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The Ultimate Hiking Gear Checklist to Bring On a Hike



Being unprepared should be the last thing on your list.

If you are planning a hiking trip then think about altitude, weather, terrain and environment that you have selected for hiking. This will help you in making your hiking gear checklist and in understanding what to bring on a hike.

When preparing a hiking gear checklist, make sure that it is comprehensive so that you don’t miss out anything. For this reason, in this article, we will be sharing a list of items under major categories, which should be on top of your hiking gear checklist. All of these items are highly recommended by professional hikers, so let’s just have a look at what to bring on a hike!

Essential Gear

In this list, you must include all the things which might look like an addition but can prove to be highly useful when you go hiking. A good checklist should include:

  • Fanny pack or Daypack
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Water-purification tablets
  • Water filter
  • Water
  • Matches
  • Food
  • Headlamp and Flashlight
  • Knife
  • First-aid kit
  • Backup Fire Starter
  • Insect repellent
  • Whistle
  • Sunglasses

Clothing and Footwear

Here is what you need in terms of your clothing. Make sure to consider your hiking location when deciding what clothing items to add to your checklist.

  • Fleece jacket
  • Convertible nylon shorts/pants
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Polypropylene underwear
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Gloves
  • Hooded pants and rain jackets
  • Gaiters
  • Knee support
  • Shoes/Boots adequate for terrain
  • Hiking socks


No matter if you are going for camping or hiking on a mountain, there are some essential accessories that you must keep with you and include in your hiking gear checklist right away!

  • Money
  • Key & Identification card
  • Toilet paper
  • Nylon cord, almost 50-foot
  • Garbage bags – plastic
  • Plastic bags – resalable
  • Hiking poles
  • Sewing/repair kit
  • Lip balm
  • Bandana
  • Watch
  • Paper and pencil


Here are a few gadgets that you must carry along on a hike:

  • Camera
  • Drone
  • Weather radio
  • GPS
  • Binoculars
  • Field guides
  • Hiking boots

All of these are the must-have hiking gear checklist items. Since not all hiking spots require the same level of security and supplies, it is very important for you to make sure that your hiking gear checklist incorporates not just everything mentioned in this article or anywhere else, but also what is actually required on your particular hiking trip.

What many people fail to realize is the fact that hiking is itself a daunting expedition and in that, you cannot just carry everything on your shoulders. So, you have to wisely plan your checklist and include only those items which are must for your survival and safety in order to avoid putting additional weight on your shoulders.

Some Unmentioned Specifics

Hiking is a physically straining expedition and it takes days to fully accomplish and enjoy this adventurous experience. Therefore, you must not only keep the right quantity of food but also, the right food.

However, if you are having a day trip then you may bring dried fruits, nut butter packs, trail mix, seeds, tuna salad pouches – readymade, whole-grain tortillas, meat jerky, poultry, salmon or other similar dried and easy to carry items.

Similarly, before you leave for a hike, make sure to have a filling breakfast to start healthy. Take vegetables or fruit, quality protein, and grains such as lean meat, peanut butter, eggs or fresh nuts.

Most importantly, drink a lot of water! Hiking is an experience that can easily make your body dehydrated so keep yourself hydrated. In addition, Authority Nutrition suggests that 10 mile per day hiking would require you to drink more than 2 liters of water. However, this also depends on many variables such as weather, terrain and your pace.

Also, don’t forget to keep your personal medication in addition to your first-aid kit and check all the medicines for their expiry date. Keep the first-aid kit safe and for this, you may use a water-proof container.

The Bottom Line

Remember, proper preparation and planning is the key to venture into an amazing hiking experience. The provided tips are great to start working on your hiking gear checklist and to know what to bring on a hike. This will not only help you in making your trip safer but a lot more stress-free and enjoyable as well.

In extension to that, be prepared to meet some uncertain conditions such as bad weather or fluctuating temperature, as these are the factors that you can’t predict beforehand. Meanwhile, happy hiking!

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