Packing for a hiking trip is not as simple as it sounds because not all hikes are the same. Also, not all hikers are the same, and what you’re going to pack depends a lot on the weather conditions, your own physical condition, and the terrain you’re visiting. However, there are some things which you should always bring with you hiking regardless of your experience, the hike’s length or location. Don’t think that something bad will happen on your long-planned hiking trip, but be prepared for anything. Here you can see a list of all the essential items you need to pack for any hike.
Sounds obvious, right? Not everybody realizes how important it is to stay hydrated while hiking, no matter the distance or the weather. For a short hike, a liter or two should be enough. But, if you’re planning on going for a long hike, a liter for every hour-and-a-half or two is a must. You can’t bargain with your body and convince it that it needs less.
If you’re going on a 10-hour hike, maybe it’s not possible to carry around 5-6 liters of water, so you would need to refill your water bottle from rivers, creeks, or even collect rainwater. Of course, you can’t drink it as it is, and you need to purify it first. A water filter, purification tablets, or water boiling is what you need to do.
Depending on where is it that you’re hiking and what time of the year it is, here are some basic weather protection items suggestions.
- Rain Jacket – No matter how sunny it is and even if you think it will stay like that for the rest of the day, remember to bring your rain jacket because it always rains in the mountains.
- Sunscreen and a lip balm – Even if you go for a winter hike, you need to put sunscreen on to protect your skin from the sun. Mountain trails are always more exposed to the sun because of the height, so treat your skin with respect.
- A hat with a brim – A hat with a brim will protect your eyes from the sun and rain. Keep one with your hiking gear.
- Layers of clothes – One of the most important things when it comes to hiking clothes is to use a layer system, so you can adjust your body temperature.
A simple, tiny, and extremely necessary item that you can hang on a chain around your neck. If you get lost blow on the whistle and eventually someone will hear your call for help.
In case you get lost or the hike lasts longer than expected, you will need a light to help you on the way back.
No matter how long the hike is, you will use calories and will need to replace them. So instead of fainting on the trail, bring enough food and snacks that will help you recover your strength.
First Aid Kit
You don’t need to bring the whole kit for a short hike. Medical tape can be used for covering wounds, securing a splint, or wrapping a sprained ankle. Also, alcohol spray to prevent infection, small scissors, and bandage would be good to take along. Remember all these items before starting to pack and your hiking experience will be better for it.
A knife is one of the most important items to have in your gear. You can use it to cut wood, cut food, hunt, clean wounds, make a cat hole if you need to go to the toilet, cut bandages and many more necessary operations.
If you’re planning on staying in the woods overnight, then you’ll need to make a fire. Bring lighters, waterproof matches, and other fire-starting equipment.
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