Hawaii is a hiker’s paradise. It’s perennially warm with challenging climbs and rewarding ocean views. Unfortunately though, these world-class hikes come at a cost. They are very challenging and Hawaii regularly sees fatalities from unprepared or inexperienced trailblazers.
Here are some of the essentials to take on any trail here in Hawaii.
- Sunscreen. The god Maui may have tamed the sun, but it’s still able to scorch people with a wicked burn even on overcast days. Sunscreen can help protect your skin from harsh rays.
- Hat and layers. Covering your skin is an even better way to avoid a burn than sunscreen. Look for clothing with built-in SPF protection to ensure optimal protection.
- Insect repellent. No matter the season, Hawaii has bugs. Avoid these pests with bug spray or other insect repellent. For a Deet-free alternative, try an all-natural remedy that uses essential oils and won’t impact the environment.
- LOTS of water. There is no such thing as too much water on a hike in Hawaii. It’s hot and humid which means you will get dehydrated quickly. For longer hikes, consider using a backpack with a water reservoir. A good rule of thumb is to carry four liters of water per person per day.
- Snacks. All of this climbing mountains can work up an appetite. Consider bringing snacks such as peanut butter sandwiches, trail mix, or the local favorite, Spam musubi.
- Cell Phone. Not all trails will have cell phone service. Oahu hikes near Honolulu are the most likely to have a signal. For more rural hikes, cell phones may not be useful to call for help. In the case of an emergency on the trail, if there is cell service, emergency response teams can be called to helicopter into some areas. Not all hikes are accessible via helicopter though.
- Trail map. One key way to stay safe is to know where you’re going. Maps can keep you from getting lost on confusing trails.
- Hiking stick or poles. Hiking sticks help with stability on slippery slopes or steep climbs. Not all hikes will require hiking sticks, but it never hurts to be prepared.
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