When you’re hiking, there are a few essentials that can really be of help. The problem is, what do you bring if you’re not sure what the trail will throw your way? In the following paragraphs, I’m going to give you a list of hiking essentials that there’s a good chance will come in handy on most treks.
1. Hiking boots – make sure they’re comfortable and fit well
Boots that are too big or too small can lead to blisters, and boots that don’t provide enough support can cause tired feet and ankles. When trying on hiking boots, be sure to wear the same type of socks that you’ll be wearing on the trail. Spend some time walking around the store to get a feel for how the boots feel on your feet.
Once you’ve found a pair that feels good, it’s important to break them in before hitting the trail. Wear them around the house for a few days to loosen them up, and take them out for short walks before embarking on a long hike.
2. Backpack – choose one that’s big enough to fit all your essentials, but not too big or bulky
A hiking backpack is another essential – you’ll need something to carry all your gear in! When selecting a backpack, size is one of the most important considerations. You want a pack that’s big enough to fit all your essentials, but not so large that it becomes cumbersome to carry.
One way to determine the ideal size is to take inventory of everything you need to bring, and then try on a few different packs until you find one that feels comfortable and well-fitted. Additionally, pay attention to the features of each pack, such as external pockets and straps, which can be helpful in keeping everything organized and within easy reach. And finally, don’t forget to factor in weight; a lighter pack will always be easier on your back than a heavier one.
3. Hydration pack – you’ll need plenty of water while hiking, so a hydration pack is essential
A hydration pack allows you to carry plenty of water with you, so you can stay hydrated throughout your hike. It’s important to drink plenty of water while hiking, as it helps to prevent exhaustion and keep your muscles working properly. A hydration pack makes it easy to drink often, and can even be used to filter water from sources like rivers or lakes.
4. Sunscreen and sunglasses – protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays
If it’s hot, wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can help to prevent sunburn, and wearing sunglasses can help to protect your eyes from UV radiation. In addition, avoiding prolonged sun exposure during the middle of the day (when the sun’s rays are strongest) can help to reduce your risk of damage from UV radiation.
5. Hat and insect repellent – keep the bugs away and shield your head from the sun
Apply it to the exposed skin, and reapply it throughout the day as needed.
6. Hiking clothes – try to wear clothes that are comfortable and breathable.
When you are hiking, it is important to be comfortable. Clothes made of cotton or linen are typically a good option. You also want to make sure your clothes are loose enough so you can move freely. If you are hiking in cold weather, make sure to wear layers so you can adjust to changes in temperature. Wool is a good fabric for hiking clothes because it is warm even when it is wet. Lastly, choose shoes that are comfortable and have good traction. This will help you keep your footing on uneven terrain.
7. First-aid kit – in case of any emergencies
A basic kit should include Band-Aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, and pain relievers. You may also want to include items for more serious injuries, such as a CPR mask, Splint, burn gel, snake bite kit, and an emergency whistle. By being prepared with a first-aid kit, you’ll be able to handle any minor injuries that come your way.
8. Hiking poles – especially if you are trekking on steep or rocky terrain.
Not only do hiking poles provide extra support on steep or uneven terrain, but they can also help to prevent fatigue by taking some of the strain off of your legs and back. Additionally, hiking poles can be useful in navigating through thick brush or deep snow, and they can even be used to set up a makeshift shelter in an emergency.
9. Maps and a compass – essential if you’re hiking in unfamiliar territory.
A map can help you plan your route and identify potential hazards, while a compass can ensure that you stay on course. Even if you are familiar with the area, a map and compass can be invaluable in case of an emergency. If you get lost, they can help you find your way back to civilization. There are many digital maps that can help you find your way. Many phones also have digital compasses; however, keep in mind that there’s always a certain risk that something will happen with your phone.
10. A whistle – can be very useful for signaling for help.
For example, if you are lost while hiking, a whistle can be used to attract attention. Similarly, if you are injured and unable to move, blowing a whistle can help to alert rescuers to your location.
11. A headlamp or flashlight – it can get dark in the wild
A headlamp is especially useful, as it leaves your hands free to climb or set up camp. Flashlights are also a good option, and many now come with built-in batteries that can be recharged via USB. No matter which type of light you choose, be sure to pack extra batteries, as they can be essential in an emergency situation.
12. A lighter or matches – for starting a fire
If you are hiking in cold weather, a fire can be essential for warmth. Even in warm weather, a fire can be used to cook food or signal for help. A lighter or matches can also be used to sterilize tools or bandages in an emergency.
Remember, this is not the ultimate hiking essentials list
So there you have it – a list of hiking essentials that can come in handy. I do not believe there’s such thing as an ultimate list of hiking essentials because what is essential will vary depending on whether you are going and other facts.
For example, if you’re camping alone in a place full of bears, a bear spray is an essential. If you’re going to the jungle, a bear spry might be worthless. To make sure you pack everything you might need, do your best to understand the place where you’re going before starting your trekking day.