So, let’s try to make at least the most general list of things that you will definitely need in a solo hike. Let’s take exactly hiking as a basis.
Today we will touch upon an equally important topic and discuss (I hope for your participation) the issue of equipment. So, what it is necessary to prepare and to take with itself in single hike?
When discussing the choice of equipment for hiking most often encountered two irreconcilable points of view. Adherents of the first prefer only the most advanced specialized things for which they are willing to shell out a pretty penny. They are regulars in tourist stores, are well versed in the new technological fabrics and materials, always aware of the latest catalogs of popular travel brands.
The latter, as a rule, do not bother with their outfit and are perfectly capable of making everything they need from the materials at hand. They rightly say that “it’s not equipment that makes a tourist beautiful, but the trips he made. As a rule, these are the representatives of the “old school” who caught and started to get involved in tourism in the years of universal scarcity. The most interesting thing is that they really manage to get along perfectly well makeshift tents and sleeping bags, to make category hikes in vintage sneakers and windbreakers.
So which of representatives of these two trends is right?
As it usually happens neither of them are right, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Those who think that the coolness of a tourist is determined by the amount of money spent on equipment, of course, are wrong in the same way as those who say that all these modern technologies nobody needs. In fact, modern equipment is desirable, but not at all a vital prerequisite for carrying out a hike, unless, of course, it has to do with expedition or extreme tourism.
If you have the opportunity and desire to buy modern advanced equipment – fine, buy it. If you do not have such an opportunity, it can by no means serve as a reason to refuse camping as such. You can always do with improvised or low-budget solutions, especially if you already have some experience in the wilderness.
The difficulty with a solo hike is that you have to carry everything yourself, while in a group the load is evenly distributed among all the participants. In addition, even the smallest details must be provided for, because in a solo hike you cannot ask for a sweater from a comrade in case of cold or borrow a needle to mend clothes. What you took, you have, and in case of something you will have to blame only on yourself.
So, let’s try to make at least the most general list of things that you will definitely need in a solo hike. Let’s take hiking as the basis, because the list of equipment of a bicycle-, motorcycle-, or water traveler may differ significantly.
- Backpack. Depending on the style and duration of your travels may have different sizes and types. It is desirable, however, to buy specialized tourist backpacks popular firms or homemade products from proven masters in the field.
- Tent. For a solo hike, you’ll need a small single-seat tent, the key criterion for choosing which is weight. Although many people get along just fine with a simple tent or even a piece of polyethylene, especially during the warm season.
- Sleeping bag and pad. These two things will give you comfort and peace of mind at night. In summer in the southern latitudes you can make do with their symbolic presence, but the colder the nights are expected, the more serious you need to approach this question.
- Utensils. Standard kit: mug, spoon, knife, saucepan. Of course, everything must be metal and preferably light. You should not take huge cleavers, because you will hardly have to defend yourself or attack someone, and they have decent weight. As for water tank, it is usually a plastic bottle.
- Campfire equipment. If you are going for a short hike, you can cook on gas or gasoline, it’s really very convenient. If the route is long, then you’ll have to learn how to make fires and take care of a small axe or saw. Or get a small wood stove.
- Food. Nutrition during the trip is very important. It largely depends on it your physical and psychological well-being. It is best if you take care of a maximum variety of your menu and take with you besides porridge and canned food, dried vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, sweets.
- Navigation. Maps, GPS tourism, compass, telephone for emergency communication.
- Clothing. One of the most difficult items when packing for a hike. How to take as little stuff as possible and at the same time not to get cold? What to wear in case of rain and in the scorching heat? How not to carry unnecessary things and at the same time to have a decent set of clothes for settlements? Answers to all these questions come with time and experience.
- First Aid Kit. Obligatory item in the solo hike. Must contain everything you need for the most possible health problems: treatment of wounds and bruises, anti-poisoning, cardiac, painkillers, antipyretics, and so on.
- Miscellaneous essentials. In this category I would include those important things that you can not do without, but which do not fall into the previous sections. Documents must be packed in a waterproof bag. A flashlight, and try to take not the brightest, but on the contrary, shining literally a meter ahead. It will be enough for camping and cooking, but it will not attract too much attention. Camera with extra batteries. Battery pack. Repair supplies (duct tape, needle, thread, glue, a roll of twine).
As you can see, it’s not a small list, although it’s possible that I’ve left something out and readers can fill me in in the comments. And all of this you will have to pack in one backpack and carry on your back for a week or more.
Are you really sure you need it?