I have had several questions asking what it is I take with me on my hikes, or what should you pack when you go out on a hike. If you are a beginner, then this is for you. Preparing for a hike, and what you should wear, I will cover in a separate post.
Some people routinely overpack — they’re the ones carrying a sleeping bag and tent on a short dayhike, just in case. (Of course, by the end of the season they’ll be totally buff from hauling around all that extra weight!) Others eschew basic comforts like insoles and the fingertips on their gloves, all in the interest of shaving a bit of weight off their load.
Of course, most of us fall somewhere in between those two extremes. But the one thing we all have in common is that, unless you’re ready to plunge into the wilderness in nothing but your underpants with a knife clenched between your teeth, there’s a core list of essential gear you just can’t do without.
If you’re gearing up for your first hike, these are the items you just can’t do without:
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Extra clothing
- First-aid supplies
- Extra food
Know what these are and be equipped. Make sure you and your fellow backpackers are on the same page when it comes to who is bringing what. Double-check before you leave home. It can be a real downer to discover that no one brought a lighter for the stove or a water filter.
I challenge you to plan a hike for this upcoming weekend – preferably Saturday or Sunday morning before football games start. Get some great snacks, strap on your shoes, and go explore. If you have tips to share with other would-be hikers, I’d love to hear what else we can do in the comments.