You’ve been on the trail hiking for six hours. You made the summit all-smiles, and got back safely to the trailhead. You huffed and puffed. You sweat. Your body is complaining–“Why are you doing this to me?!”
What you don’t want to do is stuff your sweaty, grimy body into your car for the ride back home. And you definitely don’t want to scare of the rest of the customers when you stop for that well-earned burger, burrito or pizza.
You need an after-hike social survival kit.
Ask any experienced day hiker and they’ll all have a version of this. A few simple supplies that stay in the car, but make the trip back home so much more pleasant. I call it my after-hike social survival kit. The people sitting at the table next to me appreciate it, even if they don’t know it. And I feel a whole lot better.
What’s in my kit?
The exact details will vary, but generally it includes the following.
- A reusable shopping bag. Any bag will do, but I like the durability of reusable bags. This carries all my stuff to-and-fro.
- Flip-flops or sandals. My feet want to be free! Taking the hiking shoes and socks off after a long hike is one of the great shared experiences. Your feet thanks you. Having sandals for the ride home gives them a chance to breathe.
- Wipes. I really like Action Wipes, but even baby wipes will do in a pinch. It won’t replace a hot shower, but it will cut the worst of the grime and you’ll feel refreshed.
- A clean, cotton t-shirt. “Cotton kills” or so the saying goes. While I always hike and bike in a tech t-shirt that wicks away perspiration, when I get back to my adventure mobile, nothing feels quite as comforting as a cotton t-shirt. Especially a SoCalHiker t-shirt.
- Cold water. I love my 32 oz. Hydro Flask. I fill it up with ice and water before I leave in the morning, and even after sitting in a hot, sun-baked car all day I know the water will still be cold and refreshing when I finish my hike. Best. Thing. Ever.
- A little spritz of body spray. And I mean a little. Nothing worse than the sour combination of sweat and grime with too heavily scented body spray. Just a skosh.
What’s in your post-hike social survival kit? Leave a comment and let me know.