10 backpack essentials for summer hiking adventures in Colorado

Colorado summers are as beautiful as they are volatile. Before you head into the high country for a hike this season, check your backpack. A well-packed bag can be the difference between a great day in the mountains and altitude sickness or — worst-case scenario — a rescue.

According to a report based on National Park Service data, the most common contributing factors to search-and-rescue incidents are making an error in judgement; fatigue and physical conditions; and insufficient equipment, clothing and experience. Many of these factors can be avoided by packing (and then acting) smarter for a day in the wilderness.

This list is based on recommendations by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the 10 essentials adopted by the American Hiking Society and other groups, as well as some Colorado-specific advice.

“The 10 essentials is a good place to start, and the list varies depending on the organization and the people,” said Jeff Golden, marketing manager for Colorado Mountain Club and an experienced mountaineer.

Here are 10 things you must have in your all-purpose day-trip pack…

 

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