Do you love the outdoors? Whether your the type of person who camps all summer or the type who merely gets dragged out for a quick hike once a year, there’s no harm in being overly prepared. No matter what type of adventure seeker you are, the Blue Mountain Region has something to offer.
The Blue Mountains of Southeast Washington span 4,000 square miles of land to the east of Walla Walla. Inside the Blues are hundreds of trails, rivers, lakes, and mountains to enjoy activities like hiking, camping, kayaking, sledding, paddle boarding, cycling, biking, fishing, rafting, snow sports, and more.
As you make plans to get outside in the Blues (or anywhere for that matter) it’s always a good idea to be prepared. We’ve gathered a few can’t miss items and created a preliminary checklist for your next adventure. Be sure to get these into the car or your pack for the next time you opt outside.
- Backpacks: One thing required during an outdoor trip is a weather-proof backpack. It should be lightweight and water-resistant. Make sure your backpack has a special compartment for storing cameras to avoid damage.
- Water Bottles: Carrying water for hydration, either in a hiking flask or traditional water bottle is essential no matter where you’re headed. If you opt for a hiking flask they are specially designed with isothermal covers to preserve the temperature of the liquid inside. This will ensure you’ve got nice cold water to enjoy on a warm summer hike.
- Sunglasses: Special sunglasses with UV filter lenses are a significant to help in shielding your eyes from harmful UV rays, especially at high altitudes. If you don’t invest in the higher-end glasses we still suggest bringing a pair to help protect your eyes.
- Portable Charger: You never know how long each adventure will take and on long trips it’s possible for your phone battery might be low or completely dead. It’s important to have a well-charged phone to call for help in the case of an emergency or simply to use for navigation. Having a portable charger or power bank would be helpful to guard against a phone with a dead battery.
- Sunscreen: People looking to experience the Blue Mountains at any time of year should remember to thoughtfully consider the sunshine they’re likely to encounter. While wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs is a great place to start we also recommend covering the exposed areas of your body with sunscreen. It’s a great way to protect your skin from UV rays and potential sunburn.
- Tiny Toiletries: Such items are readily available at most grocery or medicine stores. Stock up on small deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and other personal things if you’re embarking on an outing that’s going to last more than one day.
- Comfortable Clothing: Make sure to wear clothing that you are comfortable in anytime you to venture outdoors. Whether you are hiking, biking, or fishing on the river you want to be able to move comfortably in your clothes.
- Good Shoes: While it’s tempting to pick out that brand new pair of hiking boots you got as you start outside for the first time in the year, we’d advise against it. Choosing new or poorly fitted shoes is a sure way to end the trip early or suffer from blisters after you’re done. Instead, choose well-broken in footwear that’s appropriate for whatever outdoor adventure you’re going on. It’s also never a bad idea to pack an extra pair of socks.
- First Aid Kit: You can never predict what you might need on any given outdoor adventure. From bee stings to headaches you’ll want to be prepared. Most first aid kits available for purchase come with the essentials, and you can add in any extras that you think would be helpful. Before setting out for the day check your kit and make sure you’re stocked up on bandaids, ointment, pain relief spray, and medicine for motion sickness, allergies, fever, and pain.
- Navigation: While cell phones can be a great way to access navigation tools they’re never a guarantee. Be aware that there are places you may travel where cell phone service and your data plan won’t work. The great news is that app builders today have taken this into account. Before heading out, download an app that works entirely offline to ensure you’ve always got access to maps for navigation. We also recommend bringing paper maps in the event your phone loses power.
- Healthy Snacks: If you’re traveling with children of any age you’ll know already that it’s likely they’ll be asking for snacks a mere 5 minutes into your adventure. But even if you’re traveling solo it’s always a good idea to pack food for the trip. Whether you plan to shred the snowy slopes or want healthy food after a great day on the river, pack some homemade food or stop by your favorite store.
Make the best out of your Blue Mountains experience and don’t forget to pack the essential things we’ve mentioned.