By: Brittany O’Neal, Interpretive Ranger at Monadnock State Park
Picture this, it is a nice sunny morning, there is a light breeze that cools the air and there is a symphony of birds calling you to take a hike in nature. You plan to go hike up the 3,170 foot Grand Monadnock at Monadnock State Park. You make it to the summit and rain starts to fall from the sky.
Oh No! You did not bring extra layers or rain protection and now you are cold and sopping wet! And you kept falling on your decent because the shoes you wore do not have enough traction for the wet rocky surface and now you have raspberries all over your legs! Thank goodness that you made it down safely.
Sorry that I had to share this scary story, but there are some nifty ways to plan and prepare for your hikes. With the influx of more and more outdoor enthusiast each year the excitement to explore nature outshines the safety element. Let’s go back to the very beginning; to the backpack.
Whether you are planning a day hike on Mount Monadnock, a seven day backpacking trip through the White Mountains or a quick stroll around Rhododendron State Park, there are a few items that are a MUST to put in your backpack for each and every hike you take. In the outdoor world we call these items The 10 Essentials.
The 10 Essentials
- Sun Protection (Sunscreen/ Hat)
- Layers (Extra Clothing- wool or synthetic, NOT cotton)
- Navigation (Map/Compass)
- Illumination (Headlamp/Flashlight)
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Nutrition (Extra Snacks)
- Hydration (Water!!)(2 Liters per person)
- Proper Hiking Boots/Shoes
- Insect Repellent
- Phone (In Case of Emergencies)
You never know what kind of situation you will find yourself in when hiking out in nature. It is imperative to have access to the items listed above in your back pocket in case of emergencies.
Congratulations! Now that you are an expert hiker you are ready for your journey to the summit of the Grand Monadnock! Or any endeavor that your soul decides to take. Come find SCA Interpretive Ranger Brittany and SCA Interpretive Ranger Julia on the trails of Monadnock State Park this summer to show them how you have prepared for your hike!