The 10 Essentials for Hiking

Hiking and backpacking have their charms. Rather than working out on a stairmaster inside a crowded gym and paying $100 per month for the privilege of working out there, you get to go out in the outdoors, among the trees and brush, seeing great views.

However, hiking has fewer amenities. If you are hungry, it is unlikely you will be within five minutes’ hike to a McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or a fancy steakhouse. And so, we discuss the ten essentials for hiking.


1. Water


Water is essential, as we can not go on without water for more than forty-eight hours. How much water you need depends on several factors, such as the length of the hike, elevation gain, and outdoor temperature. For short hikes in local parks, a bottle of water from a grocery store will suffice. For longer hikes, you may need to bring lots of water; a  hydration pack will be very useful.


2. First Aid


This, too is, important. It could take many minutes for an air ambulance to arrive if there is an emergency; swift administration of first aid is necessary.


A proper first aid kit will include bandages, rubbing alcohol, gauze, ointment, c old compresses, and tweezers.


3. Map


A map is very important. It is diffuclt enough to navigate roads; hiking trails have fewer navigational markers, particular those in wilderness areas.


4. Compass


A magnetic compass has been a very important tool for navigation for over one thousand years. It is especially useful at night or during a cloudy day.


A great alternative is  GPS navigator, making it easier to find out where exactly you are on the trail.


5. Lighting


Hiking trails do not have lampposts. Because of this, you will need to bring your own lighting, like a flashlight or lantern. And of course, make sure you have some spare batteries.


6. Sunscreen


Sunscreen is essential. some people just end up looking like boiled lobsters after just three hours in the sun. you will not enjoy your hike with a bad sunburn. Make sure to use that sunscreen.


7. Knife


A knife can be a versatile tool. You can cut branches and brush that is in the way, cut wood for firewood, and even use it in first aid situations.

8. Matches


Matches are a must. You will need something to make a fire at a camps site. Alternatively, you could use a mechanical firestarter. Please make sure to follow fire safety tips from the U.S. Forest Service.


9. Extra clothing


Weather can be unpredicable, and as such you may need extra protection from the cold. This is especially important from late fall to late spring, or in the far north or south latitudes, when temperatures plunge below forty degrees.


10. Food


Finally, there is food. Especially if you are backpacking for a few days; you could be more than a day’s hike from the nearest convenience store, let alone full-service restaurant. Crackers, fruit snacks, trail mix, or freeze-dried blueberries are great options.




Of course, in some situations, you may need additional items. During winter, when there is snow in higher elevations and latitudes, you may need snow gear to keep yourself from slipping. You may also need water purification supplies if you go on multi-day hikes.


Hiking and backpacking can be fun, and you will have definitely have stories to tell. Just make sure you bring the essentials so you do not have to tell stories of disaster.