What better way to spend a summer day than exploring nature? But before you hit the trails, think carefully about all those little essentials you’ll need to take. Hiking boots are an obvious one, but depending on how far you’ll be hiking, the remoteness of the area, and the type of weather you have in store, there are a few other things you really won’t want to be without. Get your hike off to the best possible start with these top ten hiking essentials.
1. A Hiking Backpack
Unless you have big hands and even bigger pockets, you’re going to want something to store all those hiking essentials in. A backpack that’s large enough to store all you need, without being so cumbersome or heavy as to load you down, should be on every hiker’s “must-have” list. Make sure your goods don’t end up soggy or mildewed by looking for a bag made from a sturdy, waterproof material like Ripstop nylon or Cordura.
2. Navigation Equipment
If you’re heading into unexplored territory, don’t rely on your sense of direction to get you through. A compass and a map are essential – although you might want to brush up on how to use them before heading off, particularly if it’s been a while since you last used either one. GPS devices and phone apps also make great traveling companions, but consider them more as a complement to a map and a compass than a replacement – devices that run on batteries have a terrible habit of dying just when you need them most.
3. Sun Protection
Unless you want to return from your trip with more than just a rosy glow, don’t forget to pack sun protection. Keep chapped, burned skin at bay with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a high SPF sun cream.
4. First Aid Supplies
Try as you might to avoid them, accidents can and do happen. Forewarned is forearmed – invest in a pre-packaged first aid kit for a lightweight solution to those little emergencies.
5. Food and Water
If you’re heading on a short, easy hike, you’ll not need to take much more than water. If, on the other hand, you’re planning on a lengthy hike in a remote location, packing plenty of grub is going to be vital. Most hikers prefer calorie-dense, lightweight options like jerky, trail mix, and protein bars that won’t take up much space in a bag, nor go stale in the heat. Peanut butter sandwiches and bananas also make good options.
If you’re planning on a multi-day hike, you’re sure to already have some form of shelter in your backpack. If you’re preparing for a shorter trip, plan on taking something that’ll serve as an emergency shelter in case the hike takes an unexpected turn. Weather conditions can change dramatically (and often without warning), as can plans – protect yourself from the elements by bringing alone a lightweight blanket or bivy. Neither one will take up much space in your backpack but in times of trouble, they can be life-saving.
7. Appropriate Clothing
Even if the sun’s shining, don’t think you can get through a hiking trip in just a t-shirt and shorts. Look for multi-purpose clothes in breathable materials that can be adapted to suit any number of different terrains and weather conditions – and always, always think in layers.
8. A Multi-Tool Knife
A multi-tool knife will get you through many a tight spot, letting you cut through undergrowth, open cans (assuming you’re on a multi-day hike and living on more than jerky or bananas), cut bandages in case of an accident, and even help you construct an emergency shelter if the need arises.
9. Hiking Footwear
Proper footwear is a must, even on a short hike. Forget what’s fashionable and look for a well-fitting, comfortable shoe or boot that’s built to take you the distance. And don’t forget to break them in before you leave – finding yourself halfway up the mountain with a foot full of blisters and a bleeding heel is even less fun than it sounds.
10. A Torch
If you’re planning a multi-day hike, having some form of illumination is essential. Not only will a torch let you see what you’re doing come nightfall, it can also help signal rescuers in the event of an emergency. Look for a device with LED illumination – LED bulbs will run for thousands of hours without needing backup (and when you’re about as far from a power outlet as it’s possible to be, that’s really something to be thankful for).
Your swag is most likely to get dirty when you are camping in the wild, in a festival, or even in your backyard. Direct sunlight may also cause some damage to your swag. When the weather is not encouraging for camping, you are most likely to store your swag indoors, and this could be a breeding ground for molds. As a swag owner, you probably understand that dirt and mold could reduce the lifespan of the swag, and you need to improve your maintenance techniques. Here are tips on how to clean your swag to increase their lifespan and utility of your camping essentials.
To clean your canvas swag mix 1 litre of warm water with 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Once mixed, let your washcloth soak in the mixture for a couple minutes while you vacuum the dust and dirt off the swag. After vacuuming simply give your swag a good wipe down using the washcloth and warm water solution.
