Carrying the right equipment is essential regardless of whether you’re hiking to a favorite waterfall or bagging a difficult summit. It is often the difference between a minor inconvenience and a dire outcome when things go wrong. A key part of any pre-trip preparations is to research and select essential day hiking gear. This applies to first-timers as well as seasoned backcountry travelers.
Whenever I went on a hiking or trekking trip during the early days of my travels, I used to forget one or more things. If you aren’t a seasoned hiker or trekker, it’s natural to make mistakes and forget important items to bring on hiking or trekking trips. In the excitement of such adventure trips, forgetting things is very common. Having learned from my mistakes in the last few years, I now carry a few items which are essential for hiking or trekking trips without fail. We are no longer living close to nature, and we are used to the obvious availability of certain things in life. You must understand, therefore, that when you are hiking or trekking on a mountain, some obvious things may not be nearby when you find yourself in a tough situation.
Our article below discusses our opinions and preferences regarding some of the most essential day hiking equipment. Check out the Guide for our recommended tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and a whole lot more, because we also do a lot of multi-day backpacking trips.
Do You Enjoy Hiking Or Trekking In The Himalayas?
This article discusses a list of essential items to take on your hiking or trekking trip so that you end up in the middle of nowhere wishing you had brought something. All of these items have helped me in some way in my travel experiences.
As a result of my hiking treks for the past few years, some have proven to be very useful, and I am glad to have collected them. Getting started in hiking or trekking, this list will be of great help to you, especially if you’re just starting out.
What To Carry On A Hiking Or Trekking Trip?
Let’s start with the most important items that all hikers and trekkers must have. When you don’t have to worry about basic survival items in temporarily adverse conditions, your treks or hikes will become less stressful.
1. An All-Around Savior: The Water Bottle
Any hiking trip or trek would not be complete without a water bottle. When you hike, your body dehydrates, but you don’t even realize you’re sweating because of the cold or cool temperatures. Therefore, drinking water from your bottle frequently will keep you hydrated. Keep your water bottle in your bag at all times and refill it from natural sources whenever possible. Ensure that your bottle doesn’t leak or break under pressure.
2. Foods For Snacking: Dry Fruits, Trail Mix, Chocolate, Or Energy Bars
When hiking or trekking, you lose a lot more energy than you anticipate. You’ll stay at your peak energy level by munching on something every now and then. Some dry fruits or nuts, a bag of trail mix, a few chocolate bars like Snickers, or energy bars are always good to have. They are easier to carry and take up less space than too much real food without spilling over.
3. Carry A Light And Organized Daypack Or Backpack
When on a hike or a trek, you can always keep your things organized by using a daypack or backpack. There are many different backpacks available. Additionally, they make it easier to access items and keep them organized. You should invest in a backpack or a daypack that will make you feel light and less sweaty on your back. The best backpacks or daypacks should provide protection against light rain or snow and easy access to your items.
4. Hiking Boots Or Trekking Shoes
There is no question that trekking shoes and hiking boots offer the best quality, comfort, and protection of any other hiking gear that you have ever purchased. I highly recommend investing in good gear if you are just starting out hiking or trekking. The right gear includes a pair of hiking shoes that are comfortable, lightweight, sturdy, warm, and waterproof, offering a firm grip on slippery surfaces and providing good ankle protection. If you are buying hiking boots, you should consider the waterproof factor as it can be crucial to your trek’s success.
5. Torchlight Or Flashlight
A torchlight or flashlight can be a lifesaver if it gets dark while you’re returning from your hike.
6. Comfortable Trek Pants And Trousers
The same as a good pair of trekking boots, I believe one must possess an appropriate pair of comfortable, breathable, cargo-styled, quick-drying trek pants or trousers. You can bring snow gaiters with you if you plan to go on a snow trek. If you intend to cross water streams, quick-dry pants are a very useful feature. On top of that, cargo-styled trek pants come with a lot of pockets to keep other things like swiss knives, snacks, etc within reach while hiking.
7. Trek Route or Map
Keep a hard copy of the trail map while trekking. It is true that cell phones have GPS, however, you will often find yourself in a spot where the phone does not work or has run out of battery. Long hikes and treks are the best examples. When it comes to gadgets, a dedicated GPS device with a trail map will still be worthwhile but having a hard copy available is still a good idea in case you run out of luck.
8. Medical Kit Or First-Aid Kit
Last but not least, you must carry a basic medical kit, containing bandages, bandaids, antiseptic lotions, and creams for burns, bruises, etc. You never know when a small medical kit will help someone with minor health issues like burns, cuts, or bruises.
Although some of these items are personal preferences, they are extremely useful in certain situations. I have accumulated them over time, and now I feel like I have my basic hiking and trekking equipment. Additionally, there are other accessories to consider such as a trekking pole, a smartphone or camera, a power bank, sunglasses, and a GPS or smartwatch or fitness tracker. Next time, you plan your trekking trips or hiking, your hiking gear kit will be made easier with the above-listed items.