Backpacks are made for different activities like; short day trips, long camping trips, skiing, cycling, or mountaineering. They can be made with an internal or external frame, made to maximize carrying capacity or minimize weight, and be designed to either stay close to or away from the back.
Items to bring on your Hike
- GPS / Maps & Compass
Unless you are very familiar with the area to be hiked, bring a GPS a good map and a compass, and know how to use them together to knopw where you are and where you’re going.
Always a good idea, regardless of where you are hiking. Those that wrap around the eyes keep the side glare out as well. They help keep wind, branches and sand out of your eyes as well.
- Plenty of water
Bring lots of water, best things for hiking are the many hydration systems available. We add ice or maybe a frozen water bottle in the hydration sysytem. This keeps the water and your back cool for the first part of your hike. You can never have too much water, and you can always give it to someone else who needs it. Bring water for your dogs too.
Bring snacks. Wherever you hike, bring some food, you can always not eat it, but if you get hungry up on a nice hilltop and you left all your snaks at home you’re out of luck.
- More Water
Water is essential in Southern Arizona. At the lower altitudes, you’ll be hiking in the desert, where the temperature warrants a good supply of water. At higher altitudes, where you may not be as hot, you will still need water, because your body needs more fluids at altitude.
- First Aid Kit
Don’t forget a good basic first aid kit, with the basics for walking in the desert like foot care and bandages. We include eye drops, sun tan lotion and and tweezers in our kits as well.
Some people feel hiking boots are unnecessary for day hikes. Our advice is to wear boots when hiking in the desert, if for nothing else than to protect your feet from rocks, cactus and various other things that might bite.
- A Friend
Try not to hike alone, especially in the more remote areas of the state. Chances are you won’t see anyone all day, even on the drive to the trailhead, and if you do something as simple as fall and break your ankle, you’re in trouble.
Dress for a Successful Hike
Proper layering can prevent both overheating and hypothermia
- Close fitting underwear (long-sleeve top/bottom for colder conditions)
- Wool, silk, or synthetic fabrics such as polypropylene
- Avoid cotton, it soaks up moisture, doesn’t dry readily, and can contribute to hypothermia
- An inner layer of breatheable, wicking fabric transports moisture away from the skin
- Wicking liner socks help prevent blisters
- Shirt, vest, jacket, pants
- Wool or fleece
- Wind-resistant nylon jacket and pants
- Down or other heavy jacket for cold conditions
- Water-resistant jacket or jacket lined with Gore-Tex for wet conditions
- Hat with a wide brim to keep the sun out
- A pair of leather gloves
- Sturdy boots
Why Bring a Walking Stick ?
Keep your balance;
- Crossing Creeks, Streams, Rivers use it like a third leg to keep a very soild stand in moving water. Also helpfull when water is cloudy to probe before you step
- Traversing hillsides and slopes
- Crossing shale, scree, bolders and other loose rock
- Carrying Heavy Loads keeping your balance can be rough
- Resting along the way, lean on your stick to take the weight of your pack off your back for a break.
- Break or Prevent a Fall on hills, on rocks or even wet grass.
Reduce effort in knees, legs and feet
- Provides Extra Power & Balance, Going Uphill
- Reduces Shock on Knees, Going Downhill
- Takes Pressure off Back & Hips
More uses for a walking stick
- Center or Side Pole for a Tarp
- To Prop Up Your Pack
- To Lean on When Resting
- Use as a lever to move large rocks or stumps
- Pushing aside spider webs & brush and scrub
- Use to steady a camera
- Use as a leg splint
- Self Defense from dogs and wild animals