The Essential Guide to What to Bring on a Hike

Updated on March 5, 2021

Going out to breathe in the fresh air and get your body moving is a feeling like no other. 

That’s probably why hiking is such a routine activity for some people. It allows you to bond with nature and get a good workout in.

But you’ve decided to have a partner for your long-distance hike. What a fun adventure! 

Chances are you’ve never done anything like this before and it can test your relationship even further. After all, hiking isn’t a walk in the park.

There are a few necessities required before heading out on the trails. If you’re new to hiking or interested in what to bring on a hike, check out the information below.

1. Shoes

One of the most basic, yet important hiking essentials is a pair of shoes. But not just any kind of shoes. In order to have a successful hike, you need footwear like hiking boots with good traction and space around the toes.

You don’t want to be out on a hiking trail in a pair of Chuck Taylors. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the soles of your shoes are rigid. That way, your feet won’t bend as much, causing less stress and pain.

2. Water

You can’t hike trails without water. Technically, you can but you likely be miserable. Hydration is key to keeping you healthy and making sure that you have the endurance to complete your hike.

The amount of water that you bring depends on the length of a trail. For instance, a 3-mile journey could take a little over two hours. So, make sure you have a large-sized water bottle with you.

You could also invest in a hydration pack, which is a backpack with a water bag and a long tube attached. It holds more water and it’s easier to sip from.

3. First Aid Kit

If you really want to know what to bring on a hike, it’s a first aid kit. You never know when you might need one and accidents happen all the time. You could get a bug bite or a cut from a branch.

Whatever it might be, make sure you’re prepared for it. Your first aid kit should at least have bandages, antibiotic cream, and ibuprofen.

4. Backpack

A backpack is considered one of the top hiking essentials. You need an easy, comfortable way to carry your hiking gear, phone, camera, keys, wallet, etc.

Also, it’s a good idea to get a backpack that’s designed for hiking. That way it’ll have plenty of pockets, and areas to put your water bottle and more.

5. Layers of Clothing

When you’re on a hike, it’s imperative that you dress in layers. Check the weather before leaving, and bring an umbrella just in case. The forecast of the day will likely dictate what you wear, but make sure you give yourself options.

Even if your hiking on a cold day, you’ll get hot once your body starts moving. Give yourself the option to remove layers of clothing as you go.

6. Sunscreen

You never want to end an enjoyable day of hiking with sunburn. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold outside, wear sunscreen. Put it on before you leave out and apply another coating a few hours later.

You’ll also want to wear protective items like hats, bandanas, and other clothing that could provide additional protection from the sun.

7. Headlamp

A headlamp is another one of those hiking essentials that’s highly recommended. Consider it as a hiking for beginner’s tip. Getting caught on a trail after sundown is no joke.

You’ll need some sort of light source to make sure that you can see where you’re going. Furthermore, you don’t want to rely on your phone. If your phone battery is dead, so is the lighting on it.

Do yourself a favor and get a headlamp. Unlike a flashlight, it allows you to remain hand-free. Just purchase one that’s at least 70 lumens and you’re good to go.

8. Music

Nothing makes a hike complete like some good ole tunes. Music can soothe you or keep you motivated during your hike. It’s best to make a playlist that suits different moods. -Going on a hike often means you are cut off from conventional power sources. This makes wired earphones the best option. But there are a few wireless ones that can still hold their own that have larger battery capacities. Check the list on MusicCritic for more information.

9. Bug Repellent

Hiking is fun, but getting bit is not. While out on the trail, you want to focus on completing the hike, not being a mosquito’s lunch.

Make sure you pack bug repellent and put it on before you leave. It’s also good practice to reapply every two hours.

9. Snacks

Hiking takes a lot out of your body. Plus, when you’ve been physically active for a few hours, it’s natural to become hungry. Therefore, bring some snacks with you.

Don’t pack anything that’ll make you feel heavy and sluggish, but rather rejuvenated. Foods like fruit, nuts, granola bars, or jerky are good options.

What to Bring on a Hike: Are You Ready to Go?

Hopefully, this article answers your questions about what to bring on a hike. It’s such a fun activity, as long as you have all of your essentials with you. 

The quickest way to ruin a hiking trip is to be unprepared forced to complete your journey without the things you need. But now that you’ve read this list, you won’t have that problem, will you? Get packed and ready to go!

And if hiking doesn’t bring you and your partner closer, you may want to try online counseling with ReGain

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