Basic Day Pack and Safety
Survival isn’t just about enduring unexpected and harsh conditions, it also about preventing them, or fairing them a bit better. For this article, lets focus on just hiking. I know there’s an infinite number of situations that can cause life threatening situations, but I feel the most common events happen to un prepared hikers, especially here in San Diego. So how does one prevent expensive medical bills or even death on a trail no more than a mile away from your car? Or ending up on the 5 o’clock news ? Heres how,
1: Leave the ego at home, do not go on a hike you are not prepared for.
2: Get up early and go hiking, be on the trail no later than 6 or 6:30 AM in the summer. If you can’t get up that early, please stay home. The advantage to going early is that you will see more wildlife, it’s way cooler in temp, more enjoyable, and you will be off the trail in time for a good lunch.
3. Pre-hydrate the day before. get a good mixture of water and electrolytes. Yes there is such thing as too much water. Please stay away from alcohol the night before. But if you want to have a shot at the top of the mountain when you get there? Go for it!
4. Wear light colored loose fitted clothing. Leave the black clothing at home! San Diego is hot and you will more than likely over heat and de-hydratemore quickly. You may think you look sexy but to the rest of us you look like a liability.
5. Bring ample amounts of water. 3 liters at the very least. I prefer a Camelbak or other hydration bladder, the hose is next to your face and it makes water more accessible thus cause you to drink more water. regardless of 1 mile or 10, 3 liters is the least you should have on you. “But it’s so heavy.” The beautiful thing is, the more you drink, the lighter your pack becomes, the more hydrated you will be.
6. Recon. Read the weather conditions for the next day, the lows, the highs, rain, etc. Also, study the terrain, the trail, land marks, the milage, and level of difficulty. You can look for write ups in blogs like Modern Hiker or the San Diego hikers bible “Afoot & Afield” by Jerry Schad which is currently being updated by Scott Turner.
7. Take some outdoor education classes, I know a good school off the top of my head! 🙂
8. Pack your gear properly, if something should happen, and sometimes does to even the best of us, make sure that the gear you have will help your survival. Below is a packing list that I recommend all San Diego hikers have in their packs. You will need elements of Fire, Water, Food, and Shelter. You will also need some tools, and other gear to help out. Over the years I have had many things in my pack, but I have narrowed it down to these basic things. Your pack will weigh no more than 10 lbs before water and 15-17 after water is added.
Day Pack/Overnight Pack Camel Back 3 Liters of Water**
Knife fixed and or folding (I have Both) Emergency Blanket (I like SOL)
Multi Tool Note Book (Rite in the Rain, mechanical pencil)
Plastic Poncho or Garbage Bag Farro Rod or Fire steel (Fire)
Bandanna or shemagh Head Lamp
1st Aid Kit Survival Kit (SOL is Decent)
Hat and/or beanie if you choose Whistle (signal)
Sawyer Water Filter 550 Cord (I like Spool Tool)
Sunglasses Hiking Gloves (I like Mechanix)
Hiking Poles if you choose Map/Suunto M9 Compass/ Garmin Etrex 30 Gps
Motrin and Chapstick (Trust me) Collapsable canteen (Nalgene is pretty good)
Warm/Cool clothing (Desert temps fluctuate 30˚ – 80˚ in a single day)
For any additional information feel free to email me Brady.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers and Happy Hiking