EL PASO, Texas - As the weather starts to warm up and more visitors come out to enjoy our state parks, rangers want to get ahead of the busy season and make sure all hikers can enjoy their trip with these ten essential items.
“A map is always good to have, especially if it’s one specific for the area you’re visiting. This one right here will have the hiking and biking trails for the Franklin mountains,” said Diana Moy, a Texas State parks Ranger.
Along with a map you should carry a compass, and maybe a GPS. You could use your phone, but that would run down your battery and you wouldn’t be able to call for help in an emergency. Sun protection and insulation are also important with our strong sun and swinging temperatures, and always have a first aid kit.
“Something for blisters, something for insect bites, something for sunburns, and you want a couple of gauzes and bandages in different sizes: that’ll be a basic first aid kit,” Moy said.
You should have a source of light, in case it gets dark. If fires are allowed make sure you have the material to start one, it could help keep you warm in an emergency.
Tape and multi tools can help with quick repairs and snacks are always a good way to keep your energy up on the mountains.
“One of the most important ones will be water, especially out here. We don’t have water sources out here on the trails, so make sure you have enough water,” Moy explained.
The tenth and final item on that list is an emergency shelter. Really, you’re going to want anything that can keep you safe from the wind as you wait for help to arrive. Thermal blankets are a good option. They don’t cost much and they may look flimsy, but they can keep you very very warm, even in cold harsh winds.