No matter what is stressing me out in life, I always find that a trip to the mountains is the ultimate way to unwind and clear my head at the weekends. While most of us spend our days at work, stuck at a computer desk and our evenings scrolling through social media, once you’re up in the clouds, there’s absolutely none of this and I love it.
With no phone signal or WiFi connection available, hiking is the easiest way to take a few steps back from life, get some exercise and just breathe.
Having said this, it isn’t as easy as putting on some hiking boots and setting off for me. If I’m walking alone (which I usually am) I need to know I’m going to be as safe as possible out there. With that comes a packing list of all the things that will prove to be essential at the top of a mountain, while not adding too much weight to my pack.
Here’s everything I pack with me to go on a mountain trip.
Kool8 Water Bottle
It’s no secret that hiking can be very taxing on the body, so it’s important to stay hydrated. While I’ve been taking plastic water bottles on hikes with me for years, I recently decided to make the change to something a little more eco-friendly. After all, I was only using these plastic bottles once before throwing them out, and it was becoming a little expensive.
I purchased a Kool8 water bottle a few months ago and I can honestly say that I will never go back to plastic water bottles. Kool8’s fully insulated bottles can keep my water cool and crisp for 24 hours even on the hottest days and can keep tea hot for 12 hours on the coldest winter mornings. Each bottle is also made of super durable stainless steel and mine is yet to see even a scratch, despite how many times I’ve dropped it. Check out Kool8 here.
While I always hope and pray for the best weather conditions before a hike, sometimes the gods simply aren’t shining down on me and a downpour arrives. Rather than leaving the weather up to luck and hoping for the best, I always make sure I’m prepared by packing a raincoat in my rucksack.
Yes, the majority of the time it never even comes out of my bag, but I’d much rather have it with me just in case. Most brands offer super lightweight options that you won’t even know you’re carrying – I’d definitely suggest investing in one to make sure you’re never left drenched on a hike again!
I first decided to give CBD oil a try on my hikes at the start of 2019, a year since the Farm Bill was originally passed to make cannabis oil legal. Previously I’ve struggled with knee pain down to my hill-climbing habit that used to make it harder for me to hike as quickly and easily as everyone else. Since I started CBD microdosing, this pain has reduced significantly and I’m now more or less back to my healthier self.
While some choose to take their recommended daily CBD dose all in one go, by microdosing, I choose to take that dose in smaller increments throughout the day. This helps to keep me ‘topped up’ throughout the day, ensuring the effects don’t wear off and leave me with pain halfway up a mountain.
That’s because CBD works to influence the endocannabinoid system – the body’s biological system responsible for keeping several vital organs and body systems in check. When taking CBD, the body’s endocannabinoid levels rise which can help to alleviate pain but can dip just as quickly as the CBD wears off. Microdosing helps to offset these ups and downs, as explained here by CBD Kyro.
Honestly, I don’t know how people go on hikes without taking a little sustenance with them! It’s estimated that a 160-pound adult burns between 430 and 440 calories per hour of hiking, so you should always replenish at least half of these calories as you walk to keep your strength up and your head clear.
The key to effective hiking snacks is taking things that are lightweight and packed full of energy. I always carry a banana with me (or two for longer hikes) as the potassium helps to fight off muscle cramps, and beef jerky for a delicious protein boost. Once the two essential foods are packed, I’ll switch between snacks like nuts and seeds, tuna sandwiches, and the odd packet of sweet treats for a little sugar rush during the difficult bits!
You should also always remember that it’s better to pack too much food than not enough. There’s nothing worse than having miles of hiking left, and no food to keep you going.
A rechargeable headlamp
Most of my longer, weekend hikes tend to start very early in the morning because, while I love them, it’s also important to ensure I get enough time with my family too. By setting off around 5 am on a Saturday, I can be on my way back before everyone at home is even awake.
With the early starts, however, comes a lot of dark winter mornings. Going back to safety being an absolute essential for me, I always carry a headlamp when hiking so I can see the steps in front of me clearly until the sun rises. Make sure to buy a lamp with a very strong beam – like the one in the Slonik Rechargeable Headlamp- to make sure you’re never caught short.
Even when I’m not setting off in the dark, I make sure to carry my headlamp in case I get a little lost and need to find my way home after sundown. Head torches pack up super small and most are pretty light, too, so you don’t need to worry about carrying too much weight on your back. For more ideas of great hiking items you should take with you on your next trip, check out this helpful guide.
Author bio: This article comes from Andrew Peterson at VegasForAll