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Things to bring for year-round outdoor activities

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Hope Wilson

Psychology senior Hope Wilson walks down the South Oval with her backpack and water bottle Aug. 26.

Are you planning a trip that includes outdoor activities? Maybe you’re camping, hiking or something just as exciting. If so, here is a list of necessities for you to bring with you on your adventure.


1. Backpack

This is a good general must-have if you are doing any kind of outdoor activity. It is a good way to carry the rest of your necessities. For a simple day hike, I usually use a school backpack because it’s cost-efficient and easier for shorter hikes. You can find one of these at any store such as Wal-Mart, Target or — if you’re a student — in your dorm room.  

If you are looking to take longer hikes or maybe even do some backpacking, I recommend trying to find a backpack that is specifically made for these types of activities. Brands such as The North Face or Patagonia make some, or if you’re looking for one that isn’t as expensive, Amazon has plenty of options, as well.


2. Water Bottle

If you are a living, breathing human, water is a must, especially if you are out hiking or camping. Make sure to bring a good water bottle with you, and extra water to refill. Affordable bottles can be found at any general store, Amazon or if you want something a little bit more durable but more expensive,  Klean Kanteen is a good option.


3. Bug Spray

Being out in nature can be a very fun and exciting experience, but it also means being closer to insects such as ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes. Make sure to bring a full bottle of bug spray to use throughout your outdoor experience. 


4. Sunscreen

Along with protecting yourself from insects, you need to protect yourself from the sun. Coming home with a bad sunburn can be a miserable experience, so make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen.


5. Comfortable Clothing

When you are doing any kind of outdoor activity, being comfortable is very important. For hot weather, I would recommend wearing a simple short-sleeve T-shirt and shorts. These can be found at several local stores. For shorts, a good khaki or athletic material will work. If you are going in the winter months, wear a long-sleeve shirt or sweater, a jacket and jeans or leggings. For leggings, it would be preferable to have a thermal material to keep you extra warm.


6. Change of Clothes

For any activity you are doing, you’re bound to get dirty or wet. Make sure to bring an extra change of clothes so you can make your time out adventuring much more comfortable.


7. Hiking Boots

A good pair of hiking boots is definitely a must if you are doing any kind of hiking. It would also be preferable to have them broken in before you go to avoid any sores or blisters. You can find a good pair at your local sporting goods store such as Academy, online at The North Face or even Amazon for plenty of options.


8. Hat

If you’re going to be outdoors, you’re going to need a hat. A hat will provide protection from the sun and insects. In the summer, a baseball cap will do, and in the winter, a knitted hat will work to keep your head warm. 


9. First Aid Supplies

In case of any emergency or injury, you are going to need a first-aid kit. I would consider packing a travel-size kit like this one so it can easily fit in your backpack.


10. Map

Unfortunately Google Maps will not be able to work most of the time in a lot of outdoor places. In case you get lost, bring a map of the place you will be if something like this occurs.


11. Snacks

Snacks are a great way to keep up your energy through your outdoor activities. Good snacks to bring include things like trail mix, granola bars, fresh fruit or peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. This is just a short list of items that will keep you rejuvenated throughout your adventure.


12. Cooler

This isn’t a particular necessity but a recommendation. If you are traveling far or for a couple of hours, a cooler is a good option to keep food and drinks cold as you travel. You can keep water cold and fruit fresh until you reach your destination.

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