If you thought all you needed to take on a hike was water and something to eat, you’ll need to reconsider.
As your mother probably advised when you were young, ‘accidents do happen’. When you’re hiking, even close to civilisation, it’s always best to be prepared. Here are a few essentials that will help avert a crisis:
- Take a printed map, as you cannot rely on technology always working. Even if you know the area you are going to and don’t expect to become lost, you cannot always predict trail closures. Other navigation essentials should include a compass or GPS receiver. If you use your phone as a camera or for GPS, you should also carry an external battery charger.
- Sun protection is essential wherever you hike in Australia, even in cloudy weather. Carry at least SPF30+ sunscreen, lip protection and a wide-brimmed hat. You should also use an insect repellent and have it handy to reapply during the hike.
- A bandana is useful, particularly a wet one wrapped around your neck on a hot day.
- Wear layers you can remove during the day as you warm up. If you’re hiking late or at nightfall, you’ll want to put your layers back on, so make sure you keep them dry in your pack.
- A headlamp is absolutely necessary if you are heading out before sunrise, or planning to catch the sunset on the trail. Consider taking one every time you hike, in case you become lost and are out longer than anticipated.