Depending on the duration of the hike, weather, and location our gear varies. For the most part, we have a few items that are mandatory to carry.
A dry bag. Any dry bag/waterproof bag is always a good idea. Some bags even though they aren’t waterproof, can be covered with a backpack waterproof cover. Many hikes on Oahu are usually in wet or rainy areas. A dry bag helps protect those most valuable items. This dry bag has backpack straps making it easy to navigate through brush.
For hydration purposes, we use a camel back. Usually one of us carries the water while the other carries the backpack full of our belongings. It allows hands-free movement which is far better than carrying a water bottle or hydro flask. This camel back contains 70-oz./2-liters worth of liquid, far more than enough for a days hike for two people. Always better safe than sorry, though!
Although, we don’t ALWAYS bring sunscreen and bug repellent, there have been countless times where we have needed it. More often than not, you’ll use these products and the best tip we can give is leave small bottles (as pictured) of both in your glove compartment of your vehicle. That way, you’ll always have it if you need it. Better to have it than not need it, than need it and not have it.
It doesn’t matter what type of phone, as long as you have one. A non “smart” phone is also good, as long as you can call someone if an unexpected emergency were to arise.
*tip: try not to use your phone as a flashlight/time teller during the long enduring hikes. You never know if and when you’ll use your phone for other important purposes.
For us, a camera is ALWAYS necessary for documentation purposes and of course, pictures for you to see on this blog!
The GoPro is always our “go-to” camera. It is waterproof (with the proper housing) and is used on every waterfall hike we experience. This is a necessity to me (Reid) for documentation. It’s lightweight, portable, and provides great quality photos and video.
Again, these items are all variant on what we are doing and where we are going (i.e. how long or tough a hike will be). Sometimes, we add towels into our dry bag and extra footwear for waterfall hikes, for example. Other times, we will bring an extra bottle of water and a flashlight for sunsets/sunrise hikes. Obviously, you also want to bring/wear the proper attire which should go without saying: hiking shoes, athletic clothes, clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and so forth.
The biggest advice we can lend is that it is always better to be safe than sorry in any circumstance when it comes to safety and gear. Being lightweight is also a huge advantage when hiking so if you can fit everything in one bag and use the smallest of accessories to accomplish the biggest of tasks then go for what’s best! It’s a great feeling to do things with your hands-free of any carried items.
We’ve been adventuring for years and our gear is always adapting to new circumstances along with the available technology out in the market. We upgrade when and where we see fit. Whatever helps us pack lighter, smarter, and adds a layer of safety then we are all for it, which is the end goal.
Disclaimer: Although important to us, gear can only bring a limited benefit in a safety aspect. It all comes down to your best judgment. Stay safe while out there!
Thanks for the read!
“Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.”
– Jeff Cooper