Hiking is a wonderful way to connect with nature, clear your head, and enjoy the benefits of physical exercise and fresh air. For those hikers who enjoy setting out alone, here are 4 Tools Solo Hikers Should Carry to help keep you safe on the trail.
Whether you plan to hike in the dark or not, it’s always a good idea to have a rechargeable flashlight in your bag to be prepared for any lighting situation. While flashlights that use replacement batteries are still an option, rechargeable flashlights with external battery level indicators allow you to make sure your flashlight is fully charged before you set out. In the event of an emergency situation, this indicator can help you make decisions about how best to conserve battery life. A rechargeable flashlight can also save space and weight in your hiking backpack. Instead of bringing along packs of spare batteries, you can pack a few more other useful items. Pair your rechargeable flashlight with a portable solar-powered charger, and you’ll be sure to have light for a long time.
Personal Locator Beacon
It’s a hiking best practice to assume your cell phone won’t have coverage everywhere you plan to hike. If you happen to get lost, there’s a chance your cell phone signal will be lost as well. Personal locator beacons sync to satellites, not cellular networks, so they’re able to send signals from just about anywhere on earth. If you’re in severe danger, using a PLB can quickly signal your location to rescue services. Be sure to also let someone know where you’re headed and your anticipated return time before you set out as well. In the event that you can’t use your PLB, having someone to alert rescue services can save your life.
First Aid Kit
Packing a first aid kit should be a priority for every hiker, whether you hike alone or in a group. Having the resources to quickly treat an injury can make a huge difference in your ability to make it safely back to civilization. In addition to bandages and medication, first aid kits also come equipped with a number of useful tools, such as scissors and forceps. In a pinch, gauze can be used to create a makeshift water filter. Thermal blankets are also often included in first aid kits, which can keep you warm in cold temperatures and prevent hypothermia.
There are plenty of compass apps available for mobile phones, as well as digital devices that sport GPS capability. When it comes to rugged dependability, however, nothing beats a physical compass. A compass can help keep you oriented in the event that your digital equipment fails, or if you find yourself in a situation where you need to conserve a device’s battery power. Pair your compass with a detailed map of your hiking route and enjoy some time unplugged from technology.
Save space in your backpack for these items and hike with confidence knowing that you’re prepared to handle the unexpected.