Wilderness hikes are among the most time-honored recreational activities known to humans. From Daniel Boone to Sir Edmund Hillary, the exploits of world explorers capture our imaginations and inspire us to take on our own adventures.
When a trip is in your future, it’s critically important to set aside the romantic notions of what’s ahead and be pragmatic about what you will be packing. It will take more than an alligator skin hat and an icepick, in spite of what reality TV shows may depict.
The items you pack should be carefully reviewed for certain qualities
Many products today seem to be field-ready for a hiking excursion, but not everything that can be used a certain way should be used that way. For example, in today’s GPS-driven world, many adventurers think they’ll utilize a cell phone to help with navigation. In many cases, that works out just fine. But cell phones aren’t designed for hardcore wilderness navigation, and in those environments, you may encounter conditions that render your cell phone worthless.
At the same time, make sure you do take your phone. It can be an important backup to other navigation gear, and it can help rescuers find you if there’s a problem. You may want to ditch your cute phone cover in favor of a Lander that will actually protect it.
That’s just one example of what you should not rely on in outdoor conditions. This goes for low-tech items like shoes as well. Many inexperienced hikers make the mistake of believing that their discount-store “hiking boots” are appropriate for a longer excursion because they worked out just fine on a two-mile trek through a well-groomed state park trail. When they get into more demanding terrain they quickly find that the aches, pains, and blisters are proving that the shoes are not cut out for more serious adventure.
So perhaps the best step as you select gear is to buy from a source that really specializes in the outdoors. You may pay more now, but you it will cost you less later on.
Map of Congo, Republic of the Photo Gallery