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Experts recommend '10 essentials' for hikers

Preparation is key when heading out on a hike, experts say.

Organizations like the Adirondack Mountain Club and the National Park Service endorse a list of "10 essentials," categories of items that hikers should take with them on every trip.

The very first thing anyone going out for a hike should do is tell someone about your plans and when you expect to return, said Paul M. Gannon, chair of the Adirondack Mountain Club's Niagara Frontier Chapter.

"Somebody should know where you're going," Gannon said.

Here are the 10 categories of "essentials" for hiking:

  • Navigation: This can be as simple as compass that shows north and a rough sketch of the general terrain.
  • Sun protection: A pair of sunglasses, some sunscreen and a hat.
  • Extra clothing: Rain gear, thermal underwear or gloves in case of changes in weather.
  • Illumination: A flashlight or a headlamp.
  • First-aid supplies
  • Something for a fire: Waterproof matches, lighter, candle.
  • A repair kit and tools, like a knife and duct tape
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Emergency shelter: a tent or emergency blanket

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