The essentials of hiking and the importance of carrying a Wearable Drinking Water Source
Updated: Apr 16, 2018
You don't have to be a hard-core survival person to go off tramping through the wild, however an individual walking in isolation through nature must always be aware of the things that could happen.
Walking through nature should not be called dangerous by any means, but if you are a city dweller like me who only walks or jogs through a park on Sunday afternoon it might be good to do some research and prepare a backpack with some useful things for the road ahead. Packing your backpack should always aim for what is called, ‘secure’ hiking. But it is, of course, also a matter of not over-packing. All separate things might be light on their own, put together they quickly become a heavy weight to carry around.
So, what is hiking? Let us begin with explaining how it differs from walking, trekking or even mountaineering.
Hiking is the preferred term, in Canada and the United States, for a long, vigorous walk, usually on trails (footpaths), in the countryside, while the word walking is commonly used for shorter, particularly urban walks. Hiking usually does not take longer than one day but when something unexpected happens, and you end up longer in the open than planned you would need certain essential things to survive. On top of that there is also a trend of making hikes through nature all on your own: solo hiking. This is especially appealing if you want to get away from the daily stress of busy city life. However, the solo hiking activity becomes exponentially more challenging and risky because there is no-one around to help.
If you get lost somehow and you end up spending the night in the mountains, you may be able to find a stream or lake to drink water from but then again you may not, and you could actually end up dying from hypothermia.
Trekking is like hiking but longer, from two to three days onwards. It is cautious to bring water on a hike, but for trekking to find or possess a drinking water source is life important.
Mountaineering is even more challenging than hiking or trekking because you will be walking for multiple days in a row through extreme conditions. These trips require a lot of physical and technical training and you need to carry much more equipment than with hiking or trekking.
There are many articles and blogposts on the internet that list the essentials of hiking. This is the bare minimum equipment that you have to take with you on a hike to make it secure and not life threatening. So, in case something unforeseen happens you are always covered.
Below an overview of the essential equipment to bring on a hike from the American hiking society.
Appropriate footwear. For a short-day hike that doesn’t involve a heavy pack or technical terrain, trail shoes are great. For longer hikes, carrying heavier loads, or more technical terrain, hiking boots offer more support.
Map and compass/GPS. A map and compass not only tell you where you are and how far you have to go, it can help you find campsites, water, and an emergency exit route in case of an accident. While GPS units or smart devices are very useful, always carry a map and compass as a backup because batteries eventually run out of power.
Extra water and a way to purify it. Without enough water, your body’s muscles and organs simply can’t perform as well. Consuming too little water will not only make you thirsty, but susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness.
Extra food. Any number of things could keep you out longer than expected: getting lost, enjoying time by a stream, an injury, or difficult terrain. Extra food will help keep up energy and morale.
Rain gear and extra clothing. Because the weatherman is not always right. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat.
Safety items: fire, light, and a whistle. The warmth of a fire and a hot drink can help prevent hypothermia. Fires are also a great way to signal for help if you get lost. If lost, you’ll also want the whistle as it is more effective than using your voice to call for help. And just in case you’re out later than planned, a flashlight/headlamp is a must-have item to see your map and where you’re walking.
First aid kit. Prepackaged first-aid kits for hikers are available at any outfitter.
Knife or multi-purpose tool. These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, fix broken eyeglasses, and perform a whole host of repairs on malfunctioning gear.
Sun screen and sun glasses. Especially above tree line when there is a skin-scorching combination of sun and snow, you’ll need sunglasses to prevent snow blindness and sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
Daypack/backpack. You’ll want something you can carry comfortably and has the features designed to keep you hiking smartly. Don’t forget the rain cover; some packs come with one built-in. Keep all the essentials in the pack and you’ll always be ready to hit the trail safely.
If you are unprepared and/or have some serious bad luck, hiking may cause threats to your personal safety. This could be caused by the hazardous terrain, extreme weather changes, losing your way, or exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions. Diarrhea, for example, is one of the most common illnesses afflicting long-distance hikers in the United States. Hence, one of the most essential things to take on a trip is water. We need water when we exercise so we don’t dehydrate.
If there are lakes or rivers on your path, you could use water filtering systems. There are plenty compact solutions on the market.
The only problem with water filters is, well... you need water.
If you are crossing an arid region where there are no water sources, you would need to carry all your water in water bottles or hydration bags or bladders.
While hydration bladders are designed to be stored in your pack and feature a plastic hose that allows drinking without slowing your pace, they are prone to leaking and freezing, are notoriously hard to keep clean, and often lead climbers to carry more water than they need to. Daily personal water consumption varies greatly. For most people, 1.5 to 3 liters of water per day is enough; in hot weather or at high altitudes, 4 liters may not be enough. Plan for enough water to accommodate additional requirements due to heat, cold, altitude, exertion, or emergency.
To be safe from the threat of outdoor hazards and to make sure you have always access to clean drinking water - and to use clean technology that does not pollute the beautiful nature you are trespassing - Fountair brings you the Survival Backpack.
The Fountair Survival Backpack is a lightweight backpack that carries a small sustainable energy source, making only use of wind and light, and an Autonomous Water Condensing Device (AWCD). This turns the otherwise normal backpack into an Autonomous and Sustainable Drinking Water Source that could save your life.
Fountair has improved the atmospheric water generation process, where an AWDC harvests the ambient air that is firstly filtered. The clean air is then sent to the water precipitation unit which results in pure water. This collected water is then treated to warranty that it is 100% potable and ready for distribution/consumption.
On another note, the more modern-day hiker might want to go hiking with his or her inseparable smartphone. This could be to make snapshots of jaw dropping valleys, to use popular hiking or location-based GPS apps like MapMyHike or TrailTracker to find your way or even just to have a phone at hand in case something really bad happens. Fountair offers, apart from its clean drinking water source, also an external power plug that could be used to charge the batteries of such smart devices.
In other words, with the Survival Backpack, Fountair offers a tightly packed multi-purpose life securing survival kit for any destination.