You’ve been dreaming of that next big hike for months. Maybe to find some silence and clarity and momentarily run away from the world’s chaos and disaster. Maybe to catch up with friends or family under the cozy shade of a pine tree. Whatever the reason may be, it’s time to get away. After a period of time that left us feeling trapped in our homes and cut off from the rest of the world, there’s no better moment to get out and conquer the wild than now.
But before you take off into the wilderness, you need to prepare accordingly with all the must-have hiking gear. Whether you’re an experienced trekker looking for a refresher, or someone who’s just getting into the art of hiking, we’ll tell you exactly what to pack for hiking.
Must-Have Hiking Gear: 8 Things You Need to Carry
1. A Weather-Proof Backpack
No matter the duration of your hike, you’re going to need a pack that’s sturdy enough to withstand the elements and store all of your gear and essentials for hiking.
Choose something that’s light, durable, and has a lot of space and ventilation. Packs that are suitable for short treks are typically in the 15- to 20-liter range of capacity, which is enough room for food, water, and clothing.
For longer ventures into the wilderness where you’ll have to bring more gear, packs with a capacity of about 30 to 40 liters are ideal.
2. An Alternative Communication Device
Whether you’re hiking alone, with friends, family, or a buddy in your hiking group, you need to be equipped with a communication device that doesn’t rely on mobile service.
Walkie-talkies are great if you’re hiking with a group and arranging to meet at trailheads. Satellite communications devices are essential when hiking alone, especially when you want to let your loved ones at home know that you're safe even when your phone is out of service. Some devices also have built-in weather reports, navigation features, and an SOS subscription for emergencies.
3. First Aid Kit
Hiking injuries are something that can happen at any time when you’re outdoors and dealing with nature. You’re not required to be a medical professional before you can hike, but knowing basic first aid responses can be a lifesaver, which is why this made it on our list of must-have hiking gear.
Always carry a first aid kit and know how to handle hiking-related injuries. If hiking with a group, have multiple people carry first aid kits. Most outdoor/hiking stores sell pre-packaged kits that contain the basic medical essentials you need for hiking.
4. Sun Protection
Prolonged or intense sun exposure can cause serious harm to your body and health. Bring a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher to achieve optimal UV protection, and make sure to reapply at least every two hours, especially if you’re sweating.
Sunglasses with 100% UV protection and hats can protect your eyes, face, neck, and surrounding skin from sun damage. Look for weatherproof hats made from moisture-wicking, quick-drying material.
Your list of hiking essentials isn’t complete without this one. A GPS device is a primary tool for navigation in the wilderness. It will allow you to accurately pin your location on a digital map and let you find your way even with poor landscape visibility.
Find a GPS device that is built for outdoor activities and is weatherproof. If you’re unable to get a GPS device, another option is to install a GPS app in your smartphone. Keep in mind, though, that both these devices run on batteries, so you need to prepare accordingly.
6. Outdoor Chair
Just because you’re hiking doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. If you don’t want to sit in the dirt, an ideal outdoor chair can make your resting breaks more comfortable and allow you to fully soak up the scenery when you stop for a breather.
PARKIT’s foldable Voyager chair has a three-in-one functionality that includes a cooler installed under the chair that can store ice for eight hours, a cup holder on both sides to hold your favorite drink, and multiple pockets that can hold your essentials for hiking.
7. A Headlamp
Headlamps are a necessary item to bring with you during hiking for illumination. They have several advantages in comparison to flashlights. You get to have a hands-free experience, they’re built more durably, and some are even weatherproof.
Plus, they typically don’t weigh more than a couple of ounces, so you can freely walk around with one attached to your head.
8. Repair Kit and Tools
You can’t predict everything that’s going to happen when you hike. It's not uncommon to have to do minor repairs on your gear during a trek, which is why a repair kit is necessary.
Tools that should be found in your repair kit are duct tape, a multi-tool or knife, nylon or utility cords, safety pins, a sewing kit, and some extra batteries.
Your repair kit is vital in increasing your chances of completing your hike and not having to throw in the towel because of a gear malfunction.
Now that you know all the must-have hiking gear you need for your next adventure, are you ready to stock up? Shop with PARKIT today.