Gear to Bring on your Next Adventure

When you’re going on a hike, camping trip, or any other kind of adventure, there are certain items you should bring to make your expereince the best it can be.

I asked three people what they recommend when going on adventures. Ben Parsons, Kiana Streeter, and Taryn Davis all gave their personal opinions of what to bring when you’re going out on a trip.

Places you can get this gear include your local camping supply stores, or if you’re a SLO resident or student of Cal Poly, you can rent equipment from “Frontline,” Cal Poly’s adventure equipment rental center located next to the REC center.

Check out this video for more information about gear as well as how to rent it on the Cal Poly campus!


When you’re headed out on a day hike, it’s important to bring plenty of water to keep you hydrated, especially depending on what kind of weather it is. Check the weather forcasts in advance so that you don’t get stuck in a rainstorm, or at the top of a peak in 41 mile per hour winds (unless you like that kind of thing, sometime’s it’s fun…).


Bring a day pack filled with extra sunblock, some minor first aid supplies, and a sweatshirt in case there is a drastic  change in temperature as you ascend, compared to at the bottom of the trail. It’s always a good idea to bring a healthy snack as mentioned in my previous post, and to wear comfortable shoes so that you don’t get any blisters.

“You need hiking boots for sure, just because they have a very stiff rubber and a stiff construction to them so your ankles don’t get banged up and you don’t get as many blisters.” Said Ben Parsons, an employee of Cal Poly’s outdoor climbing wall, and a hiking and climbing enthusiast. If you don’t have hiking boots, don’t stress, because a good pair of sneakers will also suffice on a hike that isn’t TOO strenuous.

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Essentials of water, a small pack, and sunblock


Depending on how long your trip is and where your destination is located, you’re going to need to pack different items for a camping trip. Essentials include a sleeping bag, a tent, firewood to cook, food, something to cook the food in as well as something to eat the food with, water, sunblock,and again, check the weather to see what else will be necessary wherever you’re going. “We have pretty much everything you need for camping,” says Frontline employee Kiana Streeter. “From stoves to…tents and sleeping bags from whatever you really need you can rent out for a… discounted price for students, too.”

More blankets, a heavy coat, or extra firewood are helpful in cold temperatures. Always make sure it is legal to have a fire going in your campsite beforehand, as there are many places during dry season which prohibit making a fire for safety reasons. You can check the California Department of Parks and recreation’s website, or call your campsite’s ranger station beforehand to double check as well as so check if you will need a fire permit. You can also check out REI’s basic Camping checklist for more camping suggestions.



There are different kinds of backpacking, like lightweight backpacking, and regular backpacking, but for the most part you are going to want to bring the same supplies with you, they’re just going to be packed differently. You’re going to need a backpack which can hold your sleeping bag, a sleeping mat which will insulate you from having the cold of the ground suck up your body heat when you’re sleeping as well as to provide some cushion. It is especially important to bring high calorie and nutritious food when you’re backpacking, because you need the energy. According to, the average person will burn from 4,000-5,000 calories or more each day backpacking, so this is not a situation you’re gonna want to go with the low calorie food option! ”

Sleeping Pads available for rent at Frontline.

You’ll need food, a headlamp if you’re going to be making night treks, first aid supplies, and some kind of a navigation tool like a compass and map. Check out REI’s Backpacking Checklist for even more information on what to bring on a backpacking trip.

Gear to Bring on your Next Adventure

Healthy Eating for a Hike

If you’re going to lead an active lifestyle and go on hiking trips, there are a few things to remember about your health. It is important to eat a healthy diet in any situation, but particularly when you are using your body to preform strenuous tasks like exercise.

My favorite place to shop for healthy food for a hiking trip is Trader Joe’s. Here in SLO, theres one about ten minutes away from campus on Higuera 1

Trader Joe’s is great for finding good tasting gluten free and whole grain foods, and also the kind of food you would want to bring on your hike. The type of food you bring depends on the length of your trek. A short day hike would require a snack to refuel, whereas a longer day long hike over 5 miles would require you to bring more food in order to keep up your energy.

For some example ideas on what to bring on both kinds of hikes, check out The Hiking Dude‘s website which provides snacks to bring as well as the amount of carbs, protein, and fat in each food.

Avid hiker and and Cal Poly student Sylvia Lijewski says  “I always bring energy bars, trail mix, beef jerky, salami, chocolate, dried fruit, water, avocado, apples, and oranges. The fruits are mostly for hydration and taste. The rest are for high calories and quick energy while still tasting good.”

Fruit is always a good choice, because it’s light and won’t tip the scale of your pack. Fruit is also good, because it has many vitamins and is low in fat. Try dried fruit for a sweeter snack that’s more compact on longer trips, but make sure to consume lots of water with it so that you don’t become dehydrated.

“It’s best to have some potassium, so bananas are great.” Suggests third year Kinesiology major Taryn Davis. “Electrolytes, the sodium, and the potassium replenish you. Cuties are also good for a small amount of natural sugar that won’t give you the kind of crash coffee or refined sugar will.”

Energy bars can also be a good source of calories, vitamins, and minerals as well. Just make sure to pay attention to how much sugar is in them, as some brands can have as much as 20 grams of sugar per bar which is equivalent to a pack of candy.

My personal favorite energy bar is Clif’s Peanut Toffee Buzz. The peanut butter and toffee taste and texture is a satisfying mixture which fills me up, and the 50mg of caffeine (about a third of a Grande Starbucks latte or espresso drink) is a nice energy boost.

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“Choose my plate” is an excellent resource to find out your exact daily nutritional needs, specifically customized to your height, weight, and gender. It will tell you how much carbohydrate, protein, fruits and veggies you should ideally consume each day to keep your body running in tip top shape. Try to have a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Each person has specific caloric needs based on their bodyweight, height, age, and gender, which you can calculate by clicking on the hyperlink above, and then see a visual representation by clicking on the below chart and entering in your information.

Click here to see your chart!

With these tips, as well as knowledge on your specific caloric and nutritional needs, you can be confident to buy the right amount and right kind of food for your next hike no matter how long it is!

Healthy Eating for a Hike