||You'll want light weight, flexible, and very comfortable boots. Waterproof is a plus. Do
not wear sneakers since they don't support your ankles like boots do. The number one
injury hikers face are twisted or broken ankles. We wouldn't want to carry you.
||A cloth daypack is all that is needed for a dayhike since you won't be carrying that
much equipment. Don't take a larger pack than you need! For longer hikes you'll want a
framepack. Make sure your pack is very comfortable and secure. If the center of
gravity is off too much or the pack is just uncomfortable you may develop backaches or
backstrain on the hike. For longer day hikes, a waist belt is desirable.
||Water is an absolute neccessity on any hike. Do not fill a canteen with
anything but water as the contents may spoil or spoil the taste of future contents. I know
what they say about Gatorade but trust me, only water truly quenches your body's thirst.
Bring enough, unless you know there is a hut where you can replenish - do NOT drink the
water from streams no matter how clean or lovely they look (Giardia). Bring more water
early in the season when you're not in maximum shape and drink BEFORE you get really
thirsty, or your muscles have a harder time recovering. I suggest reusing the plastic
bottled water bottles, they're a good size and very lightweight when empty, and you can
easily bring 3-4 for a longer hike. Water should be the heaviest thing in your pack and
preferably easily accessible while you're walking.
||It doesn't matter what time of year or what the weather is like. As you may have heard
your mother tell you, "Dress in Layers". Remember you can always take clothes
off if you're hot, so make sure you have extra to put on if you're cold.
Stay away from sweats and t-shirts - they are usually 100% cotton, are heavy and when they
get wet they are even heavier and do not keep you warm (unless you have a poly-blend
t-shirt like EMS sells). Try to invest in some polar fleece which like wool will keep you
warm, wet or dry but has the bonus of being VERY lightweight. Remember, even if you take
this stuff off you still have to CARRY it!! Stuff like spandex can be pretty comfortable
and warm to hike in once it's above 50 degrees or so, and it is also lightweight.
||Wool is an incredible material since it keeps you warm even if it gets wet. Cotton
works the opposite since it can't retain heat very well. It is very important to take good
care of your feet since you'll be relying on them heavily.
Wool and wool/poly blends are great, most sport stores and shoe stores sell them
specifically designed for hiking. TIP: keep an extra pair in your pack in case your feet
(or your buddy's!) get wet, and on a longer hike change your socks at the top - you will
be much more comfortable on the way down. Poly or silk sock liners are also a great treat
on those longer hikes to help prevent friction burns (aka blisters!). Wool socks can also
double as gloves if you get caught in a cold front on a peak.
||Again, wool is recommended but any gloves are better than none. Fingers are the most
likely part of your body to get frostbite. Most likely we won't need gloves during the
summer months but it would be better to have them anyway.
||You can lose as much as 90% of your body heat through your head and more if your hair
is thinning. Wearing a hat can retain most of that heat. You should bring one even if you
don't plan on wearing it.
||Hikes will never be planned in the rain since it really is no fun to hike in bad
weather. Since the weather is very unpredictable it is best if everyone brings rain gear.
||Generally a bathroom will be available at the base of a mountain as well as at an AMC
cabin on the mountain. Not every trip may be so lucky and sometimes when nature calls
there is no bathroom anywhere. When that happens it's nice to be prepared.
|First Aid Kit
||This isn't a requirement but a good idea. Think about any personal effects that you
might need on a trip such as bandaids, creams, oitments, pain killers...
|Ace Bandage Wraps
||Twisting your ankle is unfortunately a very common injury even among experienced
hikers. Ace bandage raps, found in any drug store, help support an injuried ankle and
allow the hiker to continue to hike. The alternative is to be dragged or carried by the
group so please consider bringing them.
||Trail mix or dried fruits are recommended but anything with high carbohydrate and low
sugar will do. Also avoid snacks with a lot of salt as salt makes you thirsty. Good
alternatives to trail mix are crackers, potato sticks, grapes or raisins.
Plan on having something to snack on every couple of hours on a long day hike to keep your
energy level up. Popcorn is also a good lightweight snack (Deb's girlfriend Kym brings
||Plan your lunch carefully. Like the snacks, try to limit your sugar and caffeine
intake. Recommended lunches would include a couple sandwiches, fruit, and fruit juice.
Keep in mind whatever you bring up the mountain you must bring back down with you. Try to
limit the amount of trash you'll produce.
||Make sure someone in the group has a compass and of course a map. The leader and the
caboose should each have a map.
||Whether you go on a dayhike or a multiple day hike plastic bags are very helpful. They
act as a raincoat for your pack. They keep animals away at night. You can keep your
clothes dry in them and in a bind you can make a raincoat out of them. I've even used bags
to cross a stream without getting my feet wet.
||Definitely not a requirement but I remember one trip in particular where a trail
turned into a muddy waterfall. Without a rope we wouldn't have made it up a 15' incline.
|Swiss Army Knife
||...or equivalent! You never know when one will come in handy. Tweezers, scissors,
screw driver...All useful STUFF!
||This stuff has been known to make bad hikes turn out good! Mole skin is lika a fuzzy
bandaid that is placed directly on blisters. If you haven't hiked in awhile and/or your
boots are relatively new you'll want to bring this stuff.
||Although day hikes will be during the day they have been known to take a little longer
especially if we got lost (not that we will). To be safe flashlights are recommended. They
are required for longer hikes.
|Camera & Film
||For obvious reasons a camera is really nice to bring along. Big plus if it's a digital
- a whistle, in case you get lost or need help
- waterproof matches
- some kind of lip balm/blistex
- extra batteries for that flashlight!
- gaiters are great if you're hiking in shorts and it's a bushy or wet trail