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Sun Clothes. I buy most of my sun protection clothing from a company called Coolibar. I recommend Coolibar long sleeve UV shirts, pants and sunhats. They weave a 50 UV sun block material called Zinc into their clothing.
The cost for the long sleeve shirts are $40.00. The sun hats can be bought from $30.00 to $50.00. They sometimes have sales going throughout the year.
Sunblock. Any “UV 30 SPF” brand will protect your skin. Make sure it is 30 SPF or higher. The brands I use are Banana Boat and Coppertone since they offer excellent sun protection. Remember, if you are outside all day, don’t take chances with your skin. Walmart’s Equate, Walgreens and CVS generic brands are good too. There are plenty of other recommendations such as Coppertone and Neutrogena. They will cost you around $10.00.
Sunglasses. Walgreens and Walmart have sport sunglasses with 100 UV protection. I have been getting my sport shades at Walgreens for years. You can get a decent pair of Foster Grant sunglasses for $10.00.
Footwear. I like Asics and Nike trail running shoes. I am brand conscious when it comes to shoes because of quality and durability. Asic’s and Nike’s have never let me down and I have been hiking in them for years. Expect to pay $35 – $50 for running shoes. You can also use trail hiking shoes or boots if you’d like, but trail running shoes are lighter and just as comfortable.
Things you want in a good shoe: stability, comfort, durability, balance, and lightness Things you do not want in a shoe: Blisters, terrible arch support, no stability, not balanced, and are heavy.
Knives. Mora 511. This is the most durable, inexpensive, lightweight, fixed-blade knife I have ever owned. Ben’s Backwoods.com sells them for $12.00. You can also find them on eBay. A lot of experts in the field of hiking and survival wear them around their necks.
Whistle/Compass. Walmart has whistles that are inexpensive. You can get a basic whistle for $2.99. I have a whistle built with a compass and temperature gauge. It is a little gimmicky, but nonetheless it works.
Space Blanket. The Coghlan Space Blanket sells them for $2.99 at Walmart. It is basically a small tinfoil-like blanket that works great to keep the sun off you if live in the desert or in sunny climates. They also can be used as a reflective heat source called “Cody’s Super Shelter” that is demonstrated by Cody Lundin. Watch the youtube video here…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvKLOMgtM1Q
Grabber Space Blanket. Amazon.com or Target.com sells these for $25.00. This blanket is thicker, more durable, and will keep you slightly warmer in colder conditions than the Coghlan‘s version and can be used a reflective heat source too.
55 Gallon Garbage Bag. Walmart sells them $7.00 in a pack of 20 bags. You can use the garbage bag as a bivy sack if you spend the night on the trail or turn it into a poncho in the event of a rain shower. They trap heat very well when used inside of a sleeping bag or bivy.
Snacks. Power bars, GORP, granola bars, and protein bars. I get the Equate brand box of 6 granola bars for $1.99 at Walmart. I like the oatmeal and peanut butter bars. You can also include the popular Cliff Bars for a nutritious snack.
Diamond Strike Anywhere Matches. These are tough to locate since not many stores sell them anymore. I have found them at Ace Hardware, Menards, and Publix. If you cannot find them at retail stores, then go to Amazon.com where they sell for $6.00 a box of 300 matches.
Mini-Bic Lighters. Walmart sells a 3 pack of mini lighters for $2.99 in the checkout aisle.
Orange Flagging Tape. Home Depot carries them for $2.99 in the hardware section. You can tie flagging tape around tree branches if you are hiking in unfamiliar territory to visually guide your way back home. I have used them a few times with great success.
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