Planning a trip to a national park? If it’s your first time visiting one, it can be difficult to know what you need to bring and what would be a waste of valuable space. Spending time in the wilderness gets you away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world, and while it is relaxing it can also leave you a little worried about having access to what you need.
You may find yourself miles from any stores or even other people, but as long as you follow this checklist and pack according to your needs, you should be prepared to leave civilization behind, for an afternoon or so.
Bring Something to Drink
Staying hydrated during any form of exercise is always important, but especially when you are going to a national park. It is always better to have too much water than not enough because being dehydrated can not only ruin your time, it can also be dangerous.
Depending on which park you visit, there is often a lot of walking involved, and sometimes you won’t come across a place to purchase water for a very long time. Some parks have places to refill your water bottle but check the specific one you are going to before opting to pack less water.
Choose The Right Shoes and Socks
When traveling on foot through the wilderness, having proper shoes and socks is one of the most important things to do before you leave. If you plan to be hiking for a long time, you don’t want your feet to become painful, so shoes that fit well and comfortable socks are always your best option.
Even if you are driving to each major location within a park, getting out to view it can force you to walk on uneven terrain. Having shoes that offer good support and traction will keep you safe so you can have the most fun.
Bring First Aid Supplies
Even a small first aid kit with bandaids, topical ointment, and wound cleaner could come in handy if you are injured or bitten by something. When you are out exploring a national park, you are usually walking everywhere, and there is not much around besides the great outdoors.
So if you hurt yourself, you need something to remedy it while you’re out there because it would take too long to head back and find a store, not to mention cut short or ruin your trip.
Have Some Snacks
Exploring a national park uses a lot of energy, so just like you need to make sure you have water, you should also bring snacks to help fuel your body. Even if you are taking a small hike or just looking around, you may not have access to a grocery store or restaurant right when you need it.
No one needs a hunger headache to put a damper on everything, so make sure you bring snacks with protein and carbohydrates to keep your body at its best.
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach goer operating out of Southern New Jersey. She writes for an independent senior living facility.