Hike essentials: what to bring on a hike?

boundbynature

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woman on bridge

If you’re asking yourself what to bring on a hike, we’re here to help you! It usually depends on the hike’s length and difficulty. But there are some essentials we always bring with us no matter the length.

Going on a hike is a great way to bond with your family and friends and to have fun. We particularly love it because it helps us connect with nature and we get to see gorgeous landscapes.

When you’re going on a hike, it’s really important to bring the right gear with you. Consider the length, the duration, the difficulty, and who you’re going with (if you bring children you need to be responsible for them).

The items you might need can change depending on different factors. But there are some items that are quite useful no matter the situation.

So, here are our hike essentials to bring on a hike:

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Hiking backpack

backpack

You obviously need a backpack for your hike to be able to carry all your items with you. Choose one that it’s big enough to fit everything but also light enough for you to carry comfortably.

We like backpacks that have a waist belt to distribute the weight. A chest strap is useful too since it helps to keep the backpack from moving from side to side.

Another feature we particularly like is the external water bottle compartment that makes it easy to reach water.

Appropriate clothes and shoes

When you go hiking, you need to focus on comfort, not style. This isn’t a stroll through the city, and you’ll need appropriate clothes and shoes to be able to do it.

Wear clothes that are appropriate for the weather. And get dressed in layers if there is any chance of fluctuation of the temperature throughout the day.

We usually like wearing a base light layer and a warmer outer layer. It isn’t fun to be either cold or hot during your hikes, so it’s better to come prepared. Also, an extra jacket isn’t going to weigh too much in your backpack, so bring it with you.

Remember to also pick comfortable shoes. You’re going to walk a lot so wear one of your most comfortable pairs of shoes. You could use hiking boots or trail shoes, depending on the difficulty of the hike.

Food and water

You’re going to need a lot of energy to complete a hike, so food and water are essential. Pack your lunch and bring with you extra snacks like nuts or fruits.

Bring whatever you’ll need during your hike and pack some extra food just in case. You never know if you’ll end up staying longer than you thought.

Water is of course essential so remember to bring enough for your hike. We also suggest packing a water purifier and check for any water source on your itinerary.

Navigation

For navigation, you can use GPS devices or apps on your phone. But remember to bring a charger with you in case the battery runs out.

Since tech devices can run out of battery or malfunction, we suggest bringing a map and a compass with you too. They are reliable and you can use them in case of emergency.

First aid kit

first aid kit

First aid kits are essential when you go hiking. Hopefully, you won’t need it but it’s best to have it with you just in case something happens.

You can buy one of those pre-made kits or you can make one yourself. Remember to replace any item you end up using while hiking when you go home.

Sun protection

Whether you go on a hike during summer or during winter, you’ll need sun protection. Sunscreen, glasses, and hats are your friends.

Pick sunscreen of at least 30 SPF and re-apply when needed.

Multi-tool

multi-tool

A multi-tool or at least a knife should always be in your backpack when you go hiking. You might need it to cut something, or to open a can.

Shelter

You don’t need to bring a tent if you’re only going for a quick hike. But if you’re hiking for several days, you need a tent.

We wrote an article on the best camping tents that you can check out for inspiration.

There are also emergency shelters that are super light. You can pack them in your backpack even if you don’t plan to stay out at night. Just in case you might need it.

Trash bag

A trash bag is an essential hiking item. You will, inevitably, create some waste and you need a trash bag to clean after you.

We all know those awful views of plastic items thrown in nature. If you want to go hiking, you probably love nature and want to care for it.

So, remember to pack a couple of trash bags too.

Headlamp

A headlamp can come in handy when your hike and end up staying out until evening or night. You could also bring a flashlight, but we prefer a headlamp because it leaves your hands free.

Remember to check if the batteries are charged. And if you forget them or the batteries run out, your smartphone has a flashlight incorporated too.

Fire

Pack any essential items that would help you light a fire. We like to bring lighters, but you can bring matches if you prefer.

Firestarter cubes can also be useful, especially if you’re hiking during rainy days.

We suggest to pack at least a lighter just in case, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Extra

Some extra items we like to pack are bug spray, tissues, hair ties, masks, and hand sanitizer. Think about what other items you would need and add them to your list.

Finally, remember to not overpack. You won’t need tons of objects during your hike. Pick just the essentials and stick to them. Your back will thank you if you bring a lighter backpack.

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