When you’re on the trail for several days on end, you can’t have a lot of useless equipment holding you down. If you want to reach your destination healthy and on time you need to plan carefully. If you pack too much, then you will tire quickly, but if you pack too little, you will risk getting lost or be unfit for the elements. After all, the closest store may be miles away, and Amazon’s drones don’t deliver to hikers (yet). Make sure you have everything you need before hitting the road for a safe, balanced hike.
Personal Water Filter
Image via Flickr by Christopher Lyn
Personal water filters allow you to pull fresh water from any source and drink from it without risk of contamination. Whether you’re drinking from a puddle after the rain or from a pond that you don’t know is clean, the LifeStraw personal water filter turns any water source into a clean water source. Plus, you can attach it to backpack water bottles so you can take the water with you regardless of its cleanliness. This device is a convenience on your trail if you have some access to clean water sources, but it can be a lifesaver if you get lost and need to drink from whatever options are available.
There’s plenty to be said for using the trail to disconnect and go off the grid for a few days, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to leave your smartphone back at camp. You can turn your phone off when you’re hiking (or put it on airplane mode) in order to connect better with nature, or you can use it to capture memories of your trip and navigate with the compass.
However, even if you tuck your smartphone in your bag and ignore it for most of the trip, it’s still an invaluable tool if something goes wrong. Having a durable device that gets service on a wide-ranging network, like the Galaxy S7 from T-Mobile, means that you can easily call for help, or only have to hike a short distance to a point where you can. This greatly increases your chance of survival in case of unexpected problems.
You may not realize the full usefulness of a headlamp until you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Even in other situations, you might be able to get by with a flashlight or lantern, but those can take up one of your hands, which reduces your ability to cook, set up camp, and build a fire for the night. Headlamps are invaluable for immediately lighting whatever you need to see without restricting your resources or movement. They’re also helpful during the day if you’re hiking in San Diego, or into a cave or checking out a hole in the ground.
Solar Battery Charger
Many people suggest bringing back-up battery packs on your hike, which is a great idea, since there aren’t a lot of plugs in the wilderness. However, these battery packs can be bulky and become useless once the battery is used. Instead, consider investing in a battery pack that uses solar energy to recharge. Setting your battery pack in the sun while you make lunch is all it takes to get a full charge so you can move on. There are solar-powered battery chargers for multiple sizes and purposes, so you can find the device you need for your trip.
Durable GoPro Camera
Most GoPro cameras are smaller than a deck of cards and can easily clip onto your backpack or headlamp so you won’t even realize you’re carrying them (Of course there are budget options, check out our Akaso V50x review). Many hikers keep their GoPros on during the hike as a way to capture footage of nature that they might miss in the time it takes to pull out their cameras. It’s also a great way to focus on enjoying the experience instead of worrying about whether you’re getting the shot.
Your gear should be designed to help you arrive safely while enjoying a wonderful hiking experience. These gadgets do that and more.