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For my husband’s birthday we drove all the way up to Big Trees in Calaveras County. We didn’t expect snow and I am very glad I packed my backpacking essentials just in case. Over the years we have gone on some courageous escapades: Driving around the United States with our entire family packed in a mini van. Hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite. And even backpacking through Costa Rica when I was seven months pregnant. There have been a few things brought along during these exhausting trips and I have learned what is necessary and what I can leave at home. I find there are a few things I can't live without. Chapstick and sunblock are a given. I always have those in my purse no matter what. It's the little things I forget that make me lose out on those special moments. There have been times when my headaches were pounding and I had to hike to the nearest convenience store to get a pain reliever. Not anymore, I bring along Excedrin® Tension Headache (aspirin-free and for tension headaches) and Excedrin® PM Headache (nighttime headache relief to help you sleep). Usually when I have had a tough day and we have finally settled into a cozy Bed & Breakfast, that's when I take advantage of Excedrin® PM Headache. It gives me nighttime headache relief that helps me sleep. With Excedrin® it provides fast relief for different types of headaches:
What I have done is compiled a list of some of my backpacking essentials. I believe it is important to bring along each and every one of these items. I do want to make a note and inform you that these are usually only for a day hike. When I go on longer trips the list goes on and on.
- Map and a Compass: Before we start on our hike I usually stop at the ranger station and grab a map. This allows us to find our campsite, water or even an exit route in case an accident occurs.
- Water Purifying Tablets and an Extra Foldable Water Bottle: I can store the foldable water bottle in my day back and if I run out of water I can use the tablets to purify the water. The problem with purifying the water is it takes some time before you can drink it.
- Bug Spray and Medicine for the After Bite: For some reason I am susceptible to mosquitos attacking me and they tend to leave my husband alone.
- Biodegradable Toilet Paper: Because when nature calls it's better to have this, than to use nothing at all.
- Mirror: This is not for vanity. In the case of an emergency you can use the mirror to flag down someone!
- Soap: Another item that should be biodegradable!
- First Aid Kit: I like to pack my own first aid kit full of bandages, blister treatments, tweezers, multipurpose tools, whistle, and sometimes I even bring a fire starter... you will never be sorry if you end up needing that!
The list can go on and on. Honestly, I usually pack some chocolate into my backpack as well. So if you bring along these few items you won't be disappointed in your adventure!