Taking up hiking? Here’s your ultimate hiking essentials list
Hiking is a great form of exercise: allowing you to spend time outdoors and improving your health. It is also a relatively affordable sport. If you want to start hiking as a hobby, you’ll need some hiking essentials though. Don’t worry, a good pair of boots can last years.
Hiking essentials: the boots
A good pair of hiking boots is crucial for providing support and traction on the trail. When selecting hiking shoes, consider the type of terrain you will be hiking on, your personal level of comfort, and the fit of the shoe. If you hike a lot, you might consider more expensive models; for occasional hill-walking, you might choose more budget-friendly option.
A day backpack
A backpack is essential for carrying supplies and water on a hike. When selecting a backpack, consider the size, weight, and features that are important to you, such as pockets, compartments, and straps for carrying a hydration system, or a back mesh preventing sweating.
A hydration system, such as a water bottle or hydration bladder, is essential as you don’t want to get dehydrated on the trail. Consider the size and weight of the hydration system and make sure it is easily accessible while hiking. If you want to take up multi-day hiking, a water purification system can be a good option, too.
Hiking essentials: clothing:
Choose clothing that is appropriate for the weather conditions and level of physical activity. Start with shopping your wardrobe: your gym leggings might be perfectly fine for a day hill walking. On a hot day, lightweight and breathable clothing are essential, while on a cold day, warm and waterproof clothing is necessary. Invest in a good, waterproof jacket – lightweight but protecting from the rain.
Headlamp or flashlight
A headlamp or flashlight is essential for navigating the trail in low-light conditions or in case of an emergency. Consider the size, weight, and battery life when selecting a headlamp or flashlight.
Hiking essentials: First-aid kit
A small, compact first-aid kit should include basic items such as bandages, pain relievers, and gauze, as well as the survival blanket made of thermal foil.
Map and compass
A map and compass are important for navigation and can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency. Consider purchasing a topographic map of the area you will be hiking in and make sure you understand how to use a compass. You might want to use some GPS apps, too.
A multitool, such as a knife or pliers, can be useful for cutting rope or making repairs on the trail.
Sun and insect protection
Sun protection, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, is important for preventing sunburn and eye damage. Insects can make a pleasurable hike unbearable, so don’t forget your tick and mosquito spray and a tick kit, too.
Hiking essentials: waste bag
A waste trash bag can be used to pack out any litter or waste, like food wrappers.
These are the essential items for starting hiking as a hobby. When selecting these items, consider the type of terrain and weather conditions you will be hiking in. For beginners, the very basic equipment should do, but if you start to hike more regularly you might want to invest in some premium equipment.