Going on a hike can be fun, but any outdoor sport can be dangerous if you’re not adequately equipped or prepared. Some might think that going on a day hike is safe. But new studies suggest that people who go on day hikes are more vulnerable compared to those who have overnight climbs. 

According to the new study, 41% of these hikers get lost because they accidentally wander off-trail. Some of them are lucky to be found within the day, while others remain lost for 90 days or more. With this alarming rate of lost hikers, people should be more prepared when going on a hike, whether you’re a beginner or expert.

If you plan to join a day hike, you need to make sure that you are prepared. Before you consider purchasing expensive fashion jackets and other expensive supplies for your climb, prioritize the essential equipment first. These include the proper hiking boots, paracord bracelet kits, helmets and ropes. Make sure you have the following essentials:

Hiking Backpack

For a day-hike with an easy trail, you don’t have to invest in purchasing a high-end outdoor backpack immediately. You only need to make sure that you bring a sturdy bag with secured straps and zippers. This way, you won’t need to worry about your belongings from falling off while you hike up the mountain.

Collapsible Water Bottle

Make sure to minimize plastic waste by bringing your tumbler or water bottle. A foldable or collapsible water bottle is also great to reduce the space inside your backpack. After drinking its contents, you can easily fold the water bottle, so it perfectly fits in your backpack or even your pocket. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, especially if you plan to hike during the summer. Do the proper research about the distance of the trail and estimate how much water you will need for that hike.

Appropriate Footwear

There are various types of hiking shoes in the market, but you have to make sure that you do some research before purchasing one. Consider the trail or area where you intend to hike or climb. Rivers, muddy paths, and even wooded areas are serious factors when choosing a pair of hiking boots or shoes. You can always consult with a professional hiker if they could suggest hiking shoes for basic climbs.

Paracord Bracelet

This lightweight accessory can offer a considerable advantage during emergencies. You can use this survival bracelet to replace shoelaces or backpack straps. It can also be used to aid in tying a splint or a sling if you or someone in your group is injured.

Headlamp

Hikers with backpacks relaxing on top of a mountain and enjoying valley view

Even if it’s a day hike, carrying a headlamp is extremely useful. You will never know if you might need one. It’s incredibly lightweight so that you won’t have any issues adding it in your must-haves for your climb. Don’t forget to check the batteries in it before placing it in your backpack.

Emergency Whistle

Wear an emergency whistle around your neck to easily access it whenever necessary. If you wandered off the trail, you could blow the whistle to get your group’s attention. Three short blasts will alert people that you need help. You can also encourage other hikers to wear one, so you can send whistle signals if someone gets separated from the group.

Aside from carrying the above mentioned tools, make sure that you also prepare yourself mentally and physically. You can take daily walks or have an excellent cardio workout weeks before the actual climb. This will help train your mind and body and help you get the most out of your first hiking activity.