Hiking and Traveling Survival Guide


Nearly every item here has saved my life at one time or another in my travels and I would recommend that you implement the items you may need. This is just the minimum but may be a good start. Suggestions? mike@bakemed.com

Disclaimer: You may need additional items to survive or avoid severe injury in your travels and no attempt has been made for this list to be inclusive. These items are not deemed suitable for any particular purpose and you are at your own risk using them. You should see your medical doctor prior to any hiking trip to make sure you are healthy enough for that level of exertion.

Fitness
I would recommend working out twice a week, at the gym, aerobics class or whatever you prefer. Planet Fitness is only $10/mo and has no contract.

Auto
The weak spots in a car are the battery and tires. Use the best tires available for your car - steel-belted, all-weather tires. I use Bridgestone.

  • Smart Phone & good cellular service. iPhone and Verizon are a powerful combination. You can get an iPhone on the Verizon installment plan.
  • AAA - towing & emergency auto service. $50/year. AAA also offers travel & auto registration services.
  • Battery jumper cables. https://amzn.to/2KK9QFD. Don’t get cheap cables because they won’t be able to transfer enough current. I like the Amazonbasics Jumper Cable - 2 gauge for $27.78.
  • Fix-A-Flat. This can contains a liquid plastic that can inflate and fix nearly any flat tire. This is great when you get stuck in the middle of nowhere without cellular service. https://amzn.to/2zbIzat for $7.87.
  • Battery jumpstart battery. https://amzn.to/2KEBn8h. Will jumpstart your battery. The Beatit BT-D11 800A Peak 18000mAh 12V Portable Car Jump Starter looks pretty good for $69.99.
  • Know how to change a tire. Watch the process on youtube.com and make sure you have the parts in your trunk.

Trail Safety
  • Stay on the trail. Don’t go off-trail unless you are an expert hiker and have strong experience with GPS units and a satellite phone.
  • Bring enough water. If you have used just over half your water, its time to turn around.
  • Know the exact time you started the trail and the exact time of sunset. The halfway point in your hike must occur early enough in the day so that you can reach the car before full-dark. I would not recommend an after-dark hike for a solo or inexperienced hiker.
  • Bring snacks on the trail. For longer hikes, you need some carbs mid-way. I usually bring a small bag of nuts & raisons.
  • Hiking poles. If you have never tried hiking poles, they are much better than a hiking stick and will make all the difference in a hike. I have used them on sand, snow, ice and rivers. I like these BAFX Hiking Poles. https://amzn.to/2tTaiHV for $21.99.

Foot Gear
  • I use tennis shoes for short hikes. For longer hikes, I like Merrell and New Balance hiking shoes or mid-tops. There are lots of good Merrell shoes. https://amzn.to/2lVdv5z.
  • Orthotics support. https://amzn.to/2u625j5. These offer more support for difficult trails. I always get these for new hiking shoes.

Weather
Know the weather at your target location - for highs/lows and storms rain/snow. This can be difficult to find out exactly. I use wunderground.com. You will need extra water when it is hot or may need to bring hiking boots for snow. If you are on a peak, you must turn around if you see storm clouds or risk a lightning strike.

Internet Forums
There is a great-deal of information about every hiking location. Just google it. You can find up to the minute information or just read about other’s experiences at these places.

Emergency Supplies
  • Tiny flashlights. I like OLIGHT. They use 1 AAA battery and are nearly weightless. I have a bunch of these in my house, car and day-pack. https://amzn.to/2tJQ4QW for $9.99.
  • Keep long-term food & water in your car. I have a couple of small bottles of water and a few “health” bars in case I am stranded overnight.

Satellite Phone
The Garmin Inreach Explorer will enable you to get emergency help from locations without cellular reception. Emergencies can happen in any age group and someone may need Search and Rescue and an ambulance. An expert hiker specifically recommended the Garmin Inreach Explorer: https://tinyurl.com/y6whdy9t for $449.99 plus a yearly “minutes” fee. I have On-Star satellite service in my car which is better than nothing.

Stay Awake
Will-power is not enough for long drives. Make sure you bring your favorite beverage of choice or pull-over when you are sleepy. I use coffee and some people recommend 5 Hour energy.