Ask The Swag Gal – July 20, 2011

Today’s question comes from a Swaggernaut who is preparing for a hike in the mountains:

“I’m going to be doing some day hikes in the mountains but I don’t want to take too much.  Other than drinking water for hot days, what should I carry with me?”

Hiking is a lot of fun – the views are amazing and you get a great workout.  It is very important, however, to make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions and are fully equipped for any bumps along the way.

Let’s start with the obvious.  Do not start a hike without at least 2 quarts of water.  Without water your whole body will begin to suffer – especially in the hot Summer heat.  Keep yourself hydrated by drinking early and often.  Even if you’re not feeling thirsty you should take a sip of water to eliminate the possibility of dehydration.

Make sure you take a few Power bars, or the like, with you to insure that you have enough energy to take on the mountains.  If you’re feeling weak at any point on your hike, stop for a few minutes for a rest and a bite to eat.

You should always carry your cell phone with you in case of any emergencies.  All of the smart phones that are out right now are convenient for hiking trips, because they’ll help you keep track of the time and point you in the right direction with its provided GPS system.  If your cell phone doesn’t come with a GPS software, you’ll want to bring a compass with you so that you won’t lose your way.

If you’re hiking during the day, make sure you lather yourself up with sunscreen before you go.  Bring a small bottle of sunscreen with you, as well, in case you need to reapply during the day.  Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes and help you block out the sun, and definitely wear a hat so your scalp doesn’t burn.

You’ll want to bring along a small first aid kit so that you’ll be prepared for any possible boo-boos.  Bring band-aids, antibiotic ointment, and Benadryl for bee stings and allergic reactions.

Lastly, take your camera along with you so that you can capture and document the amazing memories you will build throughout your hike.

Be careful and have fun!


P.S. – Send your questions to  If your question is picked, your answer will be featured in the blog and you’ll be hooked up with 150 Swag Bucks!