Whether you are an experienced hiker or someone who is just looking to get started, I’ve put together a list of some the essentials that you are going to want to take along on your next hiking journey. Don’t forget to view our videos to make sure you are fully prepared.
#1 – Map/Compass
This is extremely important when hiking across unfamiliar territory. The last thing you want to have happen is to take a couple wrong turns and not know how to get back on track. You can find a detailed map of most trails on site as well as online. Make sure you know how to read a map. You are also going to want a compass on hand to help navigate. I recommend spending a little extra on a nice compass. REI has a guide on how to choose one.
#2 – Flashlight or Headlamp
You just never know when you are going to need light. Even if you are planning a trip during the day, I would still pack some kind of flashlight in your bag. You just don’t know what you may run across and if things go bad and you have to make camp for the night, you will be glad you packed this.
#3 – First Aid Kit
This should be obvious, but I have heard plenty of stories where hikers forgot to bring a long a first aid kit and ended up desperately needing it. Luckily, all the stories I have heard didn’t end up being fatal, but I have heard of some pretty bad infections and painful trips home that could have been prevented had a first aid kit been on hand. Now you don’t need to go overboard, but at least make sure you have the essentials, including a lot of band-aids.
#4 Extra Food/Clothing
Hopefully this will be something you don’t ever need to use, but it’s a must when making any hiking trip. I recommend packing for at least one extra day than you plan on being out there. As for extra clothing, make sure you can handle any element that you may come across.
#5 Pocket Knife/Tools
Here’s another no brainer when it comes to hiking. Regardless of where you are hiking, you are going to want some kind of pocket knife and any basic tools that could be of use along your journey. This is something that I personally would spend a little extra on, as you will be amazed at just how often you will come across something that requires it’s use.