Hiking is certainly one of the most enjoyable and exciting recreational activities. It provides a memorable experience and rejuvenates the body and mind. Getting to visit a new location, meet new people and to know about their culture and traditions is a great benefit of hiking. Ultimate hiking gear checklist every hiker must-have. Read more on a
We all can agree that there is something so refreshing and fulfilling in being surrounded by nature and away from the everyday rush of the man-made concrete jungles. Apart from that, regular hiking as an activity also helps a person to stay fit and healthy. Together, all these reasons have made hiking quite a popular recreational activity.
Even though there are so many reasons to enjoy hiking, it may turn out to be a terrible experience if you are not prepared for all the expected as well as unexpected scenarios that you may face.
Which is why the most important thing that every hiker has in mind is to plan a list of everything they will be needing on their journey. To decide what gears and equipment must be carried, one needs to figure out all the essentials, but also make sure to keep it lightweight.
Whether you are hiking for the first time or have done it before, chances are that you might have heard about the Ten Essentials for hiking. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a list of essential categories of items that are recommended for all hikers, and was first published in the book ‘Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills’ in 1974.
Following this list of ten essentials, we have laid out specific items in each category that are necessary for a comfortable hiking experience. It will certainly help you to easily prepare for your next hike.
So let’s take a look at this list of gears and equipment that are a must-have for new and experienced hikers alike.
Basic but Very Important Gears.
Having one or more navigation tools is a must to avoid getting lost in new and unfamiliar locations, especially because hiking trails often lead to remote and sparsely populated areas. Some essential navigation tools are:
- Smartphones –
These come with in-built GPS navigation that is very accurate in locating your position. But they do have a drawback, as they require power and internet connection.
- Compass and Map –
This is something that you should include in every hike. You may not be needing them all the time, but these will prove to be invaluable if your smartphone is not functioning.
- GPS devices and smartwatches – Smartwatches and GPS devices are highly recommended as they are mostly very light, small and carrying them with you won’t be any problem at all.
It’s essential to carry sunscreen, and have hats and sunglasses ready in case you have to face the heat. You can avoid them if your desired destination has cool and cloudy weather though. Also make sure to carry some form of skincare cream to protect yourself from the weather, mainly in case of cold climates.
CLOTHING AND INSULATION
A lot of clothing designed especially for hiking is available in the market so you have many options to choose from. Carrying an extra set of clothes is necessary only if you are planning a longer hike.
Make sure to pick the right clothing as per the climate. Never opt to wear normal clothes on a hike, unless you absolutely can’t afford to buy hiking clothes.
As we go on we will learn more information about the ” Ultimate hiking gear checklist every hiker must have”.
LIGHT AND ILLUMINATION
It is very important to have some form of lighting gear to provide proper visibility in darkness. There are many simple as well as advanced headlamps and flashlights specifically designed for hiking. If you don’t already have one, you can buy from many different models available as per your budget.
I don’t think it’s needed to explain why you should have a first-aid kit with you while hiking. Rather, the important decision is what you should be carrying in your first-aid kit. Antiseptic and antibacterial cream, bandages and gauges for small and large wounds, scissors and tweezers, cotton swabs or wet wipes, some basic medications,
SOURCE OF FIRE
Any tool that can help to start a fire, such as a lighter, matches or a fire starter kit, should be present in your backpack. It will be necessary mainly when you are planning to spend the night outdoors on your hiking trip. Firestarter kits seem to be more reliable than matches and lighters.
MULTI-TOOL AND REPAIR KITS
Tools like a trowel, a knife, duct tapes, ropes,
This is certainly an obvious item that does not need much explanation. Do keep a few things in mind. Always try to carry a bit extra food than what you are planning to carry, just in case of emergencies. Make sure to include high energy foods, such as nuts, seeds, dry fruits, candy bars, and energy biscuits. A small portion of such foods can provide much-needed energy.
WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM
Again, it’s obvious that you’ll need to carry water while hiking. It’s also quite convenient to carry water, as hydration packs are available in the market.
For those not familiar with hydration packs, these are backpacks that have a small water reservoir attached to them, along with a small tube that makes it easy for you to sip water while walking without even having to stop.
But, since carrying any more than 2 or 3 liters of water will make your backpack heavy, you should also have a portable water purifier as a backup.
There are many options for this, as such water purifiers are available in different shapes and designs in the market.
If you are hiking for more than a single day and planning to camp outdoors at night, then you’ll surely need a sleeping bag. Just make sure to buy one that is comfortable, cozy and most importantly, light and compact to carry.
Another important item is a bivouac sack, also called bivvy sack in short. These function like a smaller tent, but are waterproof, weatherproof and light. After setting them up, you can easily fit your sleeping bag in them. You can also carry a tarp as they can be folded and carried easily without taking up much space in your backpack.
What we’ve covered so far are the basic essentials that are necessary for a pleasant hiking journey. But before we end, we would also like to briefly mention some extra tools and gears that are not as important but will certainly enhance your hiking experience.
Optional Gears You Can Carry
In this article ” Ultimate hiking gear checklist every hiker must have”. we have covered some not very important but essential sometimes gears.
Hiking through natural sceneries and magnificent landscapes, it’s obvious that one may want to capture the beautiful moments of the trip. Having a high-resolution camera will allow you to store the memories of your trip forever in the form of pictures and videos. It may not be a necessity, but if you have space in your backpack, then you should certainly carry a decent camera for your hike.
Since you’ll definitely be carrying one or more electronic devices on your hike, it is wise to carry a power bank along with you. If you’re going on longer hikes, then solar-powered power banks will be even more useful.
These can be very useful in observing distant landscapes beforehand, which in turn will assist you in planning your route or finding directions. What’s even better is that now you can even find digital recording binoculars in the market, that will serve as a video recorder as well!
This may be the last item of the entire list, but it actually serves a much useful purpose. Good quality satellite phones allow you to contact others in case of emergency, and these are made to have proper reception at any location or altitude.
If you’re planning to go hiking in remote locations where cell phones may not have good network coverage, then you should definitely carry a satellite phone with you. In fact, it’s better to carry it on every hike even though you may not be using it often because cell phone networks are not always reliable.
And with that, we conclude our list of essential gears that every hiker must have and hope that it will help you sort out your inventory properly and effectively when you head out for your next hiking adventure. Do let us know your thoughts about this list, and if there are any other items that you essentially carry with you while hiking.
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