Northwest Hiking Equipment Preparation For The Oregon Outdoors

Northwest Hiking Equipment Preparation For The Oregon Outdoors



Hiking is​ one of​ Pacific Northwest outdoor enthusiast’s favorite activities. Oregon and​ SW Washington offer an​ incredible variety of​ forests, parks and​ national monuments ready for​ exploration and​ appreciation. Hikers should not be taken by surprise in​ this incredible area of​ the​ country however. Forest, coastal lands and​ cave hiking all present unique challenges to​ any hiker. the​ Pacific Northwest can prove to​ be dangerous if​ hikers are unprepared.

Forest Trail Hiking
The Northwest's forest trails are ideal hiking destinations because the​ scenery and​ beauty are unmatched by any other location. These trails wind through lush pine and​ fir tree wooded areas, tranquil open meadows, and​ creek and​ river crossed landscapes. the​ native wildlife - beavers, foxes, deer, elk, songbirds, squirrels – make it​ an​ ideal place for​ nature watchers. Oregon and​ Washington have very well maintained trailways and​ they take pride in​ their stewardship of​ the​ forests here. However, hikers should still be prepared for​ the​ unexpected in​ these areas.

The most important item to​ pack on any hiking trip, especially in​ the​ summer months, is​ water. Food is​ a​ close second. Emergency lights and​ signals are also essential for​ any recreational hiker. Traditional roadside flares or​ signal lights are not an​ option in​ the​ Northwest wilderness as​ likelihood of​ starting an​ unintentional fire is​ very high. a​ LED emergency light is​ small, lightweight, affordable, and​ offers powerful, high-quality light that can be used as​ a​ distress signal as​ well as​ a​ flashlight.

A multi-purpose pocket knife is​ also essential to​ safe hiking in​ the​ Northwest. These tools often include miniature scissors and​ pliers, tweezers and​ a​ compass which can all be useful to​ a​ hiker. the​ basic knife blade in​ these tools can be helpful to​ scratch trees and​ branches in​ order to​ mark an​ unfamiliar trail should you get lost. Consider packing mosquito repellent and​ sun block when hiking these forest trails as​ well.

Coastal Hiking
The Pacific Northwest is​ known for​ its unpredictable and​ sometimes treacherous coastal weather. Hikers are advised to​ dress for​ the​ elements when hiking along coast range trails. a​ rain jacket and​ sturdy, waterproof boots are essential. the​ Oregon or​ SW Washington coast is​ are often overtaken by dense, heavy fog coverage. These fogs can come in​ without warning, stranding and​ disorientating hikers who are unprepared. it​ is​ important to​ bring a​ powerful LED flashlight or​ lantern when hiking this area to​ illuminate the​ trail or​ campsite as​ well as​ alert help should you need it.

Cave Hiking
Cave hiking is​ one of​ the​ more dangerous forms of​ recreational hiking. This activity requires specific safety equipment and​ long-term planning. Along with multiple light sources, appropriate clothing and​ plenty of​ food and​ water, one must also make sure to​ bring protective head gear, rope, and​ climbing gloves. Experts recommend headlamps when cave hiking to​ allow for​ hands-free hiking. if​ considering cave hiking in​ the​ Northwest, contact a​ professional in​ the​ area who can provide specific equipment needs and​ precautions.

Hiking the​ Pacific Northwest trails is​ an​ incredible outdoor experience. a​ summer can be spent enjoying several trails, all with their own unique landscapes and​ beauties. Whether hiking through the​ Umpqua or​ Deschutes National Forests or​ exploring the​ Coast’s Oregon Sand Dunes, hikers will not be disappointed so long as​ they come prepared.

~Ben Anton, 2018




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