There are several supplies and accessories you should bring on a hike. This hiking checklist shows everything you need for an amazing hike.
At the last count, the US outdoor industry was one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, bringing in over $400 billion annually.
Of these activities, hiking remains one of the best ways to immerse yourself in nature, keep fit, and escape from the stresses of modern-day life.
Hiking’s also one of the most accessible forms of outdoor recreation, with an abundance of trails available to enthusiasts. You will need a few things to ensure a comfortable and safe outing though.
If you’re keen to get started with this worthwhile activity and wondering what to bring on a hike, this hiking checklist is exactly what you need.
Before You Set Out
There are a few things to consider before you head out too that can make or break your trip. Your hiking checklist will depend on where you intend to go, how far you’ll be walking, and the weather.
This list of things to bring on a hike will serve you well, regardless of these variables.
Hiking Accessories for Day Hikes
While some hiking essentials apply to both day and overnight hikes, you’ll need a lot less stuff when you’re traveling for a shorter distance.
Navigation tools are a must for any hiking trip unless you’re following a short, clearly marked trail. It’s not unheard of to get lost even on well-worn routes, and navigation items aren’t cumbersome, so rather pack them just in case.
Some of the handy tools that will help keep you on track include:
• A compass
• A map
• A guidebook
• A GPS
• An altimeter watch
If you intend to use a smartphone app for any of these functions, be sure to bring a solar-powered gadget along to recharge your device if needed.
Binoculars come in handy for checking out the lay of the land and also for enhanced bird and wildlife sightings. You’ll find comprehensive information about buying the right pair for you on this website – https://binoexpert.com/binoculars-buying-guide/.
Nutrition and Hydration
A strenuous hike uses up a lot of calories, so you’ll need something to keep you sustained while you’re out there. Lightweight, easy-to-eat things like energy bars are perfect.
Some other good portable eats include trail mix, fresh fruit, granola bars, and jerky.
Water is essential on a hike. You can easily become hydrated during a long walk, especially if it’s a hot day. Pack a water bottle and at least two liters of water per person per day.
If you intend to replenish your water supplies in streams or rivers along the way, remember to bring some purification tablets along too.
Nowadays, the weather is unpredictable at the best of times, so always prepare for the worst.
A lightweight waterproof jacket and hat always come in handy and insulated clothing’s vital in cooler climates.
A sturdy pair of well-worn hiking boots make all the difference to your enjoyment while hiking. A sun hat is another must-have for any outdoor activity, as are water-resistant sunscreen cream, SPF-rated lip balm, and sunglasses.
First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit comes in handy in the event of splinters or cuts and can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
You can buy specialized first aid kits with everything you may need during a hiking excursion. These are some of the bare essentials that come in handy when you least expect it:
• Safety pins
• Anti-histamine pills and lotion
Remember to replenish it with any items you use out on the trail. It’s a good idea to take a basic first aid course to ensure you know what to do in an emergency.
Insect repellant is a good idea if you want to avoid nasty bites and stings.
Multi-Tool or Knife
A multi-tool is a staple of every hiker’s kit. You can use it for cooking, repairs, and for first aid, if needed.
You don’t need one with all the bells-and-whistles for basic day hikes, but one with scissors, a bottle opener, and a knife will come in handy.
If you intend to leave nothing but footprints in your wake—and you should—pack a trash bag for wrappers, wet wipes, and other items that could mar the environment.
A recyclable plastic bag folds up really small and you can tie it to your backpack easily once it’s filled.
Hiking Supplies for Emergencies
Never take chances when hiking, you never know when you could end up unintentionally spending the night outdoors, or when bad luck could strike.
These are some of the emergency supplies you shouldn’t leave home without.
A Source of Light
A flashlight is great for both overnight excursions and unforeseen delays that could see you heading home in the dark. A headlamp’s even better.
Either way, make sure your light source is fully charged before you leave.
Unless you know how to start a fire, survivor-style, a fire kit is your go-to for both cooking and warmth.
A basic kit should include a magnifying glass, and outdoors lighter, and flammable material to help you start a fire easily.
Basic repair gear should include a sewing kit, tape, and repair adhesive. Add in some spare buckles, webbing, and paracord too.
While you’ll need something more durable for an overnight hike, a lightweight shelter is ideal in a pinch.
Bivy’s and emergency blankets come in inexpensive versions that fold up really small and could save your life in a pinch.
A personal locator beacon can send a GPS emergency signal in areas without cell phone reception. Although they’re a little costly, one of these items really comes in handy if you need urgent assistance in an emergency.
Of course, a backpack to carry all these items is a must for hands-free hiking.
For day hikes, you’ll need one that carries between 10 and 20 liters of gear. Overnight hikes call for something bigger and sturdier since you’ll have more stuff to carry around.
Hiking Checklist for Overnight Hikes
While most of the items in the list above apply to both day hikes as well as longer adventures, there are some things that you’ll need to add to the list when you’re staying overnight.
These are the extras you’ll need when you’re out in the wilderness for multiple days.
A Tent or Shelter
A top-quality backpacking tent will increase your comfort immeasurably while out on a multi-day hike. After all, you’re doing this for your enjoyment, so you don’t want to spend your nights shivering against cold, wet conditions.
It’s a good idea to choose a tent with a detachable flysheet since it will protect you from rain, but you can also remove it in very hot conditions. Three-season tents are suitable for most hikes, while four-season tents can stand up to harsh winter conditions.
Another thing to consider when choosing a tent is the weight. Remember you’re probably going to spend most of the day lugging it uphill.
Be sure to choose the lightest, most durable tent you can find. It’s worth spending a little extra on this important piece of equipment.
Remember, the fewer guylines and tent pegs involved in setting up your tent, the less you’ll have to pack up and carry around.
Other Essentials for A Comfortable Stay
An extended stay means you’ll need to make provision for more meals and water. If you’re planning to cook, you’ll need lightweight versions of all the cooking gear you want to use.
A small portable propane stove comes in hand during wet weather. A quick-dry towel that rolls up really small will help with basic hygiene as well as cleaning up spills.
You’ll also need to bring extra clothes along as well as basic toiletries. Toothpaste, toilet paper, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer are some of the bare basics.
A couple of clothes pegs or clips come in handy for securing rain jackets while they’re drying, as well as sealing any opened packets.
Don’t forget to take any prescription medication along too.
Get More Out of Life
As you start to experiment with longer and more arduous hikes, you’re bound to add to your needs.
So, it’s important to set up a hiking checklist to ensure nothing’s left behind.
Go through your list before and after each hike to ensure you have a full supply of everything you need and replenish your stocks before you leave. Careful planning ensures you’ll get the maximum enjoyment from every adventure.
Keep reading our blog for more tips on the things you like to do, both indoors and out.
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