Musings of a Beaverton Teen: Basics for a Beaverton Day Hike
By Emery Hanel (12th Grade)
Hey, Beaverton teens!
After the long nine months of tedious schoolwork and back-to-back exams, summer vacation is finally here. For some of you, this means staying up late and sleeping in. For others, it means taking up a summer job or internship. Either way, it’s important to make time for leisure. A great way to enjoy yourself this summer is to go on a day hike on one of the many trails in or around Beaverton. REI experts advise to bring the following essentials on a day hike:
- Method of Navigation: There are few things worse than getting lost in unfamiliar outdoor territory. Prevent the panic by bringing a map, compass, GPS, or altimeter, which is a device that measures the altitude attained during a hike.
- Protection from the Sun: No one likes coming home with a painful sunburn after enjoying themselves on a day hike. Protect your skin with sunscreen or sunblock of at least SPF 15, protect your lips with a balm containing SPF, and protect your precious eyes with sunglasses that absorb UV light up to 400 nanometers.
- Weather Appropriate Gear: On hot summer days, wear clothing that wick sweat and dry quick. A hat that shields the sun and clothing that features mosquito net material is always a good idea. While this may not seem as important on a hot summer day, on the cooler days of the season it’s important to bring clothing that prevents the loss of heat. Wear a fleece jacket that insulates body heat and a rain jacket on top. Gloves, mittens, and a synthetic or wool cap are all smart choices.
- A Source of Light: Even though it’s a day hike, which means there will be no overnight camping, it’s critical to be prepared. Bring a headlamp or flashlight and an extra set of batteries just in case.
- First-Aid Supplies: For obvious reasons, bring a first-aid kit. Even if no minor injuries end up happening, you will be grateful you brought it along for the peace of mind.
- Fire-Starting Materials: Again, even though it’s a day hike, you shouldn’t slack off on things you think you won’t need. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so bring matches or a lighter in a a waterproof container. Bring fire starter to create an emergency survival fire if needed.
- A Source of Nutrition: Bring a hearty supply of food that will give you the necessary amount of protein and act as an origin of energy.
- Hydration: A source of hydration is indisputably the most important material necessary for any outdoor adventure. Bring more than enough water! If you’re going on a more uncultivated hike, bring a water filter or other treatment system in the instance of an emergency.
- Emergency Shelter: If you’re ill-prepared, sometimes a day hike turns into an overnight camp out. Bring a tent and tarp or a reflective blanket to be ready for these rare but still distinctly possible circumstances.
- Repair Kit & Tools: It’s always great to have a knife or multi-tool and duct tape on hand. All of them can save your life in the event of an emergency and can be used to handle a variety of tasks on your day hike.
Happy hiking, Beaverton teens!