What’s In My (Hiking) Bag?

Hi blog buds!

WOW I have thoroughly enjoyed the time we’ve spent together during the Stupendous September! Tomorrow is already the 30th and last day!  I hope you had a wonderful month and hopefully you found some new healthy habits (or 10) to keep and use going forward!

One of the challenge tasks was to make a plan to get out and “social-cize”.  (If you aren’t sure what that is, read more here).  During an awesome social-cizing hike with a close friend, we both arrived with our little backpacks and laughed, wondering what the other one had in hers.  We are both apparently ladies who like to be prepared!

With a nod to US Magazine’s “What’s in Your Bag?” I thought it’d be fun to share what I bring to be prepared for a 3 hour hike and then get your input on what YOU bring!

What's In My Bag

1. A Whistle:  I keep this attached to the front of my pack where I can hopefully reach it quickly if I need to scare something away or fall down where people can’t see me.

2. My Phone:  I don’t hike in too many places where there isn’t cell service. Sometimes I log my miles/trail, sometimes I just want to snap a few pictures, and most of all I want it if there is an emergency.  But I always set it to silent because the last thing I want to hear on a hike is my email chime going off or my phone ringing!

3. Wet Wipes: You just never know what sticky situations your fingers might get into on a trail!

4. Mini First-Aid Kit: this is smaller than I prefer and need to get something more robust. This particular “first aid kit” will really only treat a papercut or a blister.

5. FOOD! You will rarely find me without sustenance of some sort (even in my purse!).  This day it was a Lärabar. Sometimes it’s GORP, or an apple.

6. A Pen: Not planning on writing notes while hiking (or performing emergency tracheotomies for that matter) but hey, I bet MacGyver keeps a pen handy.  Maybe I’ll make a new friend along the way and need to exchange emails.

7. Trail Map:  I always have a printed copy of the trail map.  You can’t always count on having cell service or GPS coverage.

8. Water, and lots of it!  I order replacement water ‘bladders’ and use in whatever backpack or bag I might be carrying. I currently have a really large Camelbak version and before that used a Platypus brand.  Both have worked well for me.  I always bring a lot more water than I might night in case of emergency.  If something happens like getting lost, twisting an ankle or a fall, I want to have plenty of water to get me through our 100 degree days while help is on the way (hopefully!). After a hike, I rinse it out, let it dry overnight then I store it in a Ziploc bag in the freezer to keep it fresh and clean.

9. Thermal space blanket:  The kind you see runners wrapped in after a marathon!  Fall/winter nights in the desert can get cold so I keep one of these to keep me warm in the event that I get stuck out overnight.  For summertime, you wouldn’t want to wrap yourself in it like a blanket but you could definitely use it to create a little shady spot like a makeshift tarp.

10. Antibacterial face cloth:  I love my Norwex face cloths with BacLoc™ and especially love carrying one for hiking so I can wipe my sweaty face or use it to keep cool by wetting it down and wiping my arms, face and neck. (My SIL Desi can hook you up with these!)

11.  Flashlight/StunStick combo:  Well the flashlight part is obvious but the stun stick part is useful to scare off random animals (like a coyote or javelina) that would likely just laugh at my whistle.  Just the sound alone when you hit the ZAP button is really all you need to freak out something that might want to eat you.  🙂  (Or so I hope.  I really wouldn’t want to put it to the test, LOL!)

12. SPF 50 and 70:  While I’m someone who doesn’t like to use chemicals on my skin when I can avoid it, when I’m out in the full blazing sun of the Sonoran Desert, I gotta keep that skin protected!  So my personal choice is to use strong SPFs out there.  Don’t forget to reapply often as you sweat and also don’t forget things like your ears (the WHOLE ear, along the top, back behind, the earlobe) and along your hairline/part if you aren’t wearing a hat.  Not pictured, but always with me on a hike are my polarized sunglasses and SPF lip balm.

13. Tissues:  for a variety of reasons but the main one for me being that sometimes ya just gotta go!  Unpictured, but useful to have is a few resealable sandwich bags to stuff used tissues into.  No litterbugs!


EXTRA: What’s in Maddie’s (Hiking) Bag?

When I have my dogs with me, Maddie wears her own hiking pack.  I always include enough water for the puppers, some healthy dog treats. a pair of tweezers and a comb (for cactus needles and burrs), and doggy pick-up bags.


It’s your turn!  I need to hear from  you!  What am I missing?  What’s in YOUR bag?  What can’t you live without when you are out on the trail? Let me know in the comments section!  And I’d also LOVE to hear about your favorite hike!

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