I love getting out with my friends and hiking a new area. It has become one of my favorite past times. Not only do I get to see beautiful landscapes, but it helps me to get into shape, lose weight, and feel very adventurous in the process.
Whether you are new to the trails or have been hiking for many years, always know your safety first. Unknown terrain can be unpredictable and a smart hiker prepares themselves with what they need to get through.
From the famous Manaslu Circuit Trek in Nepal to your local trails, the essentials for hiking are all the same. Your main equipment will depend on your destination as every trail has different conditions and terrain.
What you may need for a day hike is also much less than what you would need on a hiking/camping trip, but your main items will always be the same.
Essential Hiking Equipment For Any Trail
For the casual hiker, you may be sufficiently comfortable in a pair of quality hiking shoes. But for any serious hiking, invest in a properly fitted a pair of hiking boots. A boot will provide maximum ankle support while walking and give you better footing on uneven or treacherous terrain.
You should look for an all-weather boot with waterproofing to keep your feet as dry as possible. Get fitted with a professional to help you choose the best feel for you. Hiking boots should be snug but not tight when laced for the best overall fit.
Map & Compass
You need to learn to read a map and follow compass headings as confident as possible because it is an important hiking skill. If you are not following an established path, you will need to have decent orienteering experience to stay on the right track.
GPS units can help out on the trail but don’t rely upon them as your only directional source. You can run out of battery power or lose a needed connection, so it’s vital you always carry a map and compass as a backup.
Water & Purifier
Fresh water is your life’s blood, and the threat of dehydration is always present when you are out on the trail. Carry as much as you can with you and then make sure you know where your next water source will be during the hike.
You will need to bring water purification tablets or a Life straw with you so you avoid any water-borne illnesses or contamination.
Energy bars, freeze-dried meals, and snacks are great options for food out on the trail. If you plan on fishing, you will need to take a collapsible rod with you or at least some line and tackle.
High-protein granola or snacks are the best and most lightweight options for day hiking. Carrying around bulky or heavy food items can end up just slowing you down and not giving you the right nutrition you need.
Packing a rain poncho or wearing water-resistant clothing will help keep you dry and reduce the risk of hypothermia. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen, sunglasses and a protective hat when you are out on the trail.
You should always carry a knife or a multi-tool with you. It’s not a bad idea to attach an emergency whistle to your pack. You may need it to send out a signal if you were ever to become lost.
Getting out on a hike with friends and family can be fun, and you can do it as safely as possible if you have the right accessories. I hope this list helps you get out and explore more. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars with built-in-camera. You don’t want to miss those perfect shots while you are out and about.
What about you? What are your favorite trails to hike?