Even though vaccinations are still, thankfully, coming thick and fast, you may want to think about scheduling a hiking trip for your vacation this summer. Hiking has become increasingly popular for a good reason, with millions of people hiking across the Pacific Crest Trail alone in recent years.
Hikes can be an excellent way of seeing the world around you or visiting a new state. But knowing what to pack for a hike is another question entirely, particularly if it’s your first time.
We’re going to highlight 10 outdoor gear items you can’t go without on your next hiking trip. So make a packing list based on this post, and all you’ll need to worry about is where you’re headed.
1. Your Hiking Backpack
The first thing you’ll need to focus on if you’re hiking is a sturdy backpack. Otherwise, you’re not going to be able to carry everything else on this list!
Make sure you go for a waterproof option if you’re hiking somewhere in rainy weather. You’ll thank us for that tip later.
You should also ensure you purchase a backpack that’s the right size; anything too big, and you’ll be doing more work for yourself. Pack as light as you can, and you’ll be able to travel further on your hike itself.
2. Strong Hiking Shoes
After your backpack, you need to make sure you have a strong pair of hiking shoes. These are shoes specifically designed for long walks and will have more substantial heel support and an impressive grip on their underside.
Don’t worry about looking trendy when it comes to hiking shoes. Instead, focus on practicality and comfort.
3. First-Aid Kit
Hiking isn’t the most dangerous activity in the world, but things can go wrong. One twist of the ankle or a slip on a hill can pose a potential disaster for you or someone in your party.
You should always pack a first-aid kit with you, just in case accidents like this happen. If you’re unsure what to pack inside your kit, take a look at this helpful guide.
4. A Full Water Bottle
Water is perhaps the most important thing you should remember to pack if you’re going hiking. Your body needs to keep hydrated, no matter the weather or the challenge posed by your hike.
Purchasing a dedicated water bottle can be helpful, thanks to the fact that they’re sturdier than anything plastic. Just make sure whatever you take with you is full to the brim.
5. Snacks and a Picnic
Often the best part about a long hike is the ability to set a blanket down and eat amongst nature. Therefore, you should prepare a picnic full of food that isn’t easily spoilable.
High-energy foods, including fruit and veg, will also help keep your energy up to continue walking. If you’re not sure what to take with you on your picnic, we’ve written a guide just for that.
Even if you’re not planning on stopping for a full picnic, you should invest in high-energy snacks to munch on as you walk.
6. A Camping Blanket
If you are stopping for a picnic, you need to invest in a proper blanket. This is also vital if you’re hiking for several days and are looking to camp overnight.
Our lightweight camping blanket won’t take up too much space in your rucksack and is fully waterproof. That way, you can set it down anywhere your heart desires whilst you’re on your hike.
7. Shelter (Planned or Emergency)
This one is always essential but will depend on how long you’re planning on hiking. If you’re hiking a trail for several days, you’ll need to bring the right kind of shelter with you to sleep in overnight.
We’d recommend a sturdy tent, but not one that takes up too much space in your rucksack. Even if you’re only hiking for a day, you should pack an emergency shelter with you.
You can get full shelters or emergency sleeping bags. These are designed to be lightweight but will keep you protected from the elements if you have to hunker down anywhere.
8. Navigational Tools
If you’re hiking on a popular tourist trail, chances are there will be a lot of signs to show you the right path. But certain areas are better signposted than others.
Wherever you’re hiking, you should bring your own navigational tools with you if you get lost; at the bare minimum, that should include a map and a compass.
If you’re traveling in a group, it’s a good idea to nominate someone to be the navigator so that they’re focused on this task as you hike.
9. Headlamp and Batteries
The last thing you want to happen on your hike is to be caught out by the sun. But, if you’ve mistimed how long your hike will take, having no visibility is where accidents can start to happen.
You should always bring a torch with you on your hike, even if it’s a pocket torch. The best option is a headlamp, as this can be wrapped around your head and kept out of the way as you walk.
Whatever you choose, always make sure you have a spare pack of batteries.
10. Elemental Protection
Finally, you need to ensure you have the right kind of protection from the elements. If it’s particularly sunny, make sure you apply and pack sunscreen to avoid sunstroke.
If there’s a lot of rain, ensure you pack a raincoat and waterproof clothing. You should also pack additional layers if you’re hiking on an incline, as the weather on top of a hill will be very different from the weather at the bottom.
If you’re hoping to head for a swim, you should also ensure you pack a camping towel. Ensure this is a travel towel so that it doesn’t take up too much space in your rucksack.
Where Can I Find Out More About Packing For a Hiking Trip?
You should now know what things for a hike you’ll need to pack on your next hiking trip. But when it comes to what to take on a hike, there can be even more items.
This is particularly true if you’re hoping to camp for an extended period. At BEARZ Outdoor, we create several products specifically designed for hiking and camping trips.
If you have any questions about hiking or camping, please contact our team directly.