What Are The Best Essentials While Hiking? – A Complete List

Hiking is a great activity to partake in. there is the correct way and the alternate way of doing this activity. In this list, we explain some of the important stuff one needs to have while hiking. We are cognizant of the fact that different hiking locations do require different set or sets of gear. For example, while hiking in the cold or hot deserts, both settings offer unique difficulties.

However, both settings do require some basic items, which we are going to cover. Since the early nineteen hundreds, this list has evolved over time. This is to encompass the technological advancements made in term of hiking among other things. There are items that one does not necessarily need to have. Nonetheless, they may be of benefit when the situation arises. Therefore, gauge some of the items and figure out if you really need them.

For example, some items are heavy, and this can take a toll on you carrying them with you. See to its importance if you are willing to compromise. You may even scale up or down on the items you need, after carefully assessing the forthcoming, gratifying adventure. In this list, we break it down to seven essentials that you will need. Namely; navigation, nutrition, water, clothing, safety, and accessories. Then break it down even further for you.

What Are The Best Essentials While Hiking?

Essentials While Hiking

#1 Navigation:

Finding your way in a new place can be treacherous if you do not have the right means to go about it. You have to figure out your path. Learn of places to steer clear away from and the route you wish to take. For this problem, there are a couple of solutions available. The most important one is to have a compass and a map.

It is easy to learn how to read a map and navigate your terrain. For the first timers, it may seem difficult, however with a little familiarity, it will come to them naturally. For the modern user, there are GPS (Global positioning systems) devices, which can pinpoint your location to a decent scope. If you elect to go this way, you should not use it copiously. Remember on a hike, you most likely do not have a means of charging your devices. Nowadays smartphones have GPS kits in them. You can even download offline maps on them. To save on your phones power, turning on the flight mode is a good idea.

While looking at these two solution, for us, nothing beats the good old map and compass. The advantages of it clearly outweigh modern means (GPS) for us. Furthermore, we take hikes to enjoy the nature around us. Tagging along your phone is a distraction really. Additionally, there is something dazzling to the one who navigates the deceitful terrain, with the customary means of a compass and map.

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#2 Nutrition:

While going on a hike, you are not looking to dining on a five-star hotel, with everything served on a platter. You are going to need energy as you move along your hike. There are a couple of ways to do it. You can carry along your food with you. The trick to this is carrying along with you high nutrition, protein carb foods. Not only are they highly nutritious they, but are also light in weight, so you do not have to bear carrying too much weight. Another way is to look at the environment, and see if you can gouge on nature itself. Before you say no, consider the benefits to this. You may not have to carry your heavy food with you. Some foods are considered a delicacy in some circles when you have them. Some cultures, for example, feed on, well unorthodox foods like monkeys. They seem not to care, furthermore it is tasty and works for them, why not you.

Remember nothing can beat the taste of fresh salmon. Not even a five-star hotel that refrigerates their catch. One way we like to go on hikes is do a mash of the two solutions. Namely, our packed food and what nature provides. There are some skills you need to have though. Nature is sometimes unforgiving, some foods are not meant for humans, and thus you should not just eat every berry you see along the way. Also, learn how to prepare the meal of your choice properly. Also, have the utensils necessary for your nutrition. For hikes in cold areas, we like to tag along a stove, to keep warm at night and cook our catch.

#3 Water:

Water is an essential part to our very existence evidently. However, on a hike you are not going to find taps placed on your route. Therefore, you must figure out a way to use your water sustainably. You can store water in plastic water bottles or other means. For example, a hiking bag stows water in a special compartment. This just shows how important the commodity really is. After all, you can live longer without water, than food.

Many people do not know that you cannot drink ice. On a cold dessert, you also do need water. Luckily, in the cold desserts, water is in copious supply, you just have to know how to get it. On the other hand, on a dry terrain, you have to be ready and primed. In dry areas, you will often need more water bottles for yourself. In deserts, you can even apply some tactics to condense the air around and get the much-needed resource. It is generally good to carry a filter, to sieve out residue from the water. Bacteria may be a cause of concern for many, surprisingly though; water in hikes contains fewer bacteria harmful to humans than say densely populated areas.

