There are many ways to explore the scenic views of the Canadian Rockies by vehicle or motor coach tour or by plane or a helicopter, but the best way to absorb the beauty of the mountains will always be to go on foot. While hiking is not necessarily for everyone – it takes quite a bit of effort to spend a day walking uphill, after all – it is an unparalleled method of diving deep into the wonders and peace of nature. But to make it safe, too, here is a short checklist of items each hiker should have in their backpacks when going even for a day-long hike.
Map and compass
GPS units are very useful for finding your way out of the woods when you’re lost – but they are not 100% reliable. If you find yourself in a situation when you can’t rely on satellites and gadgets, having their “old school” version – a map and a compass – can be life-savers. And they are not very heavy – you’ll find the place for them in your backpack.
Food and water
Food and water are vital if you go hiking – it’s an extra effort, after all, that involves calorie consumption and sweating, too. Even if you go on a day-long trip, packing a few essentials like trail mix, protein bars, and such, along with enough water for you, can be vital.
Even the sunniest day can bring rain so make sure to be prepared. Umbrellas are usually useless so be sure to pack a raincoat – and make sure your boots are water-resistant. Nobody likes to walk around in wet shoes, after all.
Even on a day-long trip, there is the possibility to suffer injuries – cuts, bruises, and such. So, it’s important to have at least the basics with you – disinfectant, band-aid, gauze, and such. And as a general rule, take a first-aid class – it can prove useful in many situations, not just when exploring the mountains.
Being safe and being prepared are almost synonymous when hitting the trail. So, before you leave, make sure to pack some essential tools that you might need when hiking. These include a knife or a multi-purpose tool (like a Swiss army knife), a means of lighting a fire, and a flashlight and/or a headlamp to help you find your way home if you stay out too late.
Choose the right gear
Make sure the clothes and gear you choose for your hiking trip will serve you well on the mountain. Choose boots and clothes that fit well and are comfortable while being resistant at the same time – few things can be so frustrating than seeing your boots give in to the stress of the trail halfway to your destination. Choose a good backpack with a rain cover that’s big enough to hold all your gear and supplies. They will not only make your trip more enjoyable – if things go wrong, they can be life-savers.