Hiking, as a sport, is enjoyed by many as a leisure activity. People who love adventures, thrilling experiences, and most importantly, are conscious of their health, love hiking as a pastime. It also benefits hikers to get away from the stress of daily life, and it can provide mental wellness. Overall, hiking is a fun and healthy activity for all, irrespective of their age. This list will help you to find all the hiking essentials and gadgets you could need on your trip.
For the inexperienced hiker, it is essential to take some precautionary measures before heading off. For this, it is important for you to understand what you need to go hiking and equip yourself with all the hiking essentials. Your choice of equipment also depends on how long you will be hiking, the places that you’ll be traveling, and how long you plan on staying there. In case you’re planning for an overnight stay, you might want to consider taking a tent for shelter. For beginners, it is advisable to always take a tour guide along since hiking involves great risks at times. One must make sure to wear proper clothes for hiking since it helps you in maintaining your body temperature, and also acts as resistance from heat and cold. Besides that, it also protects you from thorns and insect bites, which every hiker is likely to encounter on their way.
So, what are the things that you need to go hiking? For first-timers and less experienced hikers, it is important to understand the different hiking essentials and how they can impact your hiking experience. Here are ten hiking must-haves that you might want to consider taking along to make the journey fun as well as safe.
10 Hiking Essentials
Lifestraw Go Water Bottle
Hiking demands that you drink enough water to keep you hydrated. However, carrying water, especially in bulky bottles, can become quite an issue because of the weight. No hiker enjoys carrying heavy water around, causing inconveniences throughout the duration of the journey. It is also not safe or wise to go and drink water from whatever source is available to you. Thankfully, you can easily carry a Lifestraw Go Water Bottle and solve this problem. With this bottle, one can simply refill water in it from any available sources like lakes, ponds, streams, etc. It assures you of genuine drinking water without having to test its quality.
This bottle features a filter straw integrated with a 2-stage technology, which helps in removing 99.99% of germs, microplastics, and parasites. This bottle has also been tested and approved with standards set by the US NSF, ASTM, and EPA. All these make a Lifestraw Go Water Bottle an essential and cool hiking essential that every hiker must-have.
Another hiking gear that every hiker needs to get a hold of is the BivyStick. A BivyStick is a device that turns your smartphone into a satellite communicator, offering all the functions of a GPS. It also helps you to send messages, access maps, get updates on the weather conditions, as well as track locations, and share them. All this can be done from any part of the planet using this gadget.
The importance of this device lies in its ability to provide coverage to 100% of the surface of the earth. It becomes an essential hiking gear for people who love to explore places that very few have traveled. All you have to do is connect it with your smartphone via Bluetooth and enjoy its service. In case you get lost or get disconnected from the rest of the group during the hike, you can easily turn on the device and share your location. This will enable your friends or teammates to track your location without any hassle. You can also get detailed information regarding the weather conditions before hiking so that you will be able to decide on what to take along. The best thing about this device is that it has the ability to send out SOS signals in case of an emergency situation. It also comes along with a USB port through which you can charge your phone and extent its battery lifespan. This makes the device a reliable power source and also ensures you a more secure trip.
The ability to make a fire is one of the essential survival skills that you need to have in order to survive in the wild. While packing for a hike, always make sure to carry a quality fire starter so that you can easily make a fire whenever and wherever you want to. Gone are the days when you need to carry matchsticks with you which in many cases become quite inconvenient. It may break or get lost since hiking involves a great deal of crossing irregular paths. It may not also work well if you try to light it in wet weather conditions. Hence, a fire starter is the best hiking implement for such cases. It enables you to make fire anytime without having to worry about the weather conditions. This way, you can cook your meals, keep yourself warm during cold nights, and also keep animals away.
For a list of our favorite multitools, check out our favorite multitool guide.
A multitool is another essential piece of hiking gear to include while preparing. A multitool consists of a number of different tools combined together into a single gadget. Some consist of knives, scissors, wrenches, pliers, awls, screwdrivers, and other essential tools. It is easy and convenient to carry, and it also occupies very little space so that you have room for more things in your backpack. However, you need to first prioritize your needs and buy it according to your convenience since different tools serve different purposes. You can easily open your food cans with it, cut ropes, and even protect yourself in case of an attack from a wild animal. Such a tool can help you to be prepared for any kind of situation that a person can expect in the wild.
