Top 6 Things to Bring on a Hiking Trip


By Kara Fields

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This summer I went on a weeklong hiking excursion in Yosemite National Park. Its breathtaking views are something I will never forget and it was such a fun adventure.

I really believe being prepared for the trip was a key part of why I enjoyed myself so much despite having to hike mountains everyday. Here are the 7 things that I would recommend bringing to Yosemite National Park to make your trip more fun:

GAIA GPS

When you’re deep in the valley or on a forest trail, chances are you don’t have cellular connection or WiFi. I relied on GAIA GPS all the time to know where I was on trails. This app is free to download and shows all national park trails.

LifeStraw Water bottle

Yosemite park rangers recommend that every hiker carry at least 2 liters of water with them when they embark on a trail. The heat of summer and the high altitudes will make any athlete thirstier and more fatigued, so it’s important to stay hydrated. However, packs filled with heavy water bottles make hiking much less enjoyable and can put strain on your body. So, how do we stay hydrated while keeping a lighter backpack?

Through my experience, I found that Yosemite during the summer has naturally occurring water everywhere. Using my LifeStraw water bottle I can drink filtered, refreshing ice-cold water from natural springs, waterfalls, and rivers along the Yosemite trails. This water bottle reduced the amount of water I had to carry up mountains while giving me the opportunity to stay hydrated.

Download a Playlist

As you drive into Yosemite Valley, you’ll hear your car radio go snap, crackle, and pop as you lose connection because of the mountains. Welcome to the wilderness. If you want to chill out and listen to music on your hike, don’t depend on cellular connection. I would recommend downloading a playlist onto your phone before embarking on your nature adventure. Don’t know what to play? Check out Burnt X’s Nature Trails Playlist on Spotify:

Hiking Shoes

If you’re going on a long hike, it’s important that you wear comfy, closed toed shoes that will give you good traction so you don’t slip off the edge of a cliff. Hiking shoes are excellent and can be bought second hand at places like REI for a more affordable price. Athletic shoes may also work, but make sure that they’re comfortable and will dry off quickly if they get wet.

Go Pro Camera

Now, you don’t need to bring this, but you can capture some incredible images and videos on this camera. This product has a stabilizer, time lapse modes, and is water resistant, making it the perfect adventure camera.

Snacks

Photo from Unsplash

Bring lots and lots of snacks! You’ll be surprised by how much your body craves food during these long inclines and steep switchbacks. Make sure to also bring a Ziplock bag to keep wrappers or any food ruminants in to avoid being sniffed out by a bear.

First-Aid Kit

Photo from Unsplash

Now I honestly didn’t think we would need a first aid kit for these trails, but after my brother’s leg got sliced open by running into a sharp tree branch, it was a relief that we had Band-Aids and Neosporin on hand.