Hiking Checklist – Top 10 Military Surplus Hiking Essentials
Hiking is a fun activity with many benefits. It is a low cost activity that can be enjoyed almost year round. If you are like me and don’t get as much exercise as you probably should, hiking is a great way to get in better shape. For me it is therapeutic to get away and enjoy nature. Those who like photography have an added incentive to hit the trail to capture scenic photos. In this article we will discuss some Military Surplus equipment that will make your hike more enjoyable and safe. With Military Surplus, you can outfit yourself with some fantastic gear at a fraction of the price it would cost at a traditional Sporting Goods store. First Aid Kit – It almost goes without saying. A first aid kit should be in your pack no matter how far you plan on hiking. You never know when it could save someone’s life. The ideal first aid kit does not have to be expensive. We offer a Platoon First Aid Kit that is made in North Carolina. It is an excellent kit with many of the essentials. I have used mine several times for smaller incidents. I would also recommend taking a basic first aid course. Panel Marker used as ground cloth, Assault Backpack, and Canteen Cup[/caption] Visual Aid Marker – If you do happen to get lost, and it happens to hundreds of people every year, you have your best chance at being found if you have a visual marker that can be seen from the air. We offer the ideal product; U.S. G.I. VS-17/GVX Panel Marker. This low cost piece of equipment does not take up much room and could very well save your life. It has many other uses as well. Mine is always in my hiking bag and on a recent trip when the weather was damp, I used it as a ground cloth to sit down and have my lunch. Magnesium Fire Starter – Be prepared. You never know if the matches or lighter you brought will fail. Magnesium fire starters are a perfect emergency fire starter. They work under almost any circumstances and are easy to use. They are lightweight and will not take up much room in your pack. Footwear – Your feet are going to take some abuse on the trail so proper footwear is very important. I have been hiking and hunting in our U.S. G.I. Hot Weather Combat Boots for over a year and have experienced nothing but outstanding performance. I have worn these boots in cooler weather as well. The air vents are very nice, your feet do not get too hot. They are very well made and durable with great ankle support. Pair with U.S. G.I. Cushion Sole Socks for happy feet. Backpack – If you are going on an all day hike, you are going to need somewhere to put your essentials. My favorite backpack is the U.S. G.I. APB03 Assault Pack. This pack is part of the ILBE Main Pack system as used by the elite Marine Corps. I’ve put this pack through many years of hiking and camping abuse and it still looks new. It is very comfortable and just the right size. Another good hiking backpack is the Swedish Military Backpack with Frame. An ideal pack at an exceptional price. Perfect for overnight trips or day trips. Poncho – When outdoors you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. You never know when a storm could break out. I always keep a poncho in my bag to keep dry. Also doubles as a shelter or ground cover in a pinch. Our U.S.A. Reversible Poncho is tough as nails and the best money can buy. Canteen Cup and Esbit StoveKnife – You should never go on a hike without a good quality knife. The legendary Swedish Mora Knife is ideal for the outdoors. At $18.95, it won’t break the bank either. The heavy duty plastic sheath easily clips onto your belt for ease of carrying. Esbit Stove – A must have for any hiker or camper. This compact, German made Esbit Stove is one of my favorite pieces of equipment. Easily allows you to boil water for freeze dried meals, tea, or coffee. Works great when cooking over a roaring fire is not an option. All you need is some compressed fuel or fuel gel and in a few minutes… voila… instant hot water. It sure is nice to have a hot meal or hot beverage on a cold hike. Pair with U.S. G.I. Stainless Steel Canteen Cup for the perfect combination. Canteen Cup – As previously mentioned, the U.S. G.I. Stainless Steel Canteen Cup is the perfect mate for an Esbit stove. Even if you don’t have an Esbit stove, it is important to have a vessel that you can use over an open fire. This stainless steel cup is a do it all workhorse. You can use it for drinking water, cooking, and more. Tried and true lightweight design made to last a lifetime of hiking and camping. Canteen & Canteen Cover – Hydration is important on the trail. The U.S. G.I. 1 Quart Canteen is the perfect way to stay hydrated plus this canteen nests right inside of the above mentioned Canteen cup. Pack it all up in the U.S. G.I. Canteen Cover and you are in business. The Canteen Cover ALICE clips easily attached to any civilian or pistol belt. Both are priced at a fraction of fancy civilian equipment and designed to last many years. Don't forget to take in the scenery! Appalachian Mountains, Central Pennsylvania.