The Beginners Guide: 9 Essential Items to Bring on Your Hiking Trip

Heading out for a hike allows you to be one with nature, spend time with your family and friends, or be in tune with yourself. 

So, whether you want to hit the trails or stay closer at home, there are things that you should consider. This includes how far the destination is, the weather forecast, and what you need to bring. 

Keep in mind that the longer or more remote the hike is, the more things you need to bring. 

If you are getting ready for your hiking trip, we will walk you through the essential items that you need to bring along your next adventure:

1. Navigation

The two primary navigation components that should accompany you for your hike are a topo map and your trusty compass. 

Usually, these items are highly reliable, durable, lightweight, and, best of all, and you do not have to worry that they will run out of batteries. 

If you think you are lost, you can use these to find your way back again. 

If you are looking for other tools to supplement a map or compass, consider bringing GPS devices or a phone compass. 

Although GPS tools can be convenient and practical while you are on the trail, you should not entirely replace these with your map or compass. 

2. Personal locator beacon

You can use this gadget to alert any emergency personnel in the area in case you need help. 

This is often activated when there is an emergency. It lets you determine your GPS position and sends out messages to the government or commercial satellites. 

Usually, this is often an excellent back-up if something happens. And will look into remote locations that an average cellphone usually couldn’t be counted on when searching for a signal. 

3. Sunscreen

Sun protection is essential for any hiking trip, even if the weather is mainly cloudy. 

Getting an SPF lip balm, sunscreen, sunglasses, a brimmed hat, and protective clothing are essential things that you need to bring for your hiking trip. 

Cracked lips, sunburns, or snow blindness are debilitating in the long run. Hence, you prepare well before a hike. Otherwise, you are putting yourself at risk. 

4. Extra clothing

The weather can quickly change, so you should always bring an extra layer of clothing, even if you’re out for warmer trips. 

A trusty rain jacket and layers of quick-drying clothing ensure that you’re all safe and warm even if there are any temperature drops. 

You should also avoid wearing cotton products since they take a long time to dry or pull in heat to your body. Opt for quick-dry, more synthetic layers instead. 

Doing so helps you manage your perspiration so that your clothing won’t soak in sweat. Hiking in wet clothing will give your chills as soon as you’ve stopped hiking. 

5. Water

It would help if you also had sufficient hydration during your trip. You should know how or where you will be treating water as soon as you are out on the trail.

The amount of water you will be bringing along depends on how long you will be out there. You have to ensure that you are well-hydrated. 

As per safety guidelines, plan for half a liter of water every hour when you are in moderate temperatures or terrain. 

6. First aid kit

When hiking, you should see to it that you bring a first aid kit along. Many backpackers usually purchase a pre-packaged first aid kit. That’s because it’s lightweight and reliable to treat some minor ailments. 

You can also opt for a DIY first aid kit. Just ensure that you have medical gauze, band-aids, Benadryl, ibuprofen, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, duct tape, a lighter, and a couple of safety pins. 

The thing is, you can handle most trail injuries on the spot. If you suffer from a more significant injury, a first aid kit can still provide you with a temporary fix before any help arrives. 

Over time, as you gain more hiking experience, you’ll be able to add or remove things from your first aid kit, mostly depending on your needs. 

Also, see to it that you replace the things you used as soon as you returned home from your hike. 

7. Food

The amount of food you need to bring will depend on the duration of your hike. If your hike only takes an hour or two, you should bring some snacks to your pack. 

You can go for granola bars, jerky, or fruit. An excellent quick bite to bring would be pistachios, as they provide you with healthy fats and plenty of proteins. 

If you opt for aerobic activities, such as trail runs, you should bring along high-energy chewable specifically designed for athletes. 

Also, try to eat something small, at least every hour. Stopping less frequently for bigger snacks will make you feel uncomfortable once you start hiking again. 

8. Headlamp

Bringing a headlamp in your pack sees to it that you don’t have to race before daylight before you can get back to the trailhead. 

It also allows you to identify the trailhead quickly and stay on the trail even before the sun has long set. 

Opting for a small headlamp doesn’t need to be a costly addition to the list of gears that you’ll be bringing along to your trip. 

Ideally, buy something with a broader beam so that it will be easier to see what’s ahead. 

9. Repair kit and other tools 

You should also bring along a lightweight multi-tool and some essential repair equipment with you. Using a multi-tool knife usually comes in handy in various situations when you are on the trail. 

Additionally, duct tapes and tenacious tapes are often excellent tools that you can use when repairing gear while outdoors. 

Tenacious tapes can be excellent in fixing things like sleeping bag tears or tent punctures. Meanwhile, duct tapes can be used as your all-around repair tool, like mending a broken tent pole, repairing sunglasses, and so on.

We hope that this beginner-friendly hiking guide will help you stay safe and comfortable on your next hiking adventure. Good luck!

Victoria Brewood
victoria@pommietravels.com

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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