My day hiking gear is always evolving, as, I think, it should be. I find that regularly asking myself what’s needed for a safe, fun adventure out in the woods—whether spring or fall, solo or with a companion, on a familiar trail or somewhere completely new, for two miles or for ten—has two benefits beyond simply being a fun, ongoing challenge.
The first is this: it keeps me in the present—alert, aware of my surroundings, and appreciating all that the woods have to offer. The second is that it ensures I know not only what I have with me, but also where it is and how to use it. For a visual depiction of how my day hiking gear has changed over the past seven months, see here and here. I anticipate it changing again soon, though on a smaller scale, as I’m quite happy with the lightweight and versatile set-up I currently have.
I’m a college English teacher and a creative writing workshop leader by trade. I often tell my students that the best, most effective, most downright moving writers are those who allow self-reflection to guide them in their work. Perhaps the same can be said of hikers.
Submitted by Erin. Thank you.