Millions of people go hiking every year, and the sport continues to rise in popularity as more people seek refuge from their busy work and home lives in the beauty of nature, challenging their bodies to explore — literally — new heights.
If you have recently begun hiking yourself, you may have invested in hiking boots and other protective gear, but you might not be as prepared as you should be. Here are some hiking gear supplies you need but likely don't have. You can buy your hiking gear at your local military surplus store.
Even if you have a map downloaded on your cell phone and you don't plan to hike far, you need to invest in the classic location devices that have been trusted for centuries. Buy a map of the terrain you will be hiking, and let people know where you will be any time you head out for an outdoor adventure.
Invest in a compass as well. Your military surplus specialist will show you how to accurately use a compass so you can use it should you go off-course on your hiking journey.
A tactical flashlight often comes with beneficial features that a traditional flashlight doesn't have, such as an SOS button to signal for help (the light will flash in the classic SOS code) and a wider beam for longer lengths of visibility.
Whether you buy a tactical flashlight or a traditional one, you should always carry a lightweight flashlight in your hiking pack, even for day hiking. Relying on the flashlight of your cell phone alone will not be sufficient enough protection for you in the event you get lost and you need greater lighting to see where you are going as night falls.
An emergency whistle emits a large, piercing noise that alerts other hikers that you are in distress. The whistle also helps rescuers locate you should you get lost while hiking or get hurt and cannot move.
An emergency whistle carries much further than your natural shouting voice and can become a very useful protective aid against animal predators should you encounter one, as the noise may scare off potentially dangerous creatures. Wear the emergency whistle around your neck for easy access.
A set of binoculars will not only allow you to take in your terrain and enjoy the beautiful views around you, but binoculars can also help you spot potential danger while you are hiking. Binoculars can also give you a clearer path for exploration before you step foot on any terrain, allowing you to hike in greater safety and awareness.
A water pack is a lightweight, bending water bladder with a straw attached. You wear the water pack on your back with the straw close access to your mouth while you hike. The pack is essential to keeping you hydrated. Should you lose your hiking pack in an accident or fall, your water pack will remain with you so you can remain hydrated until rescue arrives.
You may also want to invest in water purification tablets. These tablets allow you to purify stream and river water in an emergency so you have a water supply when you run out.
Even if you hike for casual enjoyment, you should always be prepared to keep yourself safe out on the trails. Always alert family and friends when you go hiking, letting them know when you are leaving, when you plan on returning, and where you can be located. If possible, circle your route and destination on a map and give this information to a trusted source to use in locating you in the event you get lost or injured while hiking.
You can find all your hiking supplies at our military surplus store; visit us at Bargain Center today. A military surplus specialist will help you choose the additional hiking gear you need.