Some of the Essential Tools That Help With Cleaning the Swag
- Vacuum cleaner
- Scrub brush
- Empty spray bottle
- Paper towels
- Warm water (cold water doesn’t clean as well)
- Mild soap detergent
- Kiddie pool
- White wine vinegar
How to Remove Debris and Dirt from Your Swag
You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt accumulated on the canvas after days of camping. You should unfurl the swag and shake off the excess debris and pay attention to the corners, storage pockets that are sensitive.
You might notice stains after removing the debris from the swag, and to remove these stains, you should soak the swag in the kiddie pool. Apply the mild soap on the areas with stains and scrub gently using a soft brush or a sponge. You should go ahead and rinse the swag and let it dry before storing, and you should be careful not to let the swag stay for long in the water as it could lead to other issues such as mildew and mold.
How to Clean Moulds from a Swag
If you suspect that your swag has got molds, investigate to check if it has mold, and you should see green or bluish specks, which indicates the growth of molds. Vinegar is the best cleaning means that gets molds off a swag, and you have to spray vinegar on the swag and scrub off marks with a gentle brush that does not leave scratches on the swag. You should use hot water on the parts that have the growth, which helps work on the molds, and you should repeat the scrubbing and hot water treatment until the molds have disappeared. It could help if you left the swag to dry and repeat the process to ensure that you do not leave any molds on the swag. You may wish to use bleach on stubborn stains that are left behind by the molds if the vinegar does not clear the molds and stains.
How to Take Care of Your Swag
When camping, ensure that you inspect the area where you want to set up the swag, ensure that it does not have dust or debris that could make the swag dirty. Ensure that the ground is dry to avoid water seepage to the swag, which causes mold formation. After cleaning your swag, ensure that it dries off well as you want to store it when dry to avoid mold formation and deterioration of the canvas material.
The Bottom Line
Your swag is predisposed to dirt and mold as a result of storage and continued use in outdoor spaces. Ensure that you keep it clean at all times as this helps prolong its life and utility, you should remove all debris and wash it with warm soapy water. In case of mould, ensure that you use vinegar or bleach for effective stain removal.
Weisshorn is one of the leading providers of high quality camping swags and in this article I will show you the differences between various Weisshorn swags so you can choose the right one for you.
1. Weisshorn Double Camping Swag
The weisshorn double camping swag has a cover made from a water-repellent canvas and mesh. This will help protect you from harmful UV-rays and reduce the build up of heat.
This swag cover will keep insects out with it’s specially designed mesh panels. You can enjoy having the swag fully enclosed for privacy as it features a heavy-duty zipper for both mesh and canvas.
This swag has pre-curved poles which provide extra strength and stability in all sorts of weather compared to the standard straight poles.
The floor is made from waterproof PVC with a 10cm edge that prevents water leaking in. Included is also a 60mm high foam mattress which is comfortable on any surface.
Weisshorn Double Camping Swag Dimensions
Base Dimensions: 210cm x 145cm
Mattress Thickness: 6cm
2. Weisshorn King Single Swag
The Weisshorn king single camping swag is very lightweight and has enough room for you to feel comfortable no matter what the season.
The king single has a waterproof PVC floor edge which will keep the dew from leaking inside.
For extra stability and strength the poles are made from aluminum.
This swag provides excellent ventilation with its water repellent walls, UV resistant and mould resistant design.
Weisshorn King Single Swag Dimensions
Base Dimensions: 210cm x 90cm
Height: 70cm (head), 40cm (feet)
Mattress Thickness: 6cm
3. Weisshorn Biker Swag
The Weisshorn bike swag has walls made from ripstop canvas that is UV resistant, mould resistant, rot-proof and of course water-repellent to ensure your swag provides great cover and ventilation in all types of weather.
Like the other Weisshorn swags, the biker swag has a waterproof PVC base to prevent dew leaking in and also has a foam mattress (50mm thick) to keep your comfortable and warm.
The poles are made from high quality aluminum to ensure they are very strong and stable.
Weisshorn Biker Swag Dimensions
Base Dimensions: 210cm x 85cm
Height: 60cm (head), 40cm (feet)
Mattress Size: 190cm x 50cm
Mattress Thickness: 5cm