Introduction to Hiking: What to Pack

We love welcome new people to the Walla Walla area, because we have such a great appreciation for all that our community has to offer. One of our favorite things to share with others (both local and visitors alike) is the beauty of the outdoors.

While there are dozens of activities to keep you busy and right in town, if you’re willing to venture just a bit outside and up into the mountains for a hiking adventure, then you’ll get a truly amazing glimpse at the region.

If you’re new to hiking, or are traveling with someone who is new to hiking, don’t be concerned. There are still miles of trails and breathtaking views to enjoy. As you prepare for your outdoor adventure we recommend taking a look at our hiking tips and tricks.

1.     Don’t Forget Water

Hydration is perhaps the most important thing on your hiking prep list and you want to make sure that you pack plenty of it for the trip. Whether it’s hot or cold outside your body cannot perform at its best without proper hydration. Make sure that you drink plenty of water ahead of your trip and sip it regularly throughout the hike.

2.     Navigation Tools

Even if you’re heading out with an experienced hiker who knows the area well, you should still be prepared with all the navigation tools that you might need. Yes, cell phones can be helpful, but they are often rendered useless if you’re without access to reliable service. To make sure you know where you are and where you’re going at all times, bring a map and a GPS for your hike.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that you’ve mapped out where all the emergency services, rest areas, exits, campsites and water sources are.

3.     Food

Just as you prepared with enough water, you want to make sure you pack enough food to keep your energy levels up. Bring along snacks to eat along the way and if you’re making a full day trip out of the event then pack a lunch to enjoy when you’ve reached the peak or are resting in the cool shade of the trees.

4.     Safety Tools

Whether you’re hiking a well-maintained trail with lots of foot traffic or not there’s no harm in bringing along tools to help keep you safe should you find yourself in need. A few of the items we suggest is a fire starter which can be used to keep you warm, a flashlight in case the sun sets before you’re done hiking, and a whistle to signal your location. If you’re traveling in the outdoors it’s also a good idea to bring a long bear spray just in case.

5.     Clothing and Sun Protection

Weather can be unpredictable so packing along a rain coat for an unexpected rainstorm as well as extra socks if you start to get blisters are both good pack items. In addition, UV rays from the sun can be damaging to skin even when it’s cloudy so while it’s good to lather on sunscreen before your adventure, bring along extra to reapply as needed.

Your packs are ready and so are you – now hit the trail! 

Clare Louise

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