When in the mountains or on a hike, being prepared for emergencies is critical. That means always carrying the “10 essentials.”
These vital supplies will allow you to treat some injuries and help keep you or an injured companion alive until help arrives. Remember, even rescues in relatively accessible places take time.
The 10 essentials include:
Map – So you can get where you’re going or communicate your location to rescuers.
Compass – Critical for navigation and providing rescuers with your location.
Flashlight/headlamp – Going for help can mean a long hike in the dark. Don’t forget spare bulbs and batteries.
Extra food – For warmth and strength.
Extra clothing – For covering an injured hiker to prevent shock, as well as for keeping warm.
Sunglasses – Eyes are especially vulnerable to the bright sunlight encountered in the mountains. These can help avoid eye damage.
First-aid supplies – A ready-made, storebought kit may prove inadequate. It is best to construct your own, based on expert advice.
Pocket knife – Can be incredibly versatile in time of need.
Matches – Being able to start a fire can be the difference between life and death. Be sure to keep them in a waterproof container.
Fire starter – A fire starter, such as a candle, kindling or chemical accelerant, increases your odds of successfully getting a blaze going.
In addition to having the 10 essentials, it’s also important that you be fit enough for your hike. I keep motivated with my fitness at Sweat365.
Murphy and I hit the trail today. Murphy is my golden retriever puppy. He is now 13 weeks old. He made it 2.5 miles today, and looks like he’s ready for more. He has also ran for a mile straight. He is a very energetic puppy.
You can track your workouts online at Sweat365
I am torn! Last year I ended up walking over 400 miles (check out my sidebar for 2007 totals). The highlight was in December, when I walked the Las Vegas Half Marathon. I ended up walking it in 3:04 (for 13.1 miles). It averages to a 14:03 pace per mile – which is really smoking for a walker.
For 2008, I want to increase my intensity. My problem is this. I really like walking, and I never have to worry about getting injured. But it doesn’t raise my heart rate high enough anymore. So I’m thinking of running, but I’m worried I won’t like it as much, or that I’ll get injured. Last year I started running, but somehow messed up my calf, so I had to give it up.
So far I have not ran this year. I have walked more uphill, and walked on treadmills at an incline. I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing. I guess we’ll see.
Either way, I know I’ll keep tracking my stuff at Sweat365 – it’s what keeps me going. I love seeing the miles and the hours build up.
I walked today for my exercise. I walked 4.6 miles in 1:10. It dumped rain the entire time. The bummer was that it was really nice yesterday, but I stayed inside and watched football instead of going outside and exercising.
On Monday, I did a treadmill workout, where I walked 3.6 miles at a 10% grade. I wanted the grade in order to keep my heart rate high. Now I want to know an easy way to calculate elevation gain given only those two pieces of information.
You can view my workouts at my fitness blog.