There are many beautiful Pennsylvania hiking trails surrounding the State College area– including Mount Nittany, the Tussey Trail, Musser Gap, Rothrock State Forest and more. Planning for hikes can be difficult if you aren’t sure what to bring. There are many items that can be helpful on hikes, but the list is long, so it can be hard to remember everything. To have the best and safest experience possible, here is a list of items that are recommended to bring on your hike:
1. Map and Compass
Trail maps are helpful for keeping track of where you’re going. A compass and map will assist in navigating areas without cell service or access to technology, especially on long trails. Both items can be cheap, easy to find, and very useful!
2. Extra Clothes
Extra socks and other pieces of clothing are important to bring in case it rains during your hike or if you’re exposed to any other surprises along the way. There is always a chance of a hike extending longer than you anticipated, so extra clothes are an excellent way to prepare for that possibility.
Water is essential for any physical activity– especially hiking. As you sweat, you lose electrons so it’s important to compensate for that loss by frequently hydrating. In the case of water, it’s smart to bring more rather than less so pack more water than you think you’ll need, just in case.
4. Extra Food and Snacks
Depending on your plan, hikes can be all-day affairs or multiple hours long so it’s recommended that you bring some healthy fuel. Protein bars, granola bars, and other small snacks are perfect for re-energizing on a trail. We recommend the Pennsylvania-manufactured Kate’s Real Food energy bars— take 30% off your first order with code: ‘welcome30’!
5. Sunblock and Bug Spray
Hiking increases your exposure to sunlight and UV rays– which means you’ll have to protect your skin. Bugs are also pesky along hiking trails so it’s beneficial to bring a bottle along in case it becomes a nuisance. Higher altitudes bring heightened exposure to the sun as well, so sunscreen is especially important as you progress on your hike.
If you plan to go on an evening hike, a flashlight is recommended in case a hike runs after sundown. Plans may change on the mountain or time may pass faster than you expect– so bringing a light source is advisable.
7. First Aid Kit
Hikes can be dangerous, and trails are not always completely cleared– so there is potential for injury. First aid kits allow you to be extra prepared in the case of an emergency or a minor injury. They can be inexpensive, but are also easily put together at home with the proper materials. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
8. A Knife
A knife can be wise to pack for any hike. It’s an added source of self-protection, but also a valuable resource that can be used in a multitude of ways– from cutting sticks for a fire, to marking trees for a path, to cutting moleskin for blisters.
9. Rain Jacket
The weather can be surprising and dynamic, rain can occur at any time, and hiking in the rain without protection isn’t the most enjoyable experience. A small poncho or rain jacket can be light, easy to carry, and it can be folded easily to fit in a backpack. Protection against rain also means keeping your clothes and valuables dry.
10. Battery Pack
Hikes can last for many hours– so it’s important to be able to communicate with the outside world in case of an emergency. Small battery packs are easy to bring along and helpful in case your phone or devices need extra charge. However, you should make sure your devices are fully charged before starting. A battery pack is an extra assurance against any unexpected issues.
All of our communities at Long Ridge Construction have quick-and-easy access to nearby scenic hikes! Check out our Orchard View community to find your new, semi-custom home– with an ideal location to support your active lifestyle.