The primary function of any headlight is to provide light for hikers in the dark. Carrying a torchlight while hiking can create a lot of inconveniences, especially if you want to travel comfortably. Hence, a headlamp is another essential piece of hiking gear that you need to have in order to ensure safety in the dark. One of the main advantages of using a headlamp is that it keeps your hands free for climbing and holding supports while hiking. Besides that, you can also use it at the campsite at night instead of using a lantern and keep your hands free to work on other things. At times there can also be situations where one of the members of your party may get injured, or some of your equipment fails in the dark. During such a situation, a headlamp assists you to focus better on the particular problem by enabling you to make use of both your hands.
Besides the hands-free advantage, most headlamps also provide an impressive long-distance beam, which is very helpful for finding your way out to your campsite or car while traveling a rough track. They are also light to carry, and your head doesn’t have to feel burdened due to its weight. Also, most headlamps available these days are completely waterproof, and this makes it more convenient for you to hike in the dark without having to worry about the weather conditions.
If you are in need of a new headlamp, you can check out our compilation of the best headlamps in the market today.
Solar Power Bank
Another cool piece of gear that you can carry with you on your adventure is a solar power bank. A solar power bank, as the name indicates, is a device that makes use of sunlight energy to charge its battery. This type of device is very useful for hiking, especially if you plan on staying in outdoors for a couple of days. It is impossible to get access to electricity in the wild, and you might need to charge your phone or other gadgets in this time. This is where a solar power bank comes to the rescue. It helps you to charge your phone and other devices without needing an outlet or portable charger. It is also an economical and efficient way of harnessing energy without causing any harm to nature. You can use them anytime, as long as you have enough exposure to sunlight while hiking. They are also very versatile and easy to carry, so you don’t have to worry about any inconveniences caused by shortage of electricity.
What fun is hiking if you don’t have the energy to keep yourself going? It is important to have a decent amount of food if you are to sustain for a day or two or even more in the wild. You can’t expect nature to provide you with food wherever you go, nor is it possible for you to carry your cooking set while hiking. Hence, a camp stove is what you need while hiking. It allows you to boil water and cook food in a very convenient way. There are some camp stoves like the Biolite camp stove, which is capable of burning wood for cooking as well as recharge an electronic device with a USB cable. You might also want to carry a camp stove that is light and simple to use so that it doesn’t create any inconveniences.
Another hiking essential is a thermal blanket. Although you start your hike with pleasant weather, mother nature loves to give sudden unpleasant surprises. At such times, there is a high possibility of you getting exposed to sudden weather fluctuations, and you might end up cold. This could, in turn, lead you to end up with frostbite or hypothermia. Hence, it is always a wise choice to carry a thermal blanket whenever you go hiking. It is extremely light so you won’t face any difficulty in carrying it. It will keep you warm and help you to maintain your body temperature in the cold. This way, you will be able to enjoy your hike without having to worry about the weather, especially during the winter.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an essential piece of hiking gear that you need to take along while hiking. One cannot always ensure a smooth trail while hiking, and sometimes you can encounter major or minor accidents. Hence, it is always important to carry a first aid kit as a precaution. Every essential item ranging from pain killers to bandages, emergency whistles, hydration tablets, to band-aids comes in a good first aid kit. Having a first aid kit while hiking can enable you to handle any injuries, including minor cuts, burns, and even major cuts. It also helps you in taking precautionary measures and in reducing the pain of any injury caused due to accidents.
Hiking poles are extremely versatile hiking gadgets which come with a lot of benefits while hiking. While hiking uphill, your legs undergo extra hard work. Using a hiking pole can help to reduce the stress on your legs. It also helps in supporting your weight as you go downhill so that there is less pressure on your ankles and knees, which absorbs your weight with each step. Another benefit of a hiking pole is its service while crossing streams and rivers. Although a stream or a river may appear to be shallow, sometimes crossing can become more difficult than it appears. One bad move and you may end up getting wet and injured. Using a hiking pole helps you avoid these mistakes and keeps you balanced and upright.
Trekking poles also come in handy when your trail consists of bushes and branches along the way. You can use them to clear your way so that the branches don’t end up whipping your face. You can also use your trekking poles in case of emergency situations like strained joints, and even broken bones.
If you’d like to read more, feel free to check out our Hiking Pole Buying Guide.
Hiking should be a good time. Enjoying nature is a pastime as old as mankind and is something everyone should try in their life. It is important, though, to be properly prepared so that you don’t end up getting hurt or worse. Although this list doesn’t include everything you need to be safe while hiking, it is a good start. If you’d like more info, you can check out our Complete Hiking Buying Guide.