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Miscellaneous Gear and Hiking Technique

Miscellaneous Gear and Hiking Technique

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Miscellaneous Gear and Hiking Technique

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  1. Miscellaneous GearandHiking Technique • Please wait until the end of the presentation for questions and comments. Review Chapter 3 in your SHP Manual for additional information.

  2. Navigation Aides • Essential • Map (Unless equivalent information is on your GPS.) • Compass • Optional • Trail Description - copied from guidebook or internet (e.g. is one site). • Guidebook (if not too heavy) • Altimeter (Especially valuable for off trail travel and mountaineering.) • GPS

  3. Vision Aides • Essential • Headlamp (a flashlight is a poorer alternative). If there is a chance of finishing after dark due to unexpected problems, hike length, or late start you need a reliable light. A headlamp keeps your hands free for use. • Spare Glasses in a protective case and zippered pocket if you are dependent on glasses to hike out or drive home. • Reading glasses for maps if you need them. • Important • 2nd headlamp or spare batteries and bulb • Eye first aide if you are prone to eye irritation (e.g. eye drops).

  4. First Aid • Essential • Personal emergency medication. If you have a significant medical condition which could cause a problem on a hike (e.g. diabetes, asthma, severe allergic reaction, etc..), you should bring the appropriate medication or kit recommended by your physician. • Personal medication alert. A responsible person on the hike (leader, co-leader, friend) should know about your medication if you cannot treat yourself.

  5. First Aid continued • Sometimes essential, important or very useful • First Aide Kit. At least one for a group. • Tape and moleskin (or molefoam) for blisters. Duct tape also has multiple uses for repairs. (Essential for new hikers, a group, new boots, or long hikes.). • Orthopedic Aides: Knee brace, ankle brace, ace bandage, back support, etc., if you suspect you may need them. An ace bandage is a good items for a group leader to carry. • Small amount of over the counter medication for personal use: • Pain or inflammation (your choice of naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, tylenol.) • Severe allergies • Intestinal problems

  6. Water Supply • Essential • Normally carry enough water for the hike. Carry extra water for hot weather and long hikes. • Water treatment. A group should bring water treatment for long hikes where you cannot carry enough water and know where water is available. There are two types of water treatment: • Chemical Treatment (Tablets, iodine crystals, solutions). • Water Filters • Frequently very useful • Thermos in cold weather • A Water Bottle Parka can be attached to your pack belt for quick access and to keep your water from freezing in cold weather.

  7. Rain • Rain clothing is essential. • A plastic bag inside your pack will keep your extra clothing dry. • A pack cover will keep other contents dry. • A rain hat may be more comfortable than a jacket hood.

  8. Sun • Sunscreen areas you know are prone to burn or harm after long sun exposure before the hike or early in the hike. • Sunglasses provide long term protection for your eyes. • Lip Balm with sunscreen may prevent cracked lips. • A sun hat can keep the sun out of your eyes, face, and neck and may be useable as a rain hat. A wet (or damp) hat that doesn’t drip on your clothes may help keep you cool.

  9. Biting Insects • Insect repellent (Your choice.). Spray on repellent can cover more skin surface. • Head nets are valuable when biting insects are very numerous and you want to stay in one place or move slowly.

  10. Miscellaneous • Toilet Paper • Sanitary Napkin (Can also be used in first aid for heavy bleeding.). • Bandana (Used for sun protection and first aide purposes.). • Repair Kit for clothes and pack. Parachute cord, duct tape, safety pins. • Whistle (Considered essential if you are lost or need help.) • 3 blasts (or 3 shouts) indicate a call for help • 1 blast means “come here or come back”. • Matches and fire starting materials (a candle or toilet paper soaked in wax). • Knife. (A Swiss Army knife with scissors is useful for cutting moleskin.).

  11. Miscellaneous Continued • Hiking Poles • Foam Pad for sitting in wet or cold areas. A larger foam pad can be used in emergencies to insulate an injured hiker. (I often use my pack, which has an internal foam pad for sitting.) • Naturalist Guidebooks • Camera

  12. Some Useful Hiking Rules • The summit is optional, your car is not. Consider the weather, the terrain, the hike difficultly, and your condition and preparation when deciding whether you should continue a hike or seek an easier route back. The mountain will be there tomorrow, next week, and next year. • You are hiking with your friends, watch out for them as well as for yourself.

  13. Steep/Rough Terrain (general) • Small steps are often easier than big steps. • Switchback up a slope or along small ledges when possible in preference to taking big steps up. • Stay in balance. • Keep your weight over your feet. • Use your hands or a hiking pole to maintain balance • Use 3 points of contact in very steep terrain. • Hands can be used to push, pull, or hold for balance. • Small foot holds can be used to keep in balance.

  14. Rest Step Going Uphill • When you are in a stable position, put all your weight on your downhill leg, lock your knee and joints, and allow your uphill leg to rest in a flexed position. • Alternate: When you are in a stable position, put all your weight on your uphill leg, lock your knee and joints, and allow your downhill leg to hang loose. • Repeat this for each leg as often as you need to let your leg muscles get some rest.

  15. Step Gently on a Steep Downhill • Use the muscles in your uphill leg to gently control your descent and lower your downhill leg for a soft landing. • Use 3 points of contact (feet, hands, hiking pole) to maintain balance and control.