what to bring when hiking

What to Bring When Hiking? The Ultimate Checklist

Taking a long walk with friends on a hiking trail is a great way to explore nature. But, what truly makes your trip successful is proper equipment. Hiking essentials are vital. So, have you packed everything you need? Do you even know what to bring on a hike? 

If you are planning to go on a hike, here are few things you need to consider.

What to bring when hiking?


Whether you are on a long hike or a short hike, water is essential. You need to keep yourself hydrated throughout the trail. It helps you keep moving and make your body function properly. Moreover, in summer, it will help prevent heatstroke and make you feel cool and fresh. 

If your body functions at its best, the journey becomes more fun and enjoyable.  


Like water, food gives you energy. Moreover, you need enough calories to help you get through your trip. So, it is essential to focus on your nutrition. You can bring snack bars, nuts, dried fruits, etc. We recommend avoiding oily foods as much as possible if you don’t want to upset your stomach and puke. 


Heatstroke is one of the significant problems people suffer when hiking in summer. To some extent, sunscreen will help to alleviate it. Moreover, it will protect you from sunburn. 

First-aid kit

Accidents may occur at any time. Cuts and bruises are normal when hiking. So, it is an excellent move to take extra precautions and bring a first-aid kit with you. 

Make sure you have knowledge about first-aid and dealing with injuries. 

Knife and multi-tool

Make sure to bring a knife and multi-tool to help you set up tents and fix gears when hiking. If you are planning to camp outside, then you need them the most. You won’t be getting any help in the middle of nowhere. 

Navigational tools

You need navigational tools like maps and a compass to be on the right track. If you know the terrain entirely, then you might not need them. It will be easier and comfortable for you to travel. Otherwise, you need them not to get lost and successfully reach your destination. And you need to know how to read and use them, first. 

Hiking poles

Some people reach the destination without needing hiking poles. However, not everyone can. We recommend you take one with you. It will help you climb uphill. Moreover, it will support you when walking and aid in balancing you in different terrains. 


It is crucial to bring toiletries like tissue, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, etc. when hiking. You need to keep yourself clean. Moreover, such belongings will keep you safe as well.

Toothbrush and toothpaste aren’t needed if it’s just a one-day hike. Otherwise, packing them is a must. 


What if it gets dark when reaching the destination? In such a situation, you need flashlights. Moreover, they will prevent animals and insects from getting close to you to some extent. 

If you want to avoid getting into bad situations in the dark, then carry flashlights and a headlamp with you when hiking. 

Bug spray

Bring a bug spray or repellent cream to protect yourself from insects. You don’t want to be infected with some diseases or get bitten by poisonous bugs. 

Also, ensure that repellant cream and bug spray don’t stink and you are not allergic to them.


We recommend you bring mobiles with you. It is an all-in-one device. With the help of the built-in GPS and compass features, you will be able to navigate easily. You will have flashlights, sounds to scare animals, and most importantly, call someone to rescue you in time of emergency. 


Bring extra cash with you to buy things in case you might miss something when packing. Plus, you need it to pay for your hotel and food expenses. You never know when you need money.


Everything we have discussed so far requires something to put them in something and bring them with you, right. For that, you need a backpack. You need it to pack your belongings. 

Ensure that your backpack is suitable for hiking, lightweight, and aid in keeping as many belongings as possible safely. 

What not to bring when hiking?


We recommend you avoid bringing or using deodorant when hiking. While some of them may reduce sweating, they will attract unwanted insects and animals. It is not good to encounter them and make the situation worse. 

Too many extra clothes

Avoid bringing too many extra clothes with you. It will be tough to reach your destination if your backpack is heavy. It will make you tired and sweaty fast. Consider how many days you will be gone, then pack accordingly.

Too much food

Also, don’t bring too much food with you. Depending on how many of you are going and for how long, pack the necessary amount of eatables.  

What to wear when hiking?

Now, let’s see what you need to wear when hiking.


You need protective clothes that will defend you from heat, insects, cuts, bruises, etc. You need to consider the following clothing layers when hiking. 

  • Base layer

In summer, the base layer is optional. However, in cold weather, you need insulating clothes to provide moisture and keep you warm. 

Wear full and long sleeve underwear and inner clothing when hiking in cold weather. 

  • Mid layer

In summer, t-shirts and shorts or tracks are okay. 

In winter, wear a thick hook or fleece as the mid-layer. 

  • Outer layer

In summer, the outer layer is optional as well. Bring a waterproof jacket with you in case it rains.

In cold weather, bring a windbreaker jacket to protect you from chilling wind. 

For the best experience on a hike, always go for hiking clothes. They are made for such an adventurous trip and are lightweight, safe, and comfortable. 


For comfortable hiking, socks are essential. Some people might not consider wearing it. However, in cold weather, you must put it on to protect your feet from dropping temperatures. 


It is not recommended at all to wear sandals and flip-flops when hiking. You always need to protect yourself from injuries, animals, and insects. So, you need shoes and boots that will provide you the best protection against these. 

Always go for hiking boots and shoes.


Wear a cap or a hat all the time when hiking to protect yourself from the heat in summer. 

And in winter, wear a woolen cap to keep yourself warm. 


Carry and wear sunglasses with you to protect your eyes from sunlight and keep it cool. Moreover, you will be able to view the magnificent scenery. Go for the polarized glasses. 


Gloves keep your hands warm and cozy in cold weather. Plus, it will protect your fingers from swelling and blistering. 

Always go for lightweight, breathable, and waterproof gloves when hiking. 

What not to wear when hiking?

Let’s see some of the clothes and items that you shouldn’t wear when hiking.


You are going on a long-distance walk, so you always need to avoid heavy and bulky items. You always need to avoid wearing unnecessary jewelry. They will only make it difficult for you to walk. Moreover, what if you lost some expensive ones?


Since jeans are heavy, avoid wearing them at any cost when hiking. Moreover, they take time to dry when they get wet. So, avoid them and make sure your clothes are lightweight and comfortable. 

Also, check out Camping Essentials and Whitewater Rafting Essentials.

In Conclusion

These are the things that you need to consider and bring when hiking. It is always best to be prepared before going on a trip. So, keep in mind these hiking essentials, and enjoy your hike.

Have a safe and memorable hiking experience ever.  

Image Credits: Pexels from Pixabay

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