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The Ultimate Hiking Checklist- What To Bring On Every Hike

Are you planning to go hiking? Make sure you don't leave any essential hiking gear behind!

The thrill of hiking trips is undeniable, but you need the right tips and preparation to make the trip enjoyable.

Suitable hiking gear, sunglasses, comfortable clothes, and thick-soled sneakers are essential for hiking trails. When planning your trip, keep the weather in mind as well.

Without further ado, let’s begin with a hiking checklist to help you be prepared and organized so you won't suddenly realize halfway down the trail you forgot food or water. 

Listed here are clothing recommendations, hiking gear, accessories, equipment, tools, and definitely, “THE TEN ESSENTIALS” you won't want to miss on your hiking day. 

The Ten Essentials:

  1. Navigation

Knowing where you're going is key to a successful day hike. Getting back to where you started is also important. If you don't, you may accidentally turn an afternoon exploration into a multi-day journey. 

There are five essential navigation tools for backcountry travel: a map, a compass, an altimeter watch, a GPS device, and a personal locator beacon (PLB). 

  1. Headlamp or Flashlight (plus extra batteries)

 Finding your way through the wilderness at night is essential, so you always need to have a flashlight with you. 

 A headlamp is the preferred choice of most backcountry travelers because it keeps your hands free for all types of tasks, whether that’s cooking dinner or holding trekking poles. Always carry extra batteries.

  1. Sun Protection

 Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, and clothing that protects you from the sun. It is imperative to use quality sunglasses when you are outside to protect your eyes from potentially damaging radiation. 

 Sunscreen can help limit your exposure to UV rays. Lightweight, synthetic clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) can protect against UVA and UVB light.

  1. First-Aid Kit

 First-aid kits are essential to carry. You can either buy a pre-assembled kit or create one based on your individualized needs. What you pack in the kit will depend on how long your trip is and how many people will be involved.

 A kit should include blister treatments, adhesive bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, disinfecting ointment, and over-the-counter pain medication. It is also important to include nitrile gloves.

  1. Knife or Multi-Tool

 Knives are essential for every outing, as they can be used for fixing gear, cooking, preparing food, performing first aid, and kindling. In simpler knives, you will only find a single fold-out blade; in more elaborate knives, you'll find flathead screwdrivers, can openers, and/or scissors built into the handle.

  1. Lighter or Matches

If you need to start or maintain a fire in an emergency, you should have reliable supplies with you. Most people use disposable butane lighters, but matches can also be used if they are waterproof. An essential element in wet conditions, fire starters help jump-start fires.

  1. Emergency Shelter

Be sure to have an emergency shelter if you become stranded or injured on the trail due to wind and rain. A large plastic trash bag is also an option, as are an ultralight tarp, a bivy sack, or even an emergency space blanket (that packs small and weighs just ounces).

  1. Extra Food

Make sure you pack enough food for at least an extra day of travel if something prevents you from finishing your trip (like an injury or bad weather). Pack items that don't require cooking and that last for a long time. Keep extra energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, or jerky on hand.

  1. Extra Water

It's essential to carry plenty of water for your outing. You will need about half a liter of water every hour during moderate activity in moderate temperatures when figuring out exactly how much water to carry.

Carry more if you need to depending on conditions such as temperature, level of exertion, altitude, or an emergency. As a starting point, carry one or more water bottles or collapsible water containers.  

  1. Extra Clothes

 In the backcountry, conditions can change abruptly, whether it's raining, windy, or chilly, so you'll want to carry extra clothing beyond what you need. Along with a base layer, trekking shirt, trousers or shorts, you may also need an insulating hat or balaclava, extra socks, extra gloves, and a synthetic jacket or vest.

Daypack

In addition to securing all your essentials in a daypack or small backpack, be sure it has either a water reservoir or water bottle pockets. Choose a daypack with a capacity ranging from 11 to 35 liters based on the length of your day hike. 

It may be necessary to carry a larger daypack with a capacity of up to 50 liters if you're hiking in cold weather and need to fit a jacket.

Choose a daypack that's water-resistant and sturdy enough to withstand abrasion from passing branches. A mesh back panel is ideal if you tend to sweat a lot. When choosing your daypack, ensure it has enough pockets for all your gear to be easily accessible.

It is also important to be comfortable and fit, especially when hiking for long periods of time. Make sure you choose a daypack that fits your waist size and torso length.

 Clothing & Footwear 

You should wear whatever is comfortable and allows you to move freely when hiking. Underwear and socks made from moisture-wicking materials are better than cotton (a material that absorbs moisture and will leave you soaked after half a mile).

The warmth and comfort of wool socks will not be compromised by moisture, and many hiking-specific pairs have compression to provide better support.

Wear layers so you can adjust as the weather or elevation changes and check out looser silhouettes as they allow you a greater range of motion and keep you cool during the warmer days. 

For rainy days, you can consider backpacking a rainwear jacket and pants, a warm insulated jacket and vest, fleece pants, gloves or mittens, and gaiters for rainy, snowy, or muddy conditions.

Regarding footwear? To ensure that you're prepared for any terrain, it is highly recommended that you wear proper hiking boots for added ankle support and water resistance. 

As long as they have adequate traction, sneakers might be fine. The last thing you want to do is wear old kicks or boots since you run the risk of slipping and falling (even on a simple dirt road).

Hiking Gear

While this checklist section includes most of the Ten Essentials, it's also a good idea to throw in some toilet paper or wipes for bathroom breaks and a few plastic sandwich bags for trash.

The temperature can drop dramatically overnight, even if you are hiking on a warm day. Keeping an emergency blanket or bivvy with you is essential if you find yourself lost on the trail late at night. Putting one in your backpack is no big deal since they are palm-size.

You may want to bring bug spray if mosquitoes are a common problem in your area. Keep baby wipes and hand sanitizers handy, as you backpack since you may not find toilets along the way.

Food & Water

If you're going on a hike, you shouldn't go light on the food (right?). For your energy levels to remain high, especially if you're planning to be out all day, you'll need a lot of protein and carbohydrates.

As you hike, ensure that you have enough food to refuel. Protein bars or trail mix are enough for a hike under four hours, but you may need to pack a lunch for a hike over four hours. 

Carrying a liter of water every two hours on the trail is a good rule of thumb. Drinking hands-free is easier with a daypack with a water bladder, but you may still need to carry one extra water bottle if the bladder isn't large enough.

On a day hike, if you get lost or injured, having a water filter or tablets that treat water will allow you to drink the water found.

Hiking Accessories

The essential items for a hiking trip are a backpack, ten essentials, and the right clothing, but we recommend you pack a few extras. Your hike will be more enjoyable if you have these items. 

When hiking steep terrain, trekking poles can make all the difference. By taking pressure off your knees, the poles keep you stable. A trekking pole can alleviate pain when hiking, especially for beginners or backpackers.

All of these moments are worth capturing, whether it is the jaw-dropping mountain scenery, the open sky, the changing colors of the leaves, or your kids getting along. There may be a need for a professional camera, or you may be able to use your phone camera.

You should bring a small repair kit to fix common issues, such as a rip in your daypack or a broken zip on your rain jacket.

Battery life drops faster when phone apps are searching for signals or running GPS. Hiking tends to cause both of these! When hiking long distances, carry a small portable charger so you won't run out of battery. Additionally, it's great for charging other hiking gadgets, such as fitness trackers!

Have you got your hiking boots on yet but don’t know where to get supplies for hiking? When it comes to hiking essentials or accessories, Adventure HQ is the best place to shop.

We are a leading company that offers quality hiking equipment at a competitive price. For the best hiking tools in Dubai, visit our hiking store and explore our exclusive collection

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