As we're entering the hiking off-season (for some), now is a great time to stock up or restock your hiking essentials needed for your future adventures.
Download your map on AllTrails or whichever trail app you prefer. Bonus if you have and know how to use a compass, and have a satellite messenger.
I use AllTrails for mapping and the Garmin inReach for satellite messenger.
I also recommend taking screen shots of the AllTrails map, JUST IN CASE.
I fortunately haven't had to use my Garmin inReach for bad situations. I've only used it for notifying Alec that I'm at a destination and safe.
2. Headlamp + extra batteries.
Even if you don't plan on hiking in the dark, it's good to have on hand in case of an emergency. I generally just bring 2 headlamps with me.
3. Sun protection.
Sunglasses + sunscreen, my friends.
4. First aid.
No one wants a blisty, but if you do get one, you will have the tools to aid it! Plus, you have bandaids if someone else needs them on the trail (I've given plenty-a-bandaid out this season).
Matches or lighter.
Bivy. Let's hope you don't ever need to use it, but it could quite literally save your life.
8. Extra food.
Snacks on snacks, baby!!! But seriously.
9. Extra water.
No explanation needed here. Always have extra water.
10. Extra clothes.
Light weight and heavy duty are the way to go. Items that can shrink down and stay light weight in your pack. Puffy jackets, windbreakers, hat, gloves, socks.
This checklist is only PART of being a safe hiker.
Other things you need to consider:
Know what kind of wildlife could be in the area.
Know how to respond if you encounter wildlife.
Notify at least 1-2 people where you're going and when you expect to return.
Check the weather before you go! Conditions can change rapidly on the mountain.
Overall, BE SAFE