What To Bring On A Hike: Useful Tips

These days, many people tend to choose hiking as a sport to keep in shape and stay close to nature simultaneously. Day hikes can be a FASCINATING idea for you to make a run away from the hustle and bustle of the world.

As a hiker, you have to prepare many things in advance before your trip. You have to look up the topography features, weather forecast,…If you ever wonder about what to bring on a hike, I’ll be here to help you to pack to enjoy a safe and sufficient day hike trip!

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Why Checking What To Bring On A Hike Important?

Why Checking What To Bring On A Hike Important
Why Checking What To Bring On A Hike Important?

First, we’ll discuss the importance of hiking gear list and also the way it can affect our hike:

  1. As I’ve mentioned, hiking essentials keep you “safe and sound” from many factors during the hike. It also makes your day hike more comfortable and convenient.
  2. With a list of things you’ll bring, you will not panic and be frustrated when you get stuck in accidents or lack of food, water,… You can be more active and willing to solve every situation and scenario.
  3. Deciding what to bring on a hike can assist you with the gears you’re supposed to use and not use during your trip. In that way, you can control the weight of your backpack.
  4. Being prepared and organized can save an enormous amount of time. It would mean that you can have more time to enjoy the natural landscape and view.
  5. You are flexible to climate changes and easily adapt to them when you have all the things.

All in all, although you are a pro hiker or beginner, you NEED to bring some necessities on every single hike depending on the distance and time you spent.

What To Bring On A Hike?

In this part, we’ll dive deeper into the list of items needed to accompany you during the hiking journey.

Backpack

What To Bring On A Hike
What To Bring On A Hike?

It is a significant and basic hiking gear to store all of your things. You should choose the one ranging from 20-35 liters for a day hike to have a bigger space.

One more thing is that you should purchase the one with external attachment points. It can be beneficial for you to attach your trekking poles and other equipment outside.

All in all, you should choose an appropriate daypack that is well-fitted and makes you feel easy while walking. And it is supposed to load all of your items, though.

For more information:

Watch video: Top 7 Best Hiking Daypacks

Clothing and footwear

If you have hiking experience, you will check the weather and trail conditions before going. So that you can up to speed what the weather be like and dress suitably.

You can wear a solid synthetic T-shirt, it cannot trap moisture and make you feel so FRESH and LIGHT. However, you need to bring extra warm clothes such as a hoodie or fleece to keep you warm when the night falls, or the weather is changing.

You should choose synthetic clothing (zip-offs) or athletics shorts for hiking pants depending on the season. It is also important to wear extra layers for a good feeling and safe aim.

Clothing and footwear
Clothing and footwear

You would opt for sunscreen or sun hat for sun protection purposes from the UV rays for a sunny day. While in the rain conditions, you should bring an umbrella or raincoat that you don’t want to have a cough or fever.

As for footwear, it would base on the topography and trail conditions. If you have short hikes to comfortable and gentle trails, you can pick hiking shoes. But if you hike on uneven or challenging trails, hiking boots would be a wise choice.

You should definitely buy lightweight shoes and it has ankle support. Consider carefully if it can be taken advantage of in what terrain and surface.

Another note for select hiking boots is that you HAVE to choose the right size and have enough space around your foot to wear wool socks. Wool socks can control the temperature and make you feel dulcet.

For more information:

Watch video: HIKING CLOTHES 101: What to Wear Hiking (summer hiking clothes and all about layering)

First aid kit

As the saying goes: “Life isn’t always easy”, things can not go according to your plan and you can struggle with many unpredictable scenarios. So PLEASE ALWAYS prepare an aid kit that you can make use of in some particular circumstances.

If you have blisters, cramps, splinters, or cuts, you can use the first aid kit to heal the wound and save it from germ and bacteria. There might be included a blister palm in the aid kit, which can protect your life from the friction caused by blisters.

First aid kit
First aid kit

As you gain hiking experience, you can add or subtract items in the kit. I highly recommend putting lighter or matches in the aid kit to build a fire when it is dark. Additionally, a small whistle can attract others’ attention in case of injury or getting lost.

