For those of us who call larger cities home, a little escape for fresh air and to stretch the legs is always welcome. As a New Yorker, this comes in the form of a weekend trip upstate to the Catskills for some hiking and R&R. Now, I’m a Midwesterner by birth, and hiking is pretty much old hat for me. I thought I had every piece of gear and equipment needed for a successful and safe hike, but most recently, five items have made their way into my backpack that I didn’t see coming.
Although they may not be your traditional hiking equipment, they’re slowly becoming essentials for me. And with fall approaching quickly and more outdoor adventures planned on the horizon, these are my five unexpected but still must-have hiking necessities.