For anyone getting started with hiking, it can be fairly overwhelming to know what to carry along. Also, your requirements can vary depending on the circumstances. One of the biggest mistake rookies make is to overpack; not knowing what to leave behind at home. While you need to have the basic necessities covered, there’s nothing in this world that ruins a hike than carrying a chock-full backpack. Get through this concise list of hiking essentials for a smooth, first-time hiking trip. Beg, borrow or steal, just don’t leave your without these items in your rucksack.
- A rucksack for carrying the essentials
- Sturdy shoes that fit you well
- Water; it doesn’t matter how far you’re going, you’ll never regret having an extra bottle. It’s always a good idea to a portable water filter and chlorine dioxide tablets along.
- Calorie-dense food; because you need to get your body going – with a balanced amount of nutrients. Since hot meals aren’t always possible to carry, do stock nuts, fruits and nutrition bars.
- Navigation – maps and compass
- Sun protection – SPF-30 or higher sunscreens, lip balms and sunglasses
- Clothing as per the current and anticipated conditions – whatever the case, make it a point avoid cotton. Also, always keep in mind that the weather can always turn colder, hotter or wetter. Based on the forecasts, adopt the necessary clothing
– Base layer: Polypropylene clothing
– Mid layer: Warm and wicking t-shirt and pants
– Outer layer: A regular windbreaker and trekking pants
- Insulation – fleece/soft-shelled jackets, underwear bottoms and vests
- A basic first-aid kit
- Illumination – headlamp/flashlight along with extra batteries
- Emergency shelter – for it isn’t always practical to spend the night under the starry sky, some form of shelter is a must-have.
– A tart or a tent
– Sleeping mat
– Sleeping bag