What should be on your hiking checklist?

When planning a hiking trip, it is worth getting the essentials out of the way early. It might come out later you need an extra cover for your tent or an absorbing book for gloomy rainy days but having the basics prepared can guarantee you a safe and comfortable journey.

No matter, whether you fancy a one-week hike around the Armenian uplands or a short day trip in the Danish forest, here is what to put on your hiking checklist.


1. Backpack

Most probably the most indispensable piece of any outdoor adventure is a comfortable backpack. Depending on how long is your hike, you might want a backpack in a different litre range. If you only go for 1-2 day hike, anything around 20 litres should be sufficient. However, if you delve into a multi-day journey, you have to carry more food and respective gear, hence a volume of 50 to 70 liters is optimal.


1. Backpack.jpg

2. Water-proof clothing

In the world of outdoor the weather is king. It’s not so complicated to figure out a T-shirt if the sun makes an appearance – though ensure to predominantly wear a breathable shirt made of wool or polyester – but once it comes to protection against the rain, clever layering of waterproof, lightweight fabrics is crucial. Make sure to pack a set of quick-drying and space-saving rain poncho and pants.


2. Waterproof clothing.jpg

3. Safe footwear

Your regular trainers that support you whilst jogging day-by-day are a basic must-have. They do the job, when you walk through easy terrains or master undemanding trails. However, at more strenuous hikes that involve longer and steeper climbs, you should consider proper hiking boots.


4. Hiking shoes.jpg

4. Watter bottle

No matter which outdoor activities you practice in partciular, your body is burning energy. In all cases these physical efforts will leave you sweaty and dehydