The Complete Guide to Hiking Gear: What needs to be in your Pack
When it comes to hiking gear, there’s a lot to choose from. The options are endless, from boots to backpacks. But what is essential? We will cover 15 items that we think are essential for hiking in the Uk alone or with friends. Lets get into it!
Everything You Need to Pack when Planning a Hiking Expedition
Before you embark on a new hiking trip, it’s essential to have the right equipment. From footwear to backpacks, various outdoor gears help you remain comfortable and safe while exploring trails. Depending on the hike you’re going on, your packing list should include different items for optimum safety and comfort. If you’ve never gone hiking before or are just getting started with this activity, read through our list of hiking essentials.
14 Essential Items You Need for Your Hiking Expedition
Read on to find out what type of clothing, footwear, backpack, and other essential items you should bring next time you go hiking. Here is your ultimate hiking pack list.
1. Hiking Shoes or Boots
When hiking for the first time, you must know how to choose the right hiking shoes or boots. At this point, the only thing you should be focused on is finding a pair of comfortable and durable hiking shoes that fit your feet well and offer enough support. Some of the aspects you need to check when shopping for shoes include:
• Weight: If you’re not used to wearing hiking boots as much as other footwear, it’s safe to say that having more weight on your feet can cause significant discomfort. Hiking boots weigh anywhere from one-third to one-half of what a regular pair of running or street shoes weighs. Make sure that these lightweight items have a limit of at least 25 pounds so they can handle most hikes without breaking down. Additionally, check out the heel height on these boots before purchase. If they’re too high, your ankles might hit the front frame when walking up steep inclines or hills.
• Style: Most hiking boots are made of leather material with side zippers and a top-opening design. These features prevent water and debris from entering inside when raining. The best style for most people is lightweight waterproof leather material with laces or Velcro straps for tighter closure around your ankle. The idea is to keep water out while retaining your foot’s natural bend.
Hiking boots typically have removable insoles that are padded and can be removed to wash out the boots regularly to prevent mud buildup in the heel area of the boot. If you’re doing a lot of hiking in dry areas, you should invest in this feature. This will allow your boot to last longer before it becomes damaged from too much exposure to moisture when hiking in damp areas.
Read our: Best Waterproof Hiking boots article here
In addition to purchasing suitable hiking boots, you also want to carry a good hiking backpack. A good-quality hiking backpack will maintain the main structural integrity of your boot and provide excellent support for carrying what you need while hiking; water, snacks, and essentials.
You’ll want to ensure that the backpack is protected from the elements since it may carry up to a 50-pound load (roughly the equivalent of 10 bricks and two footballs).
3. Hiking Appropriate Clothing
Whether you’re a woman or a man, you should ensure that your hiking outfit has adequate coverage for your vital parts. You need to stay dry and warm no matter what the weather is like outside.
An athletic-type tank top is often the best choice for women since it protects the breasts while allowing full movement and air circulation under the arms. For men, wearing a more unisex shirt that covers most of the upper body will help protect them from rain and snow.
You also want to make sure that you wear long pants with waterproof or breathable fabric so that when it rains or snows, water doesn’t get in and freeze your legs if it’s cold out. Hiking socks are another crucial part of your hiking gear as they will protect your feet.
4. Water Supply
This is essential for any outdoor adventure, but especially for hikers. While hiking, you need to be prepared for the unexpected, including water. Being prepared means having enough water to last you throughout your hike, especially in the summer when temperatures are intense, and water sources are seemingly everywhere.
This means that a small amount of dehydration will quickly become serious if one doesn’t have enough water to drink or a way to filter it through their system. This is why it is better to have clean drinking water while hiking, which can be obtained in many locations from lakes, rivers and streams.
While these water bodies may be available, the water may not be safe for consumption. This is why hikers need to bring extra water supplies along with their food. It prevents dehydration while they are out, adventuring on the trails.
5. Trekking Poles
A good pair of trekking poles can help provide stability and balance on steep inclines, uneven ground and even sandy beaches. Besides helping to prevent altitude sickness, hiking with poles is also a great way to get in some exercise and have fun playing with your friends.
It’s also important to have this gear if you plan on exploring mountains or other areas with lots of uneven terrain or rocky areas that might be off-limits to others.
6. Navigation Tools
These items help hikers keep track of their locations and points of travel. GPS systems are great for this because they allow the user to plot a course and mark points along the way for later reference, but if you don’t have one, other products on the market also work. A compass can do this but can sometimes be tricky to use if you’re not used to it since they don’t have a display screen.
Other navigation tools that are easy to use include a topographic map, a trail map, a GPS navigation app on smartphones, a compass, sun and moon rise and set times and perhaps even a barometer. They help hikers understand weather patterns by measuring air pressure levels over time.
7. Food Supply
Staying fed when hiking is crucial for rejuvenation and energy to continue. Specially dried or dehydrated food that can be rehydrated tends to be the most popular choice. However, some people will pack canned goods such as beans, tuna in oil, nuts and even freeze dried meals for longer hiking trips.
The main issue with this type of food is keeping it from getting soggy. However, if you are planning on only using water on really extended hikes, then you don’t need the extra weight of extra food though it is an option.
8. Foot Care Kit
A foot care kit is essential for any hiker. It should contain a good pair of boots, antiseptic wipes, bandages for blisters, foot powder, and perhaps even an anti-bacterial spray. This will keep your feet healthy and can also give you a way to treat various infections that may come up from time to time.
9. A Multi-Tool
One of the most frequently used tools when hiking is a multi-tool to help with various tasks which don’t require too much strength, but if they do, they can be used as tools in situations where you wouldn’t have one otherwise.
Multi-tools are not just for the outdoors; many people carry them on their person on hikes, camping trips and even in the kitchen. When you’re out there, your preparedness level will determine the kind of tools you should carry.
For example, for a day hike, it may only include a smaller blade and screwdriver, some thread needles and maybe one with wire cutters. For multi-day backpacking trips, it might include more, and for climbing expeditions, it should also contain some types of pliers to help open shut traps and close opening locks that may be encountered along the way.
10. Flashlight with Extra Batteries
Having a flashlight is very important when hiking or camping. The ability to see is vital while hiking and camping if you are walking in the woods or the middle of a large forest or other areas with no lights.
Additionally, bring extra batteries for your flashlight, as you will need them for emergencies that may occur on hikes. Some of these emergencies include activating an avalanche beacon, smoke detection, and helping get out of dark areas by enhancing visibility.
11. First Aid Kit and Medical Supplies
If you’re going out on an extended trip or weekend getaway, then you should definitely consider bringing along several additional supplies, including first aid kits. The kits should contain emergency supplies such as bandages, antibiotic ointments, razors and other things to treat minor cuts and scrapes along the hike.
There are plenty of available options, so be sure to pick one that is small enough for your backpack, so you don’t have to stop often to get re-supplied. At a minimum, you should include some small bottles of alcohol in your first aid kit and various medicines like diarrhoea treatments, painkillers and antihistamines to help alleviate symptoms in the worst situations.
12. Binoculars & Camera Gear
You should also bring along a pair of binoculars on your hiking expedition. They are not only perfect for enjoying a relaxing day hike but also for seeing wildlife up close and personal during your excursion. If you are hiking and camping, you can also use them at night to spot the stars and constellations.
How will you document your hiking expedition? A camera is essential when you’re going on an outdoors excursion or hike. After all, if you want to capture those beautiful photos and videos, a high-quality camera is an essential piece of equipment you should bring along with you, whether it be a point-and-shoot or a more powerful DSLR.
Regardless of what type and type of camera you decide to bring along, make sure that it has the best features available so that your photos and videos will come out with incredible colours, clarity and excellent lighting details.
Sunblock is a must for all hikers because of the sun’s intensity, even in winter. It provides a layer of protection to the skin and is part of everyday protection that all people should consider having when heading out into nature.
It helps to prevent sunburns and plays an important role in keeping your skin protected against wind and cold, as well as helping keep parasites such as lice and ticks at bay.
14. A Rain Pack or Cover
If you’re hiking in areas of the country which are typically prone to heavy rainfall or even snow, it’s important to keep a rain cover or bag handy. You should look at what type of weather your area experiences and find one that isn’t too bulky.
A good backpack cover is perfect for this and can fold into an easy-to-carry size, attaches to the backpack, and protect it from rain. It might also be worth investing in some quality extra-large garbage bags to place under things while they dry out.
Hiking is one of the best ways to get outside, see nature up close, and escape everyday stressors. However, for most people, attempting to hit the trail for an extended period can seem like a difficult task. Knowing what to pack for a hike is the first step in preparing for a successful excursion. You can get all these supplies from reputable online stores such as Amazon. You only have to visit the website, browse for the items, and have them delivered in good time for your excursion.