What’s in your trunk when you hit the road to go for a hike? As the rain starts and the temperature drops, it is time to add a little more safety to your adventures. Finding a frozen waterfall, snowshoeing through silent old growth forest with your family, or watching 20 foot breakers crash on the beach far outweighs camping out on the sofa under natural spectrum lights. If you are headed out there, packing these few items into your vehicle will help ensure you are prepared for just about anything the Pacific NW will throw at you, making where to go next the only question.
First Aid Kit
Everybody traveling through the mountains should have a basic first aid kit and a little knowledge of how to treat common ailments and wounds.
Having these can save you a huge headache when the only other car at the trailhead doesn’t.
Digging out a vehicle stuck in mud or snow with sticks and a tire iron is a terrible task (trust us, we’ve done it). Even the smallest shovel can save an entire trip.
Emergency and Safety Lighting
Daylight doesn’t last long, and having both a light source like a headlamp, for work, and an emergency flasher, for safety, stashed in your car will help keep you safe and functioning. This also comes in handy when your baby drops the binky under the seat in the dark and you can’t find it!
Extra Clothing or Sleeping Bag
No matter where you are headed, pack some warm synthetic clothing or a sleeping bag. A cotton hoodie and jeans inside a car won’t keep you warm through a Cascade winter night. If you don’t want to leave your fleece in the car look around for a discount thin fleece blanket at stores like Ross or second hand stores. You can always tuck this away in the truck and pull out even after a cold hike to keep baby warm when transitioning out of clothes and loading up car.
Extra food and water
A few granola bars and a water bottle can help keep you calm and energized in an emergency.
Tire chains, a tow rope, and a full tank of gas
Joe Gawron runs Portland Wilderness and manages the Hike it Baby store. He rents out framed baby carriers if anyone is looking for one. He’s also dad to 6 month old Olive. For more information on any of these tips or others, please contact Portland Wilderness LLC at 503.753.1275 / firstname.lastname@example.org