Hiker’s Essentials – What to bring on a hike

Watch this excellent video, review this list carefully, and bring the essential items with you on the first hike!

The Essentials
  • WATER.  If you take nothing else with you on a hike, take water.  Staying hydrated is absolutely essential, especially in the dry Arizona climate.  The amount of water needed will depend somewhat on how hard you intend to make your body work.  The average amount needed for a summer hike is at least 1 gallon per day; it is always better to have more water than you need, rather than not enough.  If you’re taking a longer hike, and you know that there will be water sources along the trail, you may want to carry a water purification system instead of a lot of heavy water.  This way you can filter & fill up along the way.
  • COMFORTABLE FOOT WEAR.  You don’t need fancy or expensive footwear to enjoy hiking.  You will be most comfortable wearing shoes with sturdy soles and good treads.  If you’ll be hiking through a rocky area, ankle support may also be in order.
  • TRAIL GUIDE/MAP.  Don’t assume you can’t get lost, although most of the trails that you’ll hike in the Sedona area are well marked.  Always know where you’re headed, and what to look for when you get there.  It’s also good to know about landmarks along the way to help you keep your bearings.
  • TRAIL SNACKS.  You’ll always want to carry something to munch on while out on the trail.  This will allow you to replenish your energy, and it’s always a good reason to stop and rest for a bit.
  • PACK.  You’ll need some sort of container to carry your water and other items you bring along.  You’ll have to decide what style of pack you prefer, such as a fanny pack or back pack.  It’s best to use something that will allow your hands to remain free, so tote bags or duffle bags are not recommended.
  • EMERGENCY KIT.  Each individual should bring rain wear, an extra layer of clothing, seasonal protection (hat, gloves, bug net or insect repellent as appropriate).  At least one person in the group should carry an emergency kit (in this case, your instructor will carry it).  More on what the emergency kit should include under the Trail Hazards & Safety:  Emergency Kit Contents heading.  If you take medications, bring a 24 hours supply.
  • SUN SCREEN.  Arizona’s sun can be intense. Protect yourself from harmful rays and sunburn.
  • TRAIL HEAD PARKING PERMIT.  If you don’t have one, we should have enough among our class members to share.  If you intend to purchase one, please be sure to bring it with you to the first class!  If you need to know where to buy one, visit http://www.redrockcountry.org/passes-and-permits/where-to-purchase.shtml or call the Sedona Ranger District office at (928) 203-7500 or (928) 203-2900.
Optional Gear
      • HAT (If your hair is thinning on top or if you’re bald, move this item up to the “Essentials” list)  You’ll find a hat keeps the sun out of your eyes, and wide brim provides a little shade for your shoulders, which is nice when hiking in exposed areas.
      • WALKING STICK OR TREKKING POLE – (If you have joint problems in your lower extremities, particularly your knees, move this item up to the “Essentials” list)  More on the benefits of hiking poles on the To Pole or Not to Pole page.
      • CAMERA
      • GPS
      • FIELD GUIDE for identifying plants, birds, animal tracks, or whatever you’re interested in

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