My husband Rex heads out of the house with just the clothes on his back (barely) and a smile. Perfect for a jaunt to The River, but when hiking in an arid climate “BE PREPARED” is the best policy. So I make sure that my fanny pack is stuffed with provisions for our frequent desert forays. Plus I pack Rex’s pack with the heavy bottles of water and our lunch and hand it to him as we get out of the car at our hiking destination. He always looks at me, smiles and says “What would I do without you”. My response, “Getty-up boy!”
A little planning ensures that you have what you need but you’re not burdened down with lots of extra weight. In addition to comfortable hiking shoes, appropriate clothing, a belt (for use as a sling or a tourniquet) and headgear for the season and weather, here’s my list.
This inventory should suffice for a hike of a couple of miles (up to 6) but it’s not appropriate for any day-long or overnight treks.
- 2 liters water – get Tarzan to carry the water in his backpack. You can put one bottle in your fanny pack.
- Snacks, lunch – we always take peanut and jelly sandwiches on multi-grain bread, Kashi bars and dates. Yes DATES! They grow here, are delicious and PACKED with get-up and go power.
- Sunscreen – smallest container of your favorite brand
- Chap Stick
- Binoculars – I take my tiny opera glasses that Grandmother gave to me.
- Change of socks
- Couple of band aids
- Compass – smallest one you can find
- Cell phone with a well charge battery
- Mini pack of Kleenex for bathroom breaks
- A wildlife brochure for identifying the flora and fauna – you can pick one up at The Living Desert, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Trading Post at Indian Canyons and any bookstore in the Valley.
I use walking sticks. Rex hates them. It takes a bit of practice to learn how to use them and how to adjust them when ascending and descending but it’s not brain surgery. Get a good pair and ask the sales person to give you a quick lesson. My sticks have built in lights, a tiny compass on the handles and are black and silver – accessories are my thing!