National Take A Hike Day

Today, Nov. 17 is National Take a Hike Day so get out there and climb some mountains or take a walk on a trail. With over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take a hike. Events are scheduled on National Take A Hike Day around the country to celebrate! But you can just spend the day exploring hiking trails in and around your town.

Considered to be a good way to exercise, hiking can have all the benefits associated with walking in nature - it can reduce stress, increase heart activity and reduce blood pressure. Whether you're going on a day hike or camping overnight, make sure you have the essential items before hitting the trail this National Take a Hike Day.

Here are ten essential items to bring with you before hitting the trails. With these survival items you will be able to handle most situations. 

1. Warm Clothing - It's a good idea to bring along a warm hat, gloves and an insulated jacket if you are hiking after the sun sets. The amount of extra clothing you bring with you will depend on where and when you'll be hiking.

2. Extra Food & Water - You never know when you may be delayed by bad weather, by getting lost or having emergencies, so bring enough food and water to last you a day.

3. Compass & Map - Carry a map and compass with you even if you know the area you will be hiking. A detailed map will provide you information like landmarks, trail contours, national parks and nearby amenities.

4. Sun Protection - Bring a hat, lip balm and some form of sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Sunglasses are also necessary to protect your eyes, particularly in winter or on the water.

5. First-Aid - The simplest thing that you can do is purchase a small first-aid kit that has all the essential items you require inside - and always keep it with you when hiking.

6. Lights - You should have enough light that you can use during your hike after dark. A headlamp should always be part of your essential items list, as well as spare batteries.

7. Matches or a Firestarter - A great tool to bring with is a firestarter. Small and light wieght, but you should practice at home before hitting the trail.

8. Multi-Tool and Repair Kit - Another must have is a Swiss-Army knife or a multi tool. This single piece of gear has multiple uses for your needs.

9. Whistle - A plastic whistle is lightweight and incredibly shrill, and is the perfect tool for getting someone's attention. Find a plastic whistle that is pea-less -- as the pea inside metal whistles may freeze up if you are in the mountains.

10. Emergency Blanket - An emergency blanket is very useful if you get cold or wet or if you need to camp out.