HIKING CHECK LIST
Our personal check list is stuck against the inner side of our wardrobe door.
When we suddenly feel the urge to go hiking the next early morning, we never have to look for the check list.
All the items on our Check List:
water – sunscreen – cap – toilet paper – sunglasses – plastic bags – garbage bags – knife – pen – notebook – powerfood – lip balm – camera – cell phone – GPS – spare batteries – reading glasses – money – passport or ID copy – binoculars – sweets – panadol – flashlight – lighter – maps – prints – field bag – small spade – raincoat – sweater – first aid kit – stick – bandana – wet towel – whistle – cord
. Three liters of water is a good rule of thumb for a “normal” day. In a day with lots of physical effort, you obviously need more. It all depends of the length of your hike, your level of fitness and the weather.
People often take too little.
When I do a return route, then I always hide a bottle for the ways back.
And one last advice: try to drink as much water as possible before you hit the trail. Your body will be grateful. You will also have a fresh supply of water waiting for you when you return to the vehicle.
. Good map and GPS are indispensable elements in your pack. No matter how many times you have hiked a particular route, there is always a risk of getting lost due to sudden change of weather, a closed trail, emergencies etc…
. Flashlight, lighter or matches: indispenable in case you get lost and you need to spend the night in the open.
. Knife: your buddy in all circumstances.
. Whistle: has proved itself useful many times.
. Toilet paper and nylon cord.
For hiking in the UAE Hajar Mountains, only good, sturdy but flexible hiking boots can be recommended. Forget sandals or shoes.
This is why: the mountain slopes are stony and real hiking trails are rather scarce. The terrain is harsh and irregular. Treacherous are the parts downhill when there is loose gravel.
A few recommendations when buying hiking boots:
- Pick boots with ankle support.
- The part above the sole protects your feet and should repel water; it should also allow perspiration to breathe out.
- You may be well off with less expensive, light boots, fit for your hiking style
- The padding on the inside should give adequate comfort.
- Boots should feel snug all over, not tight. There should be no point of pressure.
- Make sure you buy boots which are slightly bigger than your normal size because you need to wear the indispensable socks: while standing, push your foot forward until your toes reach the toe of the boot. There should be just enough room for you to slip your index finger between your heel and the back of the boot. Check both feet.
- Go for thick socks. They make all the difference: they will prevent blisters and give great comfort.
And a few tips for care:
- When you have decided to buy your boots, make sure you break them in before you go out for your first long hike.
- Store your boots in a dry, ventilated place; put crumpled up newspapers inside to absorb moisture.
- Wear them regularly.
- Never dry your boots by a source of heat e.g. an open fire: it will destroy glue, stitches, leather…
- Clean them properly after a trip.