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It doesn't happen to everyone, so it's not a true essential. But the majority of walkers find facial tissue to be indispensable. Something about walking contributes to dripping noses. Facial tissue also comes in handy for restroom stops at facilities with no toilet paper. The problem is facial tissue litters the trail. It is much better to carry a handkerchief with you. This I have learned.


Good to Have Non-Essentials

  • First Aid: For a longer walk it's smart to carry along a "blister kit." At the first sign of discomfort see your trip leader - I always carry some extra moleskin that I've pre cut and stored in a small first aid kit.
  • Whistle: Essential if hiking in the woods and useful if walking in town. Great to alert other hikers or to use if you are lost.
  • Snack: If you're going to be walking for more than an hour, take along a snack to give you energy. For all of my hikes I bring along a light lunch. Don’t eat too much or you wont feel like continuing on the hike and I don’t like to have to carry anyone –even if they are cute or attractive :)
  • Comb: To combat "hat hair." Enough said.
  • Umbrella: Not to use, just to keep the rain away. Also can be opened suddenly to scare away charging dogs. Can save you from a brief downpour.
  • Stick: A hiking stick or hiking pole can be handy when hiking on natural hilly trails, to provide hiking stability and to take some stress off the legs in long steep descents. Also makes you look like a dedicated professional hiker :) An essential to many.
  • Swiss Army Knife: All kinds of potential uses.
  • Cell Phone: Can be handy in case of a hiking emergency. Some would call this essential. Use only when necessary and avoid extended chats that can easily annoy others. Just remember that signal may not be available in some areas.
  • GPS: You really are a dedicated hiker now -track points and WAAS up? You will always be able to find your car with one of these, won't you? But only if you set the car as a known waypoint and know how to use the gps. Newer smart phones contain gps features.
  • Gloves: Just in case the weather turns colder.
  • Imodium: Just in case those crab apples you picked on the trail don’t agree with your stomach. Also handy to keep the last quarter of a toilet paper roll in your backpack for those emergencies in the woods.
  • Handkerchief A cloth hanky for a runny nose is much better than Kleenex. It doesn't disintegrate and doesn't litter the trail and is reusable.
  • Bruce Trail Membership: Somebody has to take care of the trails you enjoy so much. Consider a membership which goes towards maintaining the trail and purchasing properties to preserve the route forever.


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