Furthermore, you can also pack a bug spray just to ensure that you can stay away from many insects in the jungle and forest such as ticks, mosquitos, and other bugs.

Overall, you should invest your money in a lightweight and well-stocked first aid kit so that you can survive in some SOS and emergency cases.

For more information:

Watch video: My small first aid kit for hiking and backpacking

Sleeping bag

A light sleeping bag can keep you warm and free from harm when the sun goes down. There are many potentials that snakes or other creatures may attack you when you’re falling asleep. So that’s why a sleeping bag would take place in your backpack.

For more information:

Watch video: How to Choose Backpacking Sleeping Bags || REI

Map/Navigation

You should bring Map or Navigation when you go hiking
You should bring Map or Navigation when you go hiking

It’s nonsense and ridiculous if you go hiking and don’t have any paper map or navigation apps/tools. It is an INDISPENSABLE thing that you can’t skip. There are many GPS hiking trail apps that you can find to make the route WAY easier.

Otherwise, you are stuck in the area with NO wifi connection or electromagnetic waves for you to access the apps, then use a paper map for alternatives.

In short, you HAVE TO bring a map or any kind of navigation things to accompany you during the day hike so that you won’t get lost.

For more information:

Watch video: How I Use a Map & Compass to Navigate Off Trail - The Basics

Trail snacks and water

How can you hike if you have an empty stomach? Your belly is craving food after several short hikes. In my viewpoint, you should bring an energy bar, a pack of mixed nuts and fruits, or granola bars. These snacks can easily be eaten during your hike.

A few snacks can turn your mood into a new level and it can uplift your energy. Besides food, after a tiring hike, a water bottle can make you look fresher and more dynamic. PLEASE bring enough water depending on the length of the walk, weather conditions,…

For more information:

Watch video: Best Foods To Take Hiking To Keep Your Energy Up On The Trail

Health and Hygiene

Health and Hygiene
Health and Hygiene

Things like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, baby wipes, and towels can be REALLY beneficial for you to do some personal hygiene and other related activities.

For more information:

Watch video: Backpacking Hygiene - Keeping Clean in the Wilderness - CleverHiker.com

Gear-repair kit

You can put some essentials such as safety pins, duct tape, etc in a ziplock back. In that way, you can find these things easily without digging them in your unorganized hiking bag.

For more information:

Watch video: Backpacking Gear Repair Kit

What To Bring On A Hike With A Dog?

If you are a dog person and would love to hike with your dog, here is some hiking gear that you will need:

  • Collar or harness: can be used for recognizing your furry pet from far away with a colorful collar.
  • Leash: Either it is made from leather or nylon, it MUST be long-lasting during the firmness of the hiking trail. You should pick an adjustable leash that can expand and shorten the length for multi-purposes.
  • Name tag or microchip: A name tag can be attached with a loop ring, you can write your dog’s name, contact information,… so that you can find your pet back.

A Microchip can be inserted by the vet. Or you can tattoo your dogs on some parts like thigh, leg,… However, make sure that you’ve registered the microchip or tattoo so that you can update your information.

  • Water and food: Doggies need food and water, too! Hydrate your dog with clean and treat water, you should carry 240 ml water per hour for your dog.
What To Bring On A Hike With A Dog
What To Bring On A Hike With A Dog?

Prevent your dog from drinking water at the pond or puddle since this water is untreated and contains germs or bacterias that are unsafe for your pet. It may get sick and it will be a whole hassle!

As for food, you can pack some packaging food and nutritious trail snacks so that your dog can gain enough energy to keep on hiking. You can ask for help from the vet for the food for your dog.

Note: You should let your dogs have a small portion of food but several times to avoid getting too full while hiking.

