Summer is in full swing, which means that you will likely be trekking about the mountains taking in the great scenery and nature that Colorado has to offer! So I thought I would focus this month’s health tip outlining a few things that you should take with you for every hike.
A friend – Any time you are out in the elements, it’s a great idea to have one or two people around. Not only will it make your hike more enjoyable to have some company, but they can help out in a pinch should you happened to get injured or need assistance.
Water – I would suggest bringing a quart of water for every 3 hours you plan to be out on the hike. Keep an extra bottle in the car as well so that you have something for the ride back down the hill.
Food – Pack a couple of sandwiches or wraps for lunch at the top of your hike. Trail mixes with nuts or energy bars are also great to have around because they pack a lot of calories without taking up a ton of space in your pack.
A small first aid kit – One of those “better to have it and not need it,” sort of things. This particular one I found online has just about everything you’d really need, so I would recommend it, or one that has similar items in it.
Rain gear – If you have any hiking experience here in Colorado, you know that the weather can change in a hurry! Having a thin, water-proof jacket and pants handy could really save your skin. It’s no fun being soaked to the bone and freezing in a cotton T-shirt on the top of a mountain. Trust me.
A warm layer – Just adding on to the last point. Keep a warm jacket, preferably something that stays warm (even when wet), handy.
Sunscreen – SPF 30 is usually good enough to cover your bases. Make sure to apply generously, and frequently. About once ever couple of hours that you are out in the sun.
Extra socks – You’ll thank me later.
Matches/Lighter – These are so useful and easy to pack that there is absolutely no reason not to have them with you.
A multitool/knife – Having a small tool like a Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife with you can be very helpful in a variety of situations, especially in an emergency.
Hiking Poles – These guys will really save your knees on the descent and are lightweight and easy to pack. Very useful.
That ought to cover ya! All of this stuff should fit in a regular sized pack and should be of a manageable weight for even the infrequent to occasional hiker.
If you would like advice on any exercises that may help make your hikes easier, or suffer from any hiking-related pain, make sure to mention it at your next visit and I’d be glad to help out!