Hiking Checklist: What to Bring on a Hike

Have you ever had that intense feeling in your gut that is telling you to see and explore the great outdoors? Everyday is a great day to plan a hike, you can do it by yourself, or with your friends and family. It doesn’t matter who you do it with because it all boils down to one fact, the experience you get from a hike depends greatly on how well you prepare for it. 

Every hiking enthusiast knows that their hiking essentials differ according to the trail they plan to pursue. Taking in other factors such as weather, terrain, time, duration and a whole lot more, it can be a challenge to plan ahead. To get you started, here is a list of the top essentials that can work for almost every trail. 

Hiking Essentials to Bring on Your Next Hike

A hiker’s gear can be composed of different things. However, the following items are proven to cover all the basic needs for a short-term or long-term hike. Check them out to see which items are already crossed out on your list.

Enough Water

When on a hike, hydration is important. Your organs and body systems can only function when there is enough water in your body. Hiking can cause you to sweat and lose water in your system. Make sure to carry enough water for the trip assuming you need to have half a liter of water for every hour.

Effective Navigation Tools

Technology undoubtedly offers convenience in terms of navigation. However, mobile phones and GPS devices may not be ideal for hikes. Knowledge on how to use classic navigation tools such as maps and compasses are still the best options to stay on track. 

Trail Food

It is always good to bring calorie-dense food options with you during a hike. This saves space and gives you enough energy to pursue the trail. Make sure to include extra servings in case the trip takes longer than what you expect. A few bites of sweets is also handy in case you have a hypoglycemic episode.

Proper Footwear

It is vital that you invest in comfortable hiking shoes. Your feet need to be working on their best state as this affects your pace and endurance during the hike. When choosing shoes or boots to wear on your next hike, make sure it facilitates excellent support, protection and traction.

Proper Clothing

When we mention the phrase “dress in layers”, hikers know that it is geared to make adjustments in activity and weather conditions easier. If it becomes too hot, you can remove some, and when it becomes too cold, you can always add them back. Stick to moisture-wicking and dry-fast layers.

First-Aid Kit

Apart from undergoing basic life support training, it is vital to have a first aid kit on hand in every hike. Whether the trip is a short or a long one, accidents may happen. It is always good to have medical supplies available to treat injuries and provide first aid treatment. 

Safety Tools

Even if you have the entire trip all planned out, you should always have your safety tools at hand. This includes a whistle and a means to ignite light or fire for signalling or calling for help in case something bad happens. 

Form of Shelter

It is good to have a reliable form of shield from different elements during the trip. This can be in the form of a tent or blanket that you can use to give you protection in case of unexpected injuries, weather conditions or situations. It is ideal to stick to lightweight options as you will be carrying it with you during the hike.

All-Around Tool

The great outdoors do not give you the chance to bring your entire home with you. Hence, you should equip yourself with a reliable tool that offers a variety of uses. It is good to be ready with something that can help you repair gear, assist in setting up, or facilitate first aid. 

Reliable Sun Protection

Who doesn’t love the sun? While there is the beauty in sun-exposure, the fact that it can be damaging to the skin and eyes is a constant. Equip yourself with dependable sunscreen, eyewear and sun-protective clothing. 

Final Thoughts

Hiking is for everyone. However, along with the fun and excitement from the sport comes a huge accountability in terms of safety and health. A good hiking enthusiast will know the essentials for a hike. Those mentioned on the list are the core components of a well-prepared hiking gear.

There are a couple of other things that you can bring on a hike. Just make sure to get those that are easy to carry and use. Invest on high-quality and well-functioning tools to make sure you have a smooth and stress-free hike. 

Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

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