Times change. So does technology, so are trends, and – unfortunately – so does the climate. This means that the bags you pack for a weekend – or a week – of hiking in the Banff National Park should change accordingly. In some areas, the traditional packing tips no longer do the trick. Here are some new must-haves that you should make sure will always be in your backpack when going on a hike in 2019.
One of the scariest effects of climate change is that ticks carrying Lyme’s disease are migrating further North each year – that’s because the temperatures in these areas are becoming friendlier to them. Back in 1990, Long Point in Southern Ontario was the only location in Canada where the Ixodes scapularis (the blacklegged tick) was documented. In 2013, 22 of these ticks have been found in Alberta, and by 2017, the number of reported insects grew to 48.
This means that tick repellent sprays and solutions, both for you and your pet, have become a must-have when hiking in the summer.
Plastic pollution has been a problem for ages but the public wasn’t aware of its true extent until a few years ago. This year, some governments went as far as banning single-use plastic items like plates, forks, and knives, compelling businesses and individuals to phase them out and use environmentally-friendly alternatives instead.
Carrying reusable items in your backpack – plates, cutlery, water bottles, and such – may not be the most practical and convenient way, especially when hiking, but it’s definitely a much better choice for the environment.
Today, you can find environmentally-friendly and biodegradable alternatives to pretty much every item you may need even over a week-long camping trip, ranging from forks and plates to combs and toothbrushes.
Off the grid
The network coverage in the Rockies is pretty good – this means that you will definitely be tempted to lose yourself in the social media updates and funny videos abundant on the internet today. Not to mention the increasingly attractive and wide range of movies and series available through the increasingly diverse streaming services of today. This means that you’ll need as much power to feed your high-performance smartphone as you can – after all, you don’t want your phone to run out of juice right in the middle of your relaxing binge-watching session in the middle of the forest.
Luckily, power banks and solar chargers have become more efficient over the years. You can now buy a power bank big enough to last you through even a multi-day hike, and even backpacks fitted with both a solar charger and a power bank to keep you fully charged – and connected – throughout your entire trip.