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Planning the perfect summer hike

Outdoor activities/Advice
By Summer Lane

Photo: Deposit

With technology taking a deeper hold on our lives and media presenting ungodly ideas to our children, what better way to break things up this summer than with some tried-and-true outdoor time?

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a first-time trail trekker, the perfect summer hike is within reach. Explore God’s beautiful creation with your family by your side and take the following bits of advice to heart as you map out your next adventure!

Prepare accordingly

Step one in planning your day hike should be preparing your day pack with appropriate supplies. Whether you’re going two miles or 20, you need to make sure that you are prepared for an emergency. Your pack should include essential survival items that would pull you through in an emergency.

Here are some basics to keep on hand:

  • First aid kit with bandages and antiseptic,
  • Water purifier (iodine tablets, LifeStraw, etc),
  • Water bottle for your hike,
  • Small food rations that could last for 48 hours,
  • Tourniquet set/trauma kit,
  • Utility knife,
  • Compass and paper map,
  • Paracord or emergency climbing rope,
  • Anti-itch spray (for pesky poison oak or bug bites!),
  • Sunscreen/ChapStick,
  • Emergency blanket(s),
  • Whistle/some kind of loud noise maker (for wild animals),
  • And potentially a can of mace (again – wild animals!).

Bring snacks and plenty of clean water on the trail. If you think you’re overpreparing by bringing essential survival gear on the trail, think again! You never know what can happen in the wilderness. Better safe than sorry!

Leave your itinerary with someone you trust

If you’re going somewhere without cellphone reception (or even with it!), ALWAYS leave your itinerary for the day with someone you trust. Don’t deviate from your itinerary if you’re going somewhere remote and can’t reach a phone to alert loved ones or friends of your change of plans.

This isn’t about fear – it’s about common-sense safety! If your car breaks down or if you get lost on the trail (heaven forbid!), you’ll want someone to know where you are.

Pick your location appropriately

Are you hiking with little ones? How physically fit are you and your trail companions? Don’t push yourself too far and assess the abilities of your friends and family before you get stuck halfway up a mountain with a single bottle of water a killer leg cramp! Conquer hikes one step at a time and don’t overextend. Remember, the point is to have FUN, not end up in urgent care.

Download a trail app to help protect your navigation

This may sound silly, but there are so many apps for smartphones today that allow you to pre-download detailed maps of trails that you want to tackle. My daughter and I use AllTrails, and it has been a huge lifesaver – I can take a pre-downloaded map to the middle of the wilderness and track my location. Bring a mobile power bank in your trail pack so you don’t lose access to the map! A highly recommended tool.

Invest in good hiking clothes and shoes

Durable trail pants will protect you from bug bites, poison oak, and pesky scratches. An excellent pair of hiking shoes is also a MUST. Don’t skimp here – you need hiking boots or shoes of some kind. They stick to rocks and will save your feet from immense pain at the end of the day. Also – don’t forget the bug spray! Mosquitos can be brutal in the woods!






The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team. This specific article was written by Summer Lane, and may not be reproduced, except to quote for reviews or interviews, without the express permission of the author. 



Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. She is the Associate Editor for Right Side Broadcasting Network. Additionally, she owns Write Revolution News, where she provides a rapid-fire feed of the nation’s most important America First news and events.

Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats and ducks, and reading fiction. She is passionate about writing on women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.

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