6 Things to Take on a Hike

There are so many articles on in the internet on packing lists and what to take with you when you head for Kilimanjaro or Everest Base camp or any hike for that matter so why write yet another blog post on it? Simply this, ours is the list of just six things NOT TO FORGET to take! Those little items that often don’t appear on many lists that can be a great help on your trek.

1. Cable Ties

You would be amazed how handy these little bits of engineering can be. Apart from ensuring duffel bags remain unzipped and safe in flight (or on trek if that concerns you), they can be used for a myriad of other things. They can be used to tightly seal bags that contain smelly socks, used tissue or toilet paper etc.

If your zipper puller snaps on trek for some reason, feeding the cable ties into the remaining part of the zipper slider will give you something to use to pull the zip up and down, especially when you are wearing gloves. The same applies to any zip for that matter, even tent zippers.

2) Mini Carabiners

These mini versions of the large climbing carabiners have found their way into many homes across the globe as they are so useful. Take several with you attached to your backpack. They can be used to clip on a drying towel, a mini solar charger, a camera, your hat, jackets, spare gloves – anything that you want close at hand without having to dig in the bag.

The amazing combination of the cable ties and carabiner can come into play if any of the straps of your backpack break.

3) A candle

No this is not for a romantic candle lit diner yet amazingly it can add a surprising amount of warmth if needed in a tent. There are several reasons for the candle

The main one is that it helps with any sticky tent, sleeping bag or jacket zippers. Rub the wax on both sides of the teeth, and then zip up and down until the zip glides smoothly.

Another one is for fraying boot laces where the end (the aglet) has split or fallen off. Simply dip the end of the laces into some melted wax and let them dry. Not only will it stop the laces from splitting but it will also make them easier to thread.

Candle wax is also very handy if you find that water is getting into your hiking boot. Simply rub the affected area with wax.

4) Nail brush

A tiny nail brush can be a forever friend on a dusty or muddy trail. Any mountain at high altitude is often dry and a handy nail brush will help get the grit out from under your nails.

5) Wet Wipes

Number five on our list is probably the most popular one amongst our clients. Sani- wipes, baby wipes, face wipes or wet wipes – whatever the name they are incredible for cleaning hands, wiping down a hot and sweaty face, cleaning off a surface, taking finger prints off a camera lens, wiping down a bathroom door (assuming you have the luxury of the bathroom), in fact anything that needs cleaning without the luxury of soap and water. Just remember to pack up your used wipes and take them home as they are not biodegradable.

6) Toilet Paper

While you may laugh at the mention of this item and think to yourself that is the one thing you would never go without – you would be amazed at how many people do. Apart from its given uses, it is great for runny noses and drying off liquid spills. Regardless, be a responsible hiker and if you use it on the mountain, bag it and bring it down.

By Debra Bouwer

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