Being a hiker for many years and noticing this year, the deaths that have occurred because of lack of life saving gear has prompted me to speak up.
I realize there are many people jumping on the Ultra Lite band wagon lately. That being said, weight is a big factor when planning your next hike but you should not lack the necessary life saving gear. It adds abit of weight to your pack but isnt your life worth it.
Accidents can happen anywhere and when it happens in the wilderness its compounded 10 fold. Lack of cell service, help being miles and hours away are things that each and every hiker should think about before leaving.
We are out hiking most every weekend and I must say there are alot of people summer or winter, without packs on which tells me they are lacking in the most basic of survival gear. Here is a run down of what you will need for a typical day hike.
First Aid kit
Proper Foot Ware
No sneakers in winter
No cotton in winter
Extra food and water
Dress in layers
Fleace or wool
I carry a small folding saw
Map and compass and know how to use it.
Those basic items are not that heavy and you dont need to go out and buy the best of each item. These items will help SAVE YOUR LIFE. Even if your traveling on a marked trail on a nice warm sunny day anything can happen and safety begins with you. Better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. And a little weight on your back will enhance your hiking work out.
Remember, mother nature doesnt care if you live or die.
You owe it to yourself, your family and friends to be safe in the woods.