7️⃣ Self Defense - Hate that this is even necessary, but it is. Knife, pepper spray, bear spray (where it’s legal), firearm for those licensed individuals, whistle. There are some sketchy people out there 😬

8️⃣ Sun protection for your skin and eyes. This is self-explanatory y’all. SPF a million, sunnies, UV ray protecting long sleeves and pants, sexy bucket hats. Don’t forget to reapply!

9️⃣ Headlamp and extra batteries for when things don’t go according to the timeline. Or if you’re a savage and start hiking in the dark on purpose 😏

🔟 Our favorite of the 10 essentials - Have a trip guide back home that knows your exact location, route plan, expected start and end time with an “OH $&@#” time to contact local authorities for potential rescue

Trip guide Paul back home!

Shoutout to my childhood bestie, Paul Pickering, for not only being my trusty trip guide, but for completely UNDERSTANDING THE ASSIGNMENT! You a real one.

EXTRA CREDIT! Some items that aren’t 1 hundo percent necessary but are nice to have - a head net for bugs, NH Hike Safe Card, camp stove, larger water filter/sanitizer, caffeine, hiking poles (but are they *really* necessary though? IYKYK 😏), summit beer, Lays Sour Cream & Onion Chips (Britt's fave hiking indulgence), Grape Gatorade (Megan's guilty pleasure), toenail clippers, hairbrush, compact digital camera (smartphones are great but the real photogs know what’s up)

TRAIL ETIQUETTE - Please, please, PLEASE, if you must listen to music, bring your headphones. Most of us come to the woods for peace and quiet in nature. Nobody wants to hear your classic rock or terrible EDM remixes from 200ft away. Be courteous. Also, HOT TAKE - don't use bear bells. They don't actually work and they are annoying AF. Also let people pass if they’ve been riding your tush for a few minutes. Also people hiking uphill have the right of way - ask their preference on who goes first when y’all cross paths

LEAVE NO TRACE! Don’t be that guy. Pick up your trash. Pack in, pack out. Yes, that means the protein bar wrapper the wind swiftly swept from your grasp at the rocky summit. That also means your pet’s poop, we don’t care if the bag is “biodegradable.” That also means cigarette butts (who still does this anyways? And why is it socially acceptable to toss butts wherever, whenever? Life’s quandaries *sigh*). That also means your own used toilet paper. Forreal. Bring a ziplock, it’ll be okay. Oh and while we’re at it, bury your poop! Or bring a wag bag and carry it out. Lastly, don't paint rocks and don't carve trees.

Leave no trace - pack in pack out!

I think that just about covers it. Think we forgot anything? Let us know! Got any solid hiking plans this fall? We’d love to hear about them!

Thank you for tuning in! Happy hiking 😊🤙🏻

-Britt & Megan

summit of Mt. Whitney


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