Its always the little things that can be so important when needed, but often forgotten at home. These items can vary from trip to trip, but some items travel with me on every trip.
First Aid Kit
For this trip, I will take along the usual band-aids, antibiotic ointments, and pain relievers. I will also carry a few extra items in this kit for this trip.
1. Flagyl (Metronidazole Oral) – this antibiotic is specific for the treatment of Giardia. I don’t expect to get this bug, but Flagyl will be nice to have, just in case.
2. Dexamethasone – Dexamethasone is used in the treatment of high altitude cerebral edema as well as pulmonary edema.
3. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) – A very good, broad-spectrum antibiotic for bacterial infections.
Hopefully, I won’t have to use any of these medications, but it will be reassuring to know that I have them, just in case.
Foot Care Kit
This kit tends to get a lot of use during my hikes, more so as a preventative, but sometimes for the treatment of an occasional blister or hot spot.
1. One of the most recent additions to my kit has been the Engo Blister Prevention Patches. If you know where your hotspots are, then apply one of these to each of those areas in your shoes and they will eliminate any friction or rubbing. These are simply amazing!!
2. I always carry a couple of small sheets of Moleskin. Its hard to beat this for taking care of those areas of your feet that need a little extra cushion.
3. Folding Scissors – I use these a lot. They are great for cutting Moleskin and bandages.
4. Leukotape – This is a very adhesive high strength sports tape that is 1 1/2″ x 15 yds. The adhesive is so strong due to the zinc oxide adhesive. It is very strong but yet still very easy to tear.
5. Tincture of Benzoin – This helps tape or bandages adhere to the skin longer, while providing some protection to the skin.
6. Sewing Needle – Good to have to drain blisters or make repairs to gear. I thread mine at home before I leave on a trip, so that I don’t have to mess with that part on the trail.
7. Alcohol Wipes – For its more common uses, but also as an emergency firestarter, should I really need to start a fire.
Petzl eLite – This is a great little headlight that I’ve used for several years. It puts out a great deal of light for its size. I’m not planning on doing much night hiking this trip, so this should work out great for general use.
Garmin GPSCSx – I don’t use a gps much for navigation, but I take this to track my trips so that I can download them when I get home and keep them on topo maps. I can also upload the track file to Google Earth and view my trip that way too.
SPOT 2 Personal Tracker Satellite GPS Messenger – Since some of my planned trip will take me away from the official JMT, I want to take this along just in case. It will also allow me to let my family and friends know that I’m safe and sound.
Water Treatment – For the Sierra and most of my other trips, I carry a one-ounce bottle of chlorine bleach. Two drops in a liter of water and a short waiting period is usually all that is needed to successfully treat my drinking water.
DEET – I will definitely carry a small bottle of 100% DEET. With the near-record snow levels and subsequent melt-off, mosquitos will be a huge problem much later into the summer than usual.
Sunscreen – Definitely needed in the Sierra.
I’m sure there are more small items that I will be taking with me. If so, I will post them before I leave.