There are many things one needs to consider when planning a hiking trip. Hiking trips are usually shorter than camping trips; therefore requires fewer items to pack.
However, it is almost more important to be more prepared for a hiking trip because of the unforeseeable things nature may throw at you.
This is also particularly important if you plan on going off trails. You want to make sure you are prepared for any possible situations, but it is also prudent to not over pack. Since hiking involves all travel by foot, anything you pack, you have to carry.
Unnecessary equipment will just slow you down and tire your muscles and body sooner. Here is a list of basic, but the most important equipment you need to pack for your hiking trip.
1. Travel Partners
Do not ever make the mistake of going on a hike alone. If you are an experienced hiker and plan on going on a maintained hiking trail, then be sure to let someone know you are going and when you expect to be back. This is for emergency purposes.
2. Camping Boots
Take careful considerations when choosing your hiking shoes or boots. Since you will be on your feet the majority of the time, having a shoe or boot that is comfortable is essential. If you are a beginner hiker and will mostly be taking trails, hiking shoes are a cheaper and lighter fit.
If you are an experienced hiker and plan on getting many years of hiking in one shoe, then a boot might be a more sturdy and durable hiking choice. Also consider if you will be near water or expect rain. Getting water resistant boots or shoes can help you remain comfortable.
You can also buy boot water proof spray and do it yourself. Don’t forget to pack extra socks if you expect to get wet. For more information on buying the proper shoes or boots for your hiking trip, see the article on hiking boots and shoes.
3. Backpack & Utility Belt
Light weight backpacks are the best. You don’t want to add extra weight with the bag. You want to make sure it is big enough for all your gear, but not too big to weigh you down. Utility belts and clasps will help you to add extra things outside of your backpack.
You can clasp your tent and sleeping bag to your backpack to leave extra room in for other things inside the backpack.
If you are hiking a trail be sure to bring a map of the area you plan to cover. This will help you cover your tracks and not get lost. If you plan on going off trailing, bring a compass.
5. Flashlight or Fire Lighting Source
The light of the moon may be your only source of light at night and on an overcast night you may have none. Flashlights are essential to navigate in the dark. Bring lighters or fire starters to keep warm at night or cook your food.
This can also be used in an emergency situation in case you are lost and need to make smoke as a signal. It might be a good idea to bring a flare, just in case.
6. Water Flask & Food
Plenty of water is essential when hiking to keep you hydrated. You will be doing a lot of physical activity and the weather might be hot. There is nothing more important than drinking lots of water in these conditions. Don’t forget to pack food also.
Packaged or dehydrated food it best for hiking because it won’t go bad. Energy bars or protein bars are good snacks along the way that can keep you energized.
Pocketknives or multi-use knives are essential when hiking in case of emergencies or everyday use. They can help you get into canned foods, cut fruit you find on the way (be sure it’s safe to eat) or helping fix broken equipment.
It can also be used for various emergencies you happen to run into along the way or help you cut gauze or bandages in your first aid kit.
8. First Aid Kit
Nobody hopes for emergency, but in the event that something should happen, it is better to be prepared. Hiking trips can be just as unpredictable as the weather and should anything happen, you will need to be prepared with a full first aid kit.
9. Extra Clothes
Be sure to choose a time for your hike when the weather conditions are favorable. I know this is not always possible when hikes are planned months in advance. Having an extra pair of clothes in case you get rained on would be beneficial for your comfort.
Something as simple as being uncomfortable in your clothes could ruin a hiking trip. Bring warm clothes also in case of cold weather or to keep you warm at night.
If you are going on a multi-day hike, be sure you have a proper place to sleep at night. There are tents specifically for overnight hiking adventures. These are usually light and can be easily attached to your hiking backpack.
You most likely won’t be able to have the space to carry a sleeping pad so find a soft place on the ground to pitch your tent. Don’t forget a sleeping back to keep you warm. These can also be attached to your backpack.
Image Sources: Pexels.com