  • Collapsible bowl: it can function as a container for food and water. There is a type that can attach with your backpack or the dog’s leash.
  • First aid kit: If you had brought your first aid kit, it would be OK for your dog, too. You have to ensure your dog’s health first so that it would be safe through  the trail’s discomfort.
  • Clothing: Due to weather conditions and many other features, you should get ready for your dog with booties, or bandanas or insulating.

Booties can save your dog’s paws in such an uneven and uncomfortable area. Bandana will be a signal for realizing your pet from a long-distance and a bandage in emergency cases. A jacket will help the dog warm in cold weather.

Want to know more? Watch this video:

Watch video: What hiking gear your dog really needs?

Hiking Checklist for Forest Hiking

Hiking Checklist for Forest Hiking
Hiking Checklist for Forest Hiking

In this section, we’ll visit the hiking checklist for the forest version. Let’s go!

Hiking bag: choose the waterproof one that can suffer from pouring rain. You should pick the bag that can hold your hiking essentials, such as a water bottle, a few snacks, an aid kit,…

Long-sleeve shirt and long hiking pants: it can take care of your arm and leg from insects or injuries during the hike. You shouldn’t wear jeans since the hard material can be a big challenge for you to walk.

Hiking boots: Tell me how you can hike without hiking shoes. It can be awkward and dumb! Good shoes take you to good places, so INVEST it and make a purchase to possess a quality boot for your next trip.

Food and water: it is absolutely similar to the previous section that I’ve discussed, so that I won’t write it AGAIN.

First aid kit: scroll up to know more information.

Trekking poles: Once again, a trekking pole is a powerful hiking gear during hiking. Grab it and get readyyy!

Sun protection: skin protection is very important, so you need to put a sun hat, sunscreen (SPF 50) in your bag to stay away from the direct UVA, UVB that can cause skin CANCER.

Others: including toilet paper, towel, bla bla

More details:

Watch video: Cooper Canyon | Angeles National Forest Hiking and Backpacking near Los Angeles

Hiking Checklist for Desert Hiking

Hiking Checklist for Desert Hiking
Hiking Checklist for Desert Hiking

The hiking gear is the same as what I’ve mentioned above. So I’ll just consider some extras and particular gear that was needed in the desert version:

Comb

It sounds awkward, doesn’t it? A comb is actually used to remove cactus spines and thorny stems that may be stuck in your boot when you hike in the desert. Or you just simply fix your hair with a comb.

Mirror

The main purpose is to get attractions when you need help if your phone runs out of batteries. The sunlight would reflect through the mirror and we can observe far away.

Note: Since you are hiking in the desert, bring as much water as POSSIBLE if you don’t want to lack it and be thirsty.

See more here:

Watch video: Tips for Hiking in the Desert

Common Problems When Hiking

This is the last one, and I’ll have a brief through for you to access the information.

Common hiking injuries: namely knee pain, foot pain, shoulder and neck pain, backache, ankle and knee sprains and to name but a few. You can fix your posture and use trekking poles for more assistance to address these injuries.

Fatigue: this can be caused due to tiredness after the day hike without rest and energy provided. You should eat granola bars or other snacks and drink enough water to be more ready for the next hike after the break.

Common Problems When Hiking
Common Problems When Hiking

Blisters: is considered as the most seen problem facing hikers. This is because of continuous walking that creates rubbing. You can choose soft shoes and take several breaks to put out of your shoes for a while.

Dehydration: Water accounts for 70% of your body. Please drink a lot of water to hydrate during every break.

Watch for a better look:

Watch video: Beginner MISTAKES For HIKING

FAQs

What do beginners need to bring when hiking?

Beginners need to bring the exact same as the one who has hiking experience. Things like navigation tools, sun protection , clothing, food, and water,… are the primary hiking essentials in your checklist.

What should I bring on a day hike?

From what I’ve discussed above, a day hike needs a backpack to hold everything that you pack on your trip, including an aid kit, trail snacks, footwear,…

Should I bring shoes on a hike?

Of course yes! Walking required hiking shoes. You can’t walk barefoot on rocky and rough trail conditions. Shoes can save your poor foot!