Long walks or hiking in the woods can strengthen your heart, reduce blood pressure, and increase bone strength. It’s also a great way to get outside and enjoy nature, but what if you’re not prepared? Not bringing the right stuff on a hiking trip can ruin your adventure.
Not to worry, we’ll discuss the basics of what to pack for a hike. That way, you can focus on enjoying mother nature. Whether you’re a first-time hiker or an experienced adventurer, keep reading for some helpful tips.
Hiking Boots or Trail Running Shoes
The first hiking gear on the list focuses on making your journey as comfortable as possible. The current trend in hiking footwear is lightweight trail runners and hiking boots. Trail runners reduce weight and mass to provide more flexibility; hence it’s for anyone who wants to climb kilimanjaro.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 provides superb balance and support without feeling too heavy. The Altra Lone Peak and Hoka Speedgoat offer excellent grip and stability on a range of terrain.
For long hikes, try wool socks over synthetic or cotton material. Wool has a remarkable capacity to regulate temperature. It remains warm when wet and dries faster than cotton.
Hiking Trousers or Shorts
Hiking trousers provide more protection from abrasive trail-side plants and stones than shorts. You can roll them up depending on the weather. Look for pants with:
- Many pockets
- Excellent mobility
- Temperature-regulating fabric
- Protective water-repellent capabilities
Prana’s Stretch Zion II and the Halle II are excellent lightweights and breathable trousers. They function well in a wide variety of climates.
Hiking shirts or Baselayer
We propose a short-sleeve shirt or lightweight long-sleeve base. For a long hiking adventure, go for layers made of synthetic fabric or merino wool. On hot days, collared button-up hiking shirts provide excellent breathability and sun protection.
Ordinary t-shirts are less restricting and easy to layer.
Raincoat or Windstopper
A raincoat will keep you warm and dry during a crazy rainstorm. Since you will be wet, your rain jacket must be breathable and waterproof. 3-layer designs, such as the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L, give proper protection and breathability.
Down Vest or Synthetic Vest
Make sure to have an insulating layer in your bag to keep you warm regardless of the weather. Down is a preferred form of insulation for hiking. It’s as light as a feather and compresses into a compacted package.
A small-capacity pack is your best choice for being comfortable and tidy on the trail. Your daypack should be big enough to carry:
- Food and water
- Few layers
- First aid kit
It should also be light enough to provide optimal flexibility. Depending on the season and your specific needs, a daypack should have 10 to 30 liters of capacity.
The Osprey Talon 22 has a mix of affordability, durability, and breathability.
Bottle of Water
Males should consume around 3.7 liters of fluids each day. Females should take on 2.7 liters daily. During the hot summer day, you can carry up to four liters of water for a full day of hiking.
BPA-free Nalgene bottles are affordable and lightweight. If you want to stay hydrated on the road, a water bladder with a sipping hose is a vital piece of equipment.
If you get lost, wounded, or distracted by the sunset, the ability to see at night is essential. Since headlamps are tiny, lightweight, and affordable, you should bring one along. The Black Diamond Spot 400 is a trustworthy lamp that gives a solid and long-lasting light for $45.
Hiking poles are vital for beginners or hikers with persistent knee problems. The $140 Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork poles have a cork grip and reliable length adjustments.
If cost is an issue, the REI Co-Trailbreak op’s poles are $70. It also provides optimal stability on less challenging terrain. If speed and lightness are priorities, try the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles.
First Aid Kit
For a single day on the trail, it does not need to break the bank or your back. Make sure to get a first aid kit with:
- Medical tape
- Antibiotic ointment
You can assemble your own materials in a Ziploc bag. If you are in a hurry, purchase a compact pre-assembled first aid kit.
When planning an active day on the trail, including a water filtration system is never a bad idea. There are a variety of ultra-lightweight options, including:
- Traditional pump-style filter
- Straw filter
- Chemical tablets
The LifeStraw Peak Press is ideal for a long day of hiking. All you have to do is fill the attached flask with water and squeeze it into your mouth. Make sure to include a couple of Aquamira tablets in your bag.
Aside from water, you should bring adequate food for your adventure. It’s best to consume around 300 and 400 calories per hour of hiking. Nuts, bars, cheese, and dried fruit are high-energy foods with plenty of nutrients and calories.
Kate’s Real Food Bars are tasty, high-calorie snacks manufactured with premium ingredients. You can also pack Snickers bars and sandwiches for convenience.
A high-tech GPS tracker will cover all bases. In reality, a topographical paper map is reliable since it does not need to be charged. You can also use GPS-enabled navigation applications on your smartphones.
Apps such as TopoMaps, Gaia, and Hiking Project can locate your whereabouts at any given time. Even without a mobile phone connection, it can still reveal your hiking speed, height, and distance.
What to Bring Hiking Trip: More Insights
Make sure to pack all your hiking essentials, like food, water, and clothing. Don’t forget some less obvious items that can make your journey more enjoyable. No need to ask Mr. Google about items to bring on a hiking trip, we already explained everything.
From getting the perfect daypack to preparing for different types of weather, we’ve got you covered. Don’t forget to check out our articles for more lifestyle tips and adventures.