#4 Clothing:

While hiking you should take with you the appropriate type of clothing. As a rule of thumb, check out the weather and type of conditions you think you are going to encounter. Obviously, in cold areas, you need to have heavy clothing to keep you warm, during the day and night. What most people do not realize is that in hot desserts, temperatures can drop to as low as 10 degrees during the night. It would not be right to rue the mistake of not bringing the right clothing. That is why prior knowledge of the location is of vital importance.

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Clothes might wear you down while you are on the move. Still, this is better than having a frostbite. With the advancement of tech, there is attire that is now specially made for the shifting weather. They are lightweight and do the job well. Often made of silk or other similar fabric warm air is kept in, cold air does not get in during the night. During the day, in a hot terrain, you will be able to regulate your temperature better with the said fabrics. Also, remember to bring your headgear and warm socks.

#5 Safety:

While on a hike, some things can go wrong. This type of adrenaline rush is what makes people do this fun activity in the first place. For a proactive approach, we usually have a pepper spray with us at all times, whether under in a tent or a backpack. They do come in handy in warding off wild animals. This is proven by the fact that dangerous wild animals know very well to avoid humans. They have grown accustomed to this; instinctively they know they do not want to get pepper sprayed. Rarely some do try out something fishy, therefore it is better to have it than need it.

When you might find yourself in an emergency, it is vital to request for help. For this, we employ a couple of tactics. Of importance is a signaling beacon. This device uses satellite tracking. It triangulates your exact location, and you will be able to signal for help. The best part about it is the satellite tracking system. It does not work like a 911 call, and hardly will you get a response, since the network will oft be an issue in hikes. However, when you fire the beacon up, you are guaranteed, someone somewhere, heard your distress call. We always carry two.

It is also good to learn how to make a fire when you have limited resources. You can use various means like magnifying glasses, matches, or lighters.  One of our favorite means is using twigs and branches. With this trusted solution, you may be able to signal for help using readily available tools.

#6 Fire:

The headline does look funny we know, but the fire is what makes us human after all. Can you think of a day you did not come across fire? From the food you eat to the car you drove, fire is involved. Fire is important too when you are out camping. There are various means to get it. In a cold type of dessert, a magnifying glass might come in handy. We like this for this type of terrain since in most cases, the branches are wet and matches are often contaminated. In hot areas, anything goes really.

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In most cases, we like to have a lighter. Fun fact did you know the lighter was invented before matches. Anyway, with a lighter, we can go through any terrain without much worries about not having a fire. Furthermore, lighters are light; this makes them an excellent addition to your hike.

#7 Accessories:

There are small bits of items that one might take for granted. They are important to have in a hike so we have them in this list of accessories.

Knife: with a knife, you can do many things. Cutting off branches and twigs you need is effortless with the right knife. It is tiring to prepare a meal without a knife. Even opening up your canned food will be an issue. Setting up a tent might seem impossible without a sharp stopper. All these little things might be taken for granted from the onset. However, when you bring a knife with you, it will feel natural. Only when you forget it, is when you will feel the anguish.

Power backup: it is difficult for most people to stay a whole day without using their smart devices. Even though the goal of hiking is to experience nature, our technology is firmly engraved into our behaviors. Thus if one wants to travel with some music, they will need power. Thus, a power bank is a good addition to the modern hiker. Nowadays there are even solar powered power banks. This is good, since you will not find a charging station on your route. However, the sun will shine bright, during the day.

Bags: While hiking, you will find yourself carrying other items you will need along the way. For example, collecting twigs from far areas in order to make a fire. Without a bag, it will be difficult going back and forth, as you want to take your collections to a single place. This is why a bag is handy on a hike.

First aid kit: while hiking is a fun activity, sometimes you can be in danger of injuries to you or someone else. Having a first aid kit will go a long way in saving the situation if things go haywire. While camping it is better to have it than need it.


Hiking is a fun activity that offers many benefits. It is certainly not meant to be easy. However, it is a beautiful experience. With that said, there is no reason for making your life on the road difficult. That is why we have this ultimate list of items you need. Even pro hikers put these items in their checklist. Also, asses what more you will need that is unique to your expedition. With this list though, you will have covered the basics. Also, do not forget to go with a friend on your expedition. Remember to carry your camera, and relive those glorious moments.

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