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Are you one of those people that just can’t stay still? Those hiking trails are always calling out to you, and you just have to go. We understand that feeling. Excited as you are for your next hike day, you should not forget to plan ahead. Pick your trail, do your research and get your checklist ready. But what exactly do you add to the checklist? What are the best hiking essentials to carry along?
Whether it be a day hike or an overnight trip, there are some hiking essentials every hiker needs every time. And among these hiking supplies that you should ideally carry, there are 10 essentials for hiking that you cannot leave out. Well, if you are not sure what these should be, don’t worry because we have the entire list for you.
So, here’s your comprehensive list of hiking essentials for your next trip.
A backpack is the very first thing you’re going to need. A good hiking backpack that will hold strong will make things a lot easier for you on the hike. For a short day hike, an 11 to 20-litre backpack should be enough. It depends on your personal preferences, though. If you plan to carry more layers of clothing or some additional gear, or if your trip is going to be longer than a day, you may go for a bigger hiking day pack. But remember that extra space means a tendency to overpack, which will only add unnecessary weight. So, choose an optimum size for your needs.
Choose a hiking backpack that has several pockets to hold your water bottles, cellphones, emergency kit, etc., would be a good idea. Also, choose one with a hip belt and a sternum strap so that the backpack stays in place and the weight is supported well.
If you’re looking for a really big hiking day pack that’ll take everything in, try the Terra 65 Backpack by The North Face. A smaller yet effective option is the Hikelite 26 by Osprey. And if you want an extremely pocket-friendly backpack, try the Daylite Plus 20. There are more options that can be perfect for you, so make sure to check them out as well.
There’s no hiking without the right hiking shoes. A good pair of hiking shoes should be comfortable since you will be on your feet for a long time. Choose a pair that is lightweight and provides enough support to your feet. Traction is also important in your hiking shoes to make sure you have a good grip when walking on rugged terrain. Lastly, make sure that your hiking shoes protect your feet. These shoes will have to face rough trails, so they should be strong enough.
Try the Tps 520 Gv Mw by Asolo if you need a sturdy pair. This one’s made of water-resistant full-grain leather and has three shock absorbers on the high-impact areas of the sole. The Trek Ascent Insulated by Vibram is great for cold weather. Check out more hiking shoes before you make your pick.
Along with comfortable shoes, comfortable clothing is also important. It is essential to dress according to the weather and surrounding conditions. Some of the essential clothing items would be moisture-wicking undergarments, moisture-wicking T-shirts, quick-drying track pants or shorts, a long-sleeve shirt or T-shirt to protect from the sun and insects, and a lightweight jacket for windy or rainy weather. Additional layers in your hiking outfit will depend on the climate you’re hiking in. Avoid cotton clothing as they retain moisture and become heavy.
Clean water is something you’ll definitely need throughout your trip. And carrying a bottle or two may not be enough, particularly during summers. So you need an option to refill your bottles, but then the water you’ll find on the trail won’t be drinkable without filtering. So, make sure to carry a backpacking water filter with you. These portable water purifiers can be real lifesavers. Try the Intrepid Water Bottle by Adventure Medical, the Geopress Water Purifier, or the Ultralight Water Purifier by Grayl.
On a long hike, a hiking pole is one item you’ll thank us for reminding. A sturdy hiking pole can come in handy at times, and it is wise to carry one, especially if your trail is too rough and exhausting. You will need that extra support, and it doesn’t add much to the weight of your hiking backpack either. Try the Pinnacle Single Trekking Hike Pole, the Rhyolite 6061 Trekking Pole, or the FXpedition Monopod (Heritage Black), all by Mountainsmith.
One of the most important things is packing your hiking first aid kit essentials. Your first aid should at least have all the basic medicines and supplies that you might need in case of an emergency. To make things simpler, you can carry a pre-made medical kit like the Ultralight / Watertight .5 Medical Kit by Adventure Medical, which contains all the hiking first aid kit essentials you could need for a day or two.
All of that said, the 10 essentials for hiking that we recommend are –