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How To Plan A Safe Day Hike
Is there anything better than going on a nice long hike with friends while smoking up?
It’s easy, basically free, and nature really is the best place to smoke. Most people, however, fail to plan accordingly, which can lead to a bad day, or at worst an emergency. I grew up hunting in the woods with my father since I was 7, he is former military so he always made sure I learned these things. Following these tips can help keep a nice day nice, and if there is an emergency, you will be prepared.
First, consider where you are going. Will you be following a trail, or blazing (double meaning) into unbroken woods? Get a map if possible and study it a bit, even though you will be bringing the map. Become a little familiar with the terrain. You don’t want to be halfway through your hike and find something UN-passable. If possible get a topographic map and lensatic compass and learn how to use them. It is quite simple once learned and can possibly save your life. On this note as well, ALWAYS tell at least one other person where you are going. Make sure to let them know you will get a hold of them when you are back, and if you haven’t by a certain time to call the authorities.
Second, with any gear that you may need to use in any event, practice with them. Start some fires with a flint and steel. Practice making snares for rabbits and building a lean-to with extra cord you would have packed. There are plenty of books and free guides online for these things. All the gadgets and equipment in the world doesn’t help if you have never used it. Be familiar with your equipment that may need to be used in an emergency. Pack your fun stuff of course (weed, bowl, some soda maybe chips and such), but never forget how important it may be to be prepared with survival necessarily. I never go for a hike without my own put together survival kit.
Here we will discuss clothing, than what all needs to go into a day-kit. Clothing is often overlooked, but dressing well is essential. Good boots are a must, as is good fitting, breathable clothing. Also consider most places experience a 10-15 degree temperature drop when the sun goes down. Pants instead of shorts are typically recommended, in case something would happen and you are still out. A small lightweight hoodie is never a bad idea to pack, as well as an extra pair of socks. Even if you don’t get water in your boots, your feet will sweat a lot. Once that temperature drops a new pair of socks would be very useful.
My typical day pack will include the following:
• Flashlight/extra batteries
• Extra hoodie/socks
• Extra water
• Lightweight portable food (trail mix, crackers etc.)
• Goodie bag with my smoke and pipe
• GPS (if you own one)
• Old grocery bags (light and easy containers)
• Toilet paper (can never have enough)
• Baby wipes
• First aid kit (another to learn to use beforehand)
• Survival kit (details below)
• A good knife.
• A good survival kit is comprised of the following categories: fire, shelter, signaling, water, and food.
• I usually carry three methods: waterproof matches in a waterproof container, a flint and steel, and a nice butane torch lighter.
• Char-cloth: cloth that has been turned to char to pick up a spark easily, I will try to make some soon and post how to do that, the stuff is very useful
• Space blanket, it can be used just on yourself or as part of a lean-to
• Para-cord. Any good amount of twine/string/cord will do but para-cord is best as it can be used as is for strength or broken into many individual strings
• Multi-tool: this can fit into any category so I’m including it in shelter, cutting rope, sawing small branches etc.
• Wire hand saw: these make quick work of larger branches and saplings to put up a shelter quickly
• Signal mirror: mirror with a hole in middle to aim where you want reflection seen
• Flare gun (not entirely necessary but doesn’t hurt to have)
• Iodine tablets are a must, it makes the water taste horrid but as long as it has been filtered (through an empty sock for example) it will be safe
• A tiny fold-able pot is recommended for boiling water
• Filtration straw, if possible
• Small hot drink kit (tea, sugar, dry creamer)
• Wire for snares
• Mini fishing kit: line, hooks, sinkers, a lure or 2 and maybe some small plastic bait
• Following these guidelines should help you have a safe trip in the woods. Learning the area along with picking up a few basic skills will give you the extra confidence in the woods to focus on having a good time, knowing if anything were to happen you are prepared. And having a well stocked kit will ensure there is nothing you regret leaving at home. Have a great and safe time smoking it up on a hike my fellow stoners!