Yesterday in my Griffith Park hiking post I promised to tell you what I bring with me when I’m going hiking with the dogs. Some would say what I bring is overkill but I do not want to end up stranded out in the middle of nowhere without the necessary equipment to survive! Remember all those stories of folks getting lost while going for a casual hike? I don’t want to end up a headline!
Riggins and I have hiked up to Inspiration point above Echo Mountain in the Los Angeles forest only twice. It’s about a 10 1/2 mile loop that leads you up to the best views of LA you can ever imagine! The second time I went with a friend and I wasn’t thinking. We started off too late in the morning. It was late March but a hot day and Riggins did not do well. It was one of the worse experiences I’ve ever had. Coming down he was overheating (which is very easy for dogs to do and can be lethal fast) and showing obvious signs that the ground was too hot for his paws. I had run out of water and was a mess. An attempt at carrying him failed and I was ready to spend the entire day camped out in a small patch of shade to wait until sundown to finish the trail. We eventually got down and Riggins was okay but I swore I’d never ever put him (or me) in that position again.
If I’m headed out on a trail I am familiar with and will be gone less than an 1 1/2 hours I stick with my small pack. It’s a fanny pack I purchased at a sporting goods store years ago. It’s light, easy to get in and out of, and doesn’t bug me when hiking. It’s just big enough to hold two regular size SIGG water bottles, a collapsible dog bowl, nitroglycerin (I haven’t need this in years but I’m not getting stuck on a mountain without it.), cell phone, and keys. It’s a great small hiking pack.
If I don’t know the trial I will be on, I know I will be out longer than 1 1/2 hours, and/or I have more than one dog and it is a warm day I will take my hiking backpack. After the Inspiration Pt episode I invested in a GoLite woman’s pack (the one I have is no longer made but I like it a lot and would purchase equipment from this company again). Inside I have everything but the kitchen sink! My fully stocked pack includes:
- tick puller outer (ticks are gross and scare me to death)
- bear bell
- insect repellent
- nitroglycerin tablets (in waterproof container)
- bright orange cap (if hiking in the cold)
- 2 large SIGG water bottles
- LUNA bars
- collapsible dog bowl
- Medical Kit (it says “adventure medical kit” on it but really it just has medical stuff inside)
- Adventure Kit (fishing kit, whistle, survival blanket, signal mirror, etc.)
- cell phone
When hiking I don’t listen to music instead I keep my eyes and ears open for critters I want to avoid, like rattlesnakes. If I know I’m going to be gone through a meal (like lunch) I pack a pb&j sandwich for me, some bones for Riggins, trail mix or nut mix of some sort, and an apple to share. Someone told me it’s good to pack non-meat food (like a turkey sandwich) so you don’t smell like a snack to animals. Seemed smart so I stick with that.
Isn’t that pack heavy? — you ask. Kinda. Not really. It gets lighter as you drink the water and I’d much rather have it and not use it then need it and not have it! After all I’m hiking to work-out whats an extra pound or two strapped to my back????
If you go hiking stay safe. Remember the rules you learned as a scout. Carry out what you bring in, don’t screw up nature by trashing it or taking things (like flower) from her, and be prepared. Happy hiking!