After Adventure Bundle

We put the last thing first for a reason. It's easy to forget. While we love a good adventure, we also love coming back to the modern world. Here’s what we bring for the after party.

  • Shoes: Even if you wear your hiking boots regularly, it’s nice to have another pair of shoes after a long hike. The change gives your feet a break.
  • Socks: Fresh socks are almost as refreshing as a shower after a hike. Almost.
  • Clothes: If you plan to stop at all on your way home, the public will appreciate this.
  • Cell Phone: Once you are back in civilization you can use this to tell your Check-In person you are safe and sound!
  • Cash & Cards: Since we already hauling so much gear, we pair down the wallets for adventures. We also make sure to add extra cash. In some rural communities it’s still easier to use than cards.

Clothing & Boots

  • Boots: Footwear choice is essential to a good adventure.  Even if you have a trusted brand, wear them around home a few times before heading out on the trail. 
  • Socks: Wear a cushy variety to help protect against blisters. Bring a back-up pair in case your feet get wet. 
  • Pants: We prefer lightweight, water resistant pants that you can buy at an outdoor gear store.  Some people like zip-offs, but we’ve found that on most of our adventures, leg protection wins.
  • Top: It’s really smart to think in layers here. That way you will be prepared for lots of weather and exertion scenarios. We like to start with a moisture-wicking t-shirt, then add a long sleeve shirt or warm-up jacket, sweater, and top it off with an outer coat. 
  • Hat and Gloves: Layers provide lots of options. We’ve found at times hiking in short sleeves while wearing mittens is the most comfortable. Maybe that’s just us, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.   
  • Rain Gear: Even if it’s a sunny day, it’s smart to keep rain gear stocked in your pack. We prefer a lightweight coat, pants, and a backpack cover. Weather can change fast and it provides another layer if you get stuck out overnight it.

Food & Water

  • Water bottles: We prefer the type that has a flip-up straw. In the warmer months, we like to pack our bottles with ice in the morning so the first round of water stays cold.
  • Water filter: Never ever drink water directly out of a river or other body of water. You can never know what’s upstream, or what microscopic pathogens are present.  A simple to use water filter pump system will make sure you don’t take home any unwanted souvenirs. 
  • Trail food: Adventuring requires energy. Food is how we get it. We prefer pre-made wraps, crackers, string cheese, granola bars, fruit, and nuts.  There's a lot food branded for hiking, but we like to keep things simple. We bring our food in plastic baggies that can serve as garbage bags. 

Navigation Items

  • Map & Compass: Carry these items and know how to use them.  Not only will it help you if you get lost, it’s a great way to better understand the landscape around you.
  • Awareness: While paying attention is something you should be doing at all times, it’s essential for adventure navigation.  If you are fully aware of where you are going, even off-trail, it will be much easier to get back. And much less likely you will get lost.

Emergency Supplies

  • First aid kit: We started with a pre-made kit and added moleskin, chapstick and blister ointment.
  • Emergency blankets: Even in summer it can get bitterly cold at night on a mountain.
  • Headlamp: Even if you are not lost, hiking down a trail at night can be very dangerous without a light
  • Sunscreen: Even if it’s not sunny, or you applied before you left, bring it. Having a burn can lead to other complications while hiking.
  • Sunglasses: These are good for summer days and to prevent snow blindness in winter.
  • Bandana: They can be used for everything from wrapping a splint to wiping sweat.
  • Matches and lighter: If you get caught out at night, you will be so thankful you have more than one way to make fire.
  • Candles and tinder: We like carrying tealight candles because matches and lighters last for such a short time. For tinder we carry shredded bark in a waterproof baggie and also some off-the-shelf twists. Together the candles and tinder make it easier to get a fire going.   
  • Extra water or purification tablets: You are going to get dehydrated long before you starve.  While you should already be carrying a water filter, it’s good to have backup.
  • Extra food: If it takes Search and Rescue a day or two to find you, there is no need to go hungry. Make sure you like the taste of the food you carry for emergencies.
  • Medication: Even if you only plan to be gone for a few hours, carry medications you need to take on a daily basis, or for emergencies. One of us is diabetic, and the last thing we would want is a complication to that condition if we were lost in the woods.

Specialty Items

  • Cell phone: Trust us, your cell phone is not going to work on these adventures! That is unless you are just bringing it for the camera only. We made the rookie move of relying on cell phones for navigation on our fist two adventures. Learn from our mistake.
  • Rubberized gloves: The cotton work gloves with rubberized grips that you can buy at a hardware store are perfect for rock scrambling and rope climbing.  They are also a good back-up if your regular gloves get wet.
  • Camera: Documenting your adventure is fun, and it provides a way to share your story with others.
  • GPS Unit: GPS units are fun for collecting data or finding geocaches, but don’t rely on them as your primary source of navigation.  Anything digital can die unexpectedly.

Spelunking or Mine Explorations

Mine Safety: If you plan on going inside a mine – and we are not suggesting you do – then you will need additional protection.

  • Hardhat with chinstrap: Mines often have low ceilings and sometimes loose rock. A hardhat protects you from both. The chinstrap keeps it in place if you fall.
  • Headlamp: Placing a strong headlamp on your hardhat makes it easy to see where you are going and keeps your hands free.
  • Flashlights: The rule of thumb is having at least 2 backup lights for your main light.
  • Batteries: Have enough batteries to supply all of your lights. If you lose light deep inside a complicated system of mine shafts, your chances of getting back out are very slim.
  • Rubber Boots: Many mines have water on the floor. Swapping hiking boots for rubber boots keeps your feet dry for the return trip.
  • Waders: For mines with deeper water, waders are more comfortable.
  • Walking stick or pole: A long stick is used to test the water depth or dependability of the floor ahead of you.
  • Folding Shovel: It’s unlikely you could get yourself out of a cave-in, but a folding shovel could help.

Pack & Poles

  • Pack: Finding the right pack is just as important as finding the right boots.  We’ve tried many, and currently we like simpler designs with a couple big compartments in the body.  On the outside we like water bottle pockets and straps for lashing on a tripod. Chest and hip straps can also be helpful for distributing weight.
  • Poles: We’ll admit, we used to make fun of day hikers with trekking poles. Now we each keep one in our packs.  Kept short, they are fantastic for steep ascents. Made long, they are lifesavers for tricky descents.

Overnight Backpacking

We love backpacking and overnight camping, but so far we have not attempted any adventures of this kind for Exploring History in Your Hiking Boots.  If we do any overnight adventures of this kind, you can be sure we will fill you in right here.