Before you head off for a weekend in the mountains, make sure you’re prepared. Here are four essential items every mountain adventure needs:
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post and the author’s views here do not necessarily reflect those of the blog owner.
A smartphone is the perfect companion. Because of its small size and variety of functions, you can easily justify carrying it on your travels. A smartphone such as the Galaxy S7 Edge takes amazing photos and videos, enabling you to document your entire trip. With a protective case you don’t have to worry about dropping it or moisture damage like you would with traditional point-and-shoots or DSLR cameras.
Even in areas where you might lose service, your smartphones gives you access to a compass and map to guide your way. In addition, there are a myriad of hiking and outdoor adventure apps that work offline to help you navigate, keep you organized and identify the wildlife you see as you explore.
A remote weekend trip to the mountains requires a first-aid kit to ensure your safety and protection in the case of an emergency. To make it easy, purchase a pre-packaged first-aid kit that is made specifically for mountain adventures from REI or the Red Cross. If you’re looking to create a tailored first-aid kit, include antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, adhesive bandages, butterfly bandages, gauze pads, blister treatment, nonstick sterile pads, antihistimate, ibuprofen and insect-sting relief. Then add on items you think are necessary.
Anytime you plan on spending time on uneven, rocky or rugged terrain, wearing appropriate footwear is crucial. Whether you prefer low-cut hiking shoes, trail runners or mid- to high-cut hiking boots, choose footwear that fits correctly, has strong ankle support and has insoles if necessary. Also be sure to wear appropriate socks made of wool or synthetic materials. Be sure to break your shoes in before your trip to avoid blisters, rubbing and further discomfort.
Depending on the time of year and your destination, you might need additional specialized shoes for your trip, such as water shoes or ice and snow traction cleats. Water shoes such as Chacos, Tevas or Keens are perfect for a summer trip when you might cross a few creeks, swim in a lake or tube down a river. Traction cleats are a must for a winter trip or any high altitude destination where you’ll encounter ice and snow.
Mountain ecosystems are usually home to larger mammals, such as elk, antelope, mountain lions, bobcats and bears. If you’re in the mountains of Canada, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana or Idaho, you might come across grizzly bears. In other mountainous areas in the U.S., you might have an encounter with a black bear. You need to know what to do in the case of a bear sighting and bring protection gear with you.
To start, you need bear-safe containers for your food or a way to vault it. The canisters should be made of bear-resistant materials, come with a design that helps you hang it from a tree and be small enough to fit in your backpack. You also should consider purchasing a wearable bell that will deter predators as you jingle along as well as bear pepper spray in the case of a close encounter.