If you’re new to hiking or have been doing it for years, it’s always a good idea to be prepared when you hit the trailer. Weather, injuries, or any other unexpected event can take your outdoor adventure down a different path, so you should be ready for any situation.
The last thing you want is to be five miles from the trailhead and for it to unexpectedly start raining. Having a pack filled with all essential items ensures that you’re ready for any situation (which hopefully you never encounter).
Figuring out what to bring on a hike can be difficult and cause you to either over or under a pack. We’ve narrowed the list down to our top items to add to your pre-hike checklist.
Below are our top five essential items for your next hiking trip.
That may seem like a no-brainer but many hikers don’t bring enough water on their hikes. A couple of bottles of water won’t sustain you through a ten-mile hike. Invest in a pack bladder as it holds large quantities of water and is easy to carry.
Even better, it will get lighter as you go through your hike and drink water. Keep extra bottles in the car for when you’re done with your hikes as well.
2. First Aid Supplies
Carrying a basic first aid kit is important when you go hiking. Any number of things can go awry on a hike, including blisters, cuts, and splinters. If you’re unsure what specific things to get, look at a prepackaged kit.
If you’re going on a longer hike, a survival pack is a worthy investment. You’ll be prepared for any type of emergency or unforeseen event.
A lightweight backpack is necessary to hold all the gear you’ll bring on your hike. Choose one that has the built-in water pack as well as extra space for everything else. Check with the other people coming on your hike to see if they’ll need to use space in your pack so you’re prepared.
4. Extra Layers
Dressing in layers while you’re hiking is wise for both warm and cold weather. You will easily be able to add or take off layers of clothing as needed and stash them in your backpack. Wear fabrics that will draw the moisture away from your skin.
5. Protection From Sun
Don’t limit your sun protection to sunscreen. Hats, sunglasses, SPF lip balm, and protective clothing are equally as important. The last thing you want is to be nursing a blistering sunburn after a long hike. Don’t assume that since it’s winter that you won’t burn. If the sun is out, protect yourself.
What to Bring on a Hike
Figuring out what to bring on a hike in the woods can be overwhelming but making sure you have the essentials in the first step. Even though you may be prepared, you could encounter someone else on the trail who isn’t and needs your help.
Looking for information for other types of trips you may take? Check out one of our other articles.