No matter what kind of hiking you are doing, whether it’s single or multi-day trips, it’s always important to have hiking essentials to ensure you have a smooth trip. Thankfully, REI made a great list of the ten essentials to bring on your next hiking trip.
When traveling in the backcountry, navigation is imperative. A map, compass, GPS, and a personal locator beacon (PLB) can all be extremely useful. A map and compass together are essential for direction and do not rely on batteries. A GPS is another digital device you can pick up to aid you in your location and where you want to go. A PLB is a navigational device that allows you to notify emergency personnel if you get lost or injured.
Having a light source is important when you are out in the wilderness. A headlamp is especially useful because it is hands-free so you can cook, hold walking posts, and more.
Protect your skin and eyes from the sun by packing sunglasses or glacier glasses for snowy climates. Sunscreen is a staple sun protectant, but do not underestimate the clothes you are wearing. Make sure to check the UPV rating on your clothes and bring along a hat with a brim as well.
First aid is a vital item to carry with you on any kind of hike. Pre-assembled first-aid kits are easy to find, but if you have more personalized needs, you may also want to separately assemble your own first-aid kit. Check out your options on how to choose a first aid kit.
Having a knife when hiking is super convenient for preparing food, repairing gear, first aid, and fire kindling.
Carry reliable supplies with you to start and maintain a fire while you are in the wild. Matches or a lighter will do. Firestarters are great if it’s dry but bring back-ups like dry tinder and lint trappings secured in a plastic bag, heat “nuggets”, or priming paste. Stoves are also used in emergency situations, or in the snow or rain.
In case of an emergency, you should be carrying some form of shelter. For example, ultralight tarps, a space blanket, a large trash bag, or a bivy sack can protect you from unexpected wind and rain, as well as if you were to get stranded from your tent.
Never forget to pack at the very least, a days’ worth of extra food that you do not have to cook. Examples include dried nuts, fruit, energy bars, jerky, and more non-perishable items.
Bring enough water for your trip and something to purify any water you may drink from a natural body of water.
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It is always proactive to prepare for unforeseen conditions. Make sure to pack extra clothes for the climate you will be in. Need a list? We’ve got one for you here.