What to bring
Proper planning and preparation is necessary anytime you venture into the great outdoors. The following is a simple list of essential gear to bring with you on a trip out to the Preserve. Of course the gear you need to carry will vary according to the type of visit you've planned. We suggest bringing:
For a short day hike that doesn’t involve a heavy pack or technical terrain, trail shoes or comfortable sneakers are great.
A phone can come in handy for taking photos and posting them to your favorite social media. It can also be a lifesaver in case of an accident or emergency.
Water, and more water
Without enough water, your body’s muscles and organs simply can’t perform as well. Consuming too little water on a hot Midland afternoon will make you thirsty. Bring enough to share if you are with a group.
Any number of things could keep you out longer than expected: getting lost, enjoying time by a stream, an injury, or difficult terrain. Extra food will help keep up energy and morale.
Rain gear and extra clothing
Because the weather is not always predictable. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat.
A small flashlight, and a whistle. If lost, you’ll also want the whistle as it is more effective than using your voice to call for help (use 3 short bursts). And just in case you’re out later than planned, a flashlight/headlamp is a must-have item to see the trails and where you’re walking.
First aid kit
Prepackaged first-aid kits for hikers are available at any outfitter. Double your effectiveness with knowledge: take a first-aid class with the American Red Cross or a Wilderness First Aid class.
Knife or multi-purpose tool
These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, fix broken eyeglasses, and perform a whole host of repairs on malfunctioning gear.
To protect you from biting bugs such as mosquitoes, ticks, flies, gnats, chiggers, midges, and no-see-ums.
Sunscreen and sunglasses
Especially here in Midland when there is a skin-scorching combination of sun and wind. Sunglasses also help prevent wind-driven debris getting into your eyes. Apply sunscreen as directed to prevent sunburn.
You’ll want something you can carry comfortably and has the features designed to keep you hiking smartly. Don’t forget the rain cover; some packs come with one built-in. Keep the other Essentials in the pack and you’ll always be ready to hit the trail safely.
Bonus points – Trash Bag
This other piece of gear is essential to making sure that the trails you love stay beautiful for generations to come. A ziplock bag is a great option as well for keeping the trash you pick up along the trail separate from the rest of your gear.