Hiking Equipment Essentials

Our Guide to Hiking Equipment Essentials!


Hiking can be a physically-draining and rigorous activity but getting to experience the essence of nature up-close makes it all the worthwhile.

You don’t want to get stuck in an emergency miles away from civilisation when you are poorly prepared.

Whether you are trapped in a storm, gone off-course, or running out of food resources, hiking without the appropriate equipment is a definite recipe for disaster.

And although the items may vary depending on the kind of hiking adventure you are about to set out on, the following are essential hiking gear you can’t leave out of a checklist. Get ready for our list of hiking equipment essentials.

Hiking Backpack

You need a backpack to carry the rest of your hiking equipment. From extra clothing to food and water resources, an appropriate backpack will allow you to comfortably store all that you need for the hike while making sure that you don’t run out of stock, it really is a must have when you consider hiking equipment essentials.

If you are going on a short hike that won’t involve camping, a small day pack should suffice.

However, if you are planning a longer hiking trip that will need you to stay out overnight, make a point of looking for a bigger backpack with plenty of room to store all your items comfortably. Ideally, the average person can about 1/3 of their body weight; don’t burden yourself with too much weight that will spoil the hiking experience.

Here at ArcticDry, we specialise in creating Waterproof Backpacks, they are perfect for short and long distance hikes, as well as being fully water resistant and durable due to being made from high quality Tarpaulin. You can check it out here:


Map and Compass


These are two critical hiking gear that will help you to comfortably navigate your way through the hiking trail. A map will help you know your current location and tell you how far you are from the campsite. It will also assist you to make sound decisions in the event you suspect you’ve gone off-course to prevent cases of getting lost.

Furthermore, a map will shield you from possible emergencies and physical injuries in hiking trails that have insufficient signs or markings.

A compass, meanwhile, is a great complement that will help you to stay on the right course and point you in the right direction.

Appropriate Outdoor Clothing


You want to carry the right outdoor attire that will protect you from the elements. If you are hiking in cold or wet conditions, be sure to bring along warm clothing like moisture-wicking t-shirts and underwear, waterproof jacket, quick-drying pants, waterproof socks. Ensure that you also wear the appropriate hiking boots that will prevent soreness or blisters on your feet during the hike. However, be wary of overdressing to the extent that you run the risk of overheating.

Flashlights and Headlamps


Flashlights or headlights become imperative when you have to hike in the dark or in areas that are lowly illuminated. These will help you to avoid straying from your hiking course or find your way around a campsite.

Flashlights also enable you to check for items inside your backpack or signal your friends when you are hiking as a group.

Remember to carry extra batteries for extra precaution and preferably go for headlamps that use LED lights; they are more energy efficient. A fundamental thing to have on your list of hiking equipment essentials.

Food and Water


So this sounds rather obvious, but while out on a hike, you can always expect some contingencies, whether minor or major, that may end up interfering with your schedule. So be sure to carry extra food and water provisions in case you have to stay out longer than initially planned.

Bring along energy-rich snacks like energy bars and nuts that you can comfortably eat on the trail. Meanwhile, two litres of water will be enough for a day but you can make the necessary adjustments depending on the prevailing weather conditions. Just make sure that you carry enough to protect yourself from hunger and dehydration.

Sunglasses, Sunscreen, and Sun hat


Sunglasses will come in handy when hiking on a hot sunny day or through snowy mountains. They ensure that you are shielded from the sun’s glare and possible snow blindness. They also protect your eyes from airborne debris like tree branches, dust, and other hazards that may lead to injury.

Sunscreen will help to prevent sunburns if you have sensitive skin while a sun hat will ensure you have a comfortable hike by shielding you from the scorching sun.

You also want to bring along lip balm to keep your lips moisturized.

First aid kit


There is a high likelihood that you’ll encounter minor injuries like burns, blisters, or cuts; especially if you are hiking in areas with thick vegetation with bushy trails.

A first aid kit will help you to quickly treat these small injuries and keep them from getting infected.

However, the first aid kit will also prove crucial in major emergencies that involve broken limbs, hypothermia, allergic reaction, snake bites, etc. This will also mean that you include your personal medication as part of the items in the kit. An absolute must have item in your list of hiking equipment essentials.

Knife or Multi-tool


Never go on a hiking adventure without carrying a knife; it will help you cut through thick vegetation if you want to go off-trail, prepare meals, cut ropes, and shave wood when building a shelter. A knife or multi-purpose tool will also cut strips of cloth to make bandages or fix broken eyeglasses. In short, a knife has a host of applications that make it a must-have in your list of hiking equipment essentials.

Matchbox or Fire-starter

A matchbox or Firestarter will help you light a fire when you want to cook or keep away hypothermia when camping in the cold. Lighting a fire is also a great survival tactic that can help you get noticed when you happen to get lost in the woods. If you are carrying a matchbox, remember to ensure you get waterproof matches that won’t be rendered obsolete in rainy or wet conditions. A real must have for your hiking equipment essentials


A whistle is a compact, lightweight, and easy-to-carry device that will come in quite handy in emergency situations. If you are hiking as a group and you happen to stray away from the course, blowing a whistle is a convenient way of alerting your friends that you are lost. Remember that you can’t keep on shouting to call for help as this can take a toll on you. A whistle, on the other hand, is louder and travels farther and faster than the human voice.