Each member of your group needs at least three litres of water on an all-day summer excursion. In the north, the incidence of Giardia is increasing, and it is suggested that the use of a portable water filter, or boiling be considered if drinking from lakes or streams.
There are no absolute standards for equipment. You can have the most expensive, or the least; a lot, or only the bare minimum. What matters is that when you are out you have items appropriate to the occasion (even just a short walk), and that you know how to use them!
Wear clothing appropriate to the season and stout, waterproof hiking shoes or boots. It is always a good idea to carry one more layer of clothing than you think you will need. Even in summer, the weather can change quickly. Even on short walks, a light-weight knapsack will hold basic items as well as a camera and lunch. It will make your hike more comfortable, and leave your hands free. Some hikers find a walking stick or staff (or two) a useful companion.
For safety purposes, it is recommended that essential items (water, food, Guidebook maps and descriptions, compass, knife, etc. – a GPS unit containing the topographic map and trail track is also useful), be carried at all times. Be prepared. It is the prepared hiker who is the safe hiker. It is the safe hiker who is the good hiker.
For other than short walks on familiar sections, it is suggested that you carry:
- Voyageur Hiking Trail Guidebook, current edition with updates noted
- Compass and 1:50,000 topographic map (and ideally a GPS) – and know how to use them
- Chalk or biodegradable flagging tape to mark trees if you get off the trail
- A piece of strong light rope (3 m)
- Pocket knife
- Insect repellent in season
- Notebook and pencil
- Matches (waterproof)
- Toilet paper
- Quick energy food and water and/or water filter
- A couple of small plastic bags (for garbage or to warm one’s feet)
- First aid kit, including ‘moleskin’ for blisters
- Whistle or horn
- Emergency ‘space blanket’ (light, reflective plastic)
- Extra clothing/rain gear
- Sunscreen (odourless, waterproof)
- Unbreakable mirror