About the Author, Jenn McCracken: “I was raised loving the outdoors. I love hiking, off-roading and rafting and worked as a guide in Moab. I love encouraging women to push through their own obstacles. I am a Jesus-loving, adventure chasing divorced furmama/pitbull advocate who follows a ‘do it big and do it right’ mentality. I can be found on IG: @Moabchic78.“
What to throw in that pack…I’m not sure any of us has a steadfast, unchanging, laminated version of what we include in our packs when we hit the trail for the day, ok the planner in me is pretty darn close to it if I’m honest. But it would be safe to say that dedicated hikers/adventurers do have an essentials list of sorts. What one chooses to carry said essentials in is where I want to start the conversation.
Growing up hiking in the 90’s, hip packs (no, NOT fanny packs) were fairly popular and it’s what I started carrying gear in. My mama, still to this day, prefers her hip pack with its two external water bottles and two zip compartments to any sort of pack and it works very well for her. I myself switched to a hydration style pack when I started hiking on my own. It has proven to be the best option for me with a lower back issue I have that doesn’t play well with any sort of belt as the primary source of weight distribution. I have gone through several variations that have increased in size and capability over the years. My original Camelbak that held a modest 50 oz water reservoir is still held on to and used on the nose of my kayak but it’s stiff with dirt and entirely too small to hold what I deem as ‘essential’ for my solo hikes.
Due to a slight mix up, the pack I had picked out for the upcoming Grand Canyon trip ended up coming in the wrong size, it was the day pack size rather than the weekender size I was expecting. I decided to keep the smaller pack and replace my well-worn Camelbak Adventura with the Gregory Jade 33. I will do a gear review for my next write up after I have had a chance to use the new girl : )
So…what should one carry in ones chosen pack you ask? Well I am happy to share my insight as a point of resource for you to build your own laminated essentials list 😉 Each woman’s pack is as unique as the woman who chooses it, packs it full and hauls it up the trail!
Here are the basics I carry every time I hike:
-Even if the trail doesn’t require it, they are great if you injure yourself and need a crutch to get out or can be used as a splint in the case of a more severe injury.
-I use a 100oz reservoir because I am a camel and would also prefer to have too much than too little.
The following are sorted into 4 separate cubes:
-I use the Eagle Creek Spectre Series but there are many options out there.
-Alkaseltzer/Alkaseltzer Cold (works faster than a normal antihistamine)
-Any personal medication you take (I always carry a few of my daily meds in case I get stuck overnight).
-Variety of Band-Aid sizes (be sure to carry ones that hold up well to sweat, dirt, moisture etc.
-Gauze pads (varying sizes)
**Extra Electrolyte Tablets in case of over exertion**
(This will vary by your preferences)
-Clifbar Kids Fruit Rope
-Honey Stinger Waffle
-Hat/Visor (to protect from the sun)
-Laminated card with emergency contact information on it -Wallet/Phone/Keys -Knife
-Phone Battery Charger and cord