When you pack your backpack for a day in the mountain, you don’t think about what could go wrong, but you have to, because you could save your own life. Whether you are an expert or just starting out in hiking, it is very important to be clear about what equipment you need to put in your backpack, because in certain situations, having certain materials at your disposal could help you, for example, if you get lost. Therefore, you should prepare for your worst day, not your best day.
On any hiking, even if you are experienced or the route/sport is easy, it is very important to take certain measures into account. Carrying the basic equipment can help you in certain emergency situations. Here are 10 must-haves that we consider essential and that you should include in your backpack.
Humans can survive without water for 3 to 5 days, but if you get lost, it is better to carry water or a water purification system with you, as you don’t know how many days you might be in the mountains or how long the rescue team might be able to find you.
Our bodies need energy to function, so it is important to carry something to give us that energy. A good example is to carry at least a couple of energy or protein bars, as these take up little space and have a high energy intake.
Yes, as you read it, it may not be an item of clothing that is given much importance, but wearing at least a change of socks can help you in certain situations. For example, if your feet get wet during a climb or if you get snow on your feet, you can avoid hypothermia or losing a toe in certain situations. The same goes for gloves if you go to the mountains in winter.
First aid kit
Carrying a mini first aid kit with you can help you avoid getting infected or help you cope with certain injuries. Bandages, medicines that can combat fever, etc.
Thermal blanket/ towel
A thermal blanket is essential to save you from hypothermia, even if your outing is only going to last a couple of hours and the cold night temperatures aren’t supposed to catch you, you never know what might happen.
Imagine going out on a spring day in the morning, wearing only light sportswear. If there is any unforeseen event that, for example, makes you unable to walk, you’ll have to wait for the emergency services and that’s where the thermal blanket can help you, maintaining your body heat.
It is a very versatile tool that takes up very little space and will help us in various situations.
If your usual backpack doesn´t have a whistle, you should carry one, as it is useful when, for example, the fog descends and visibility is low, helping you to locate yourself through the sound of the whistle.
On a mountain hike, unforeseen events can cause you to extend your route until it gets dark. For this reason, it is important that you add a head torch or any torch to your backpack, as it is another device that takes up very little space and will help you to be more visible.
Map and compass
To get your bearings and avoid getting lost, it’s best to have a map with your route and a compass to help you.
Nowadays, almost everyone carries their mobile phone with them at all times without realising it, but if you are one of those who leave your phone at home to disconnect, we recommend that you take it with you. The mobile phone is very useful in emergency situations, as, in the event of injury or disorientation, you will be able to make calls and call for help.
For this reason, we recommend that you carry it with you on all your mountain outings, charged with battery, so that in case you get lost you can call for help. You will also make it a little easier for the SAR teams that come to your aid, because if they have our location device, Lifeseeker, they will be able to locate you through your mobile device, considerably reducing the time of the search and rescue mission.
It should be noted that in addition to preparing the backpack, other preparations should be taken into account, such as thinking about the type of route we will be taking, checking the weather forecast, the route, the risk of avalanches, etc.
Every time we embark on a mountain adventure, we must remember that preparation is the key to dealing with any eventuality. Carrying the right equipment is not only a safety measure, but also an act of responsibility towards oneself and towards those who might be involved in a rescue operation. In a natural environment as unpredictable as the mountains, anticipating potential challenges can make the difference between a memorable experience and an emergency scenario. So whether you’re enjoying an easy hike or exploring more challenging terrain, always remember to prepare for your worst day, because the mountain, for all its majesty, also teaches us about the importance of humility and foresight in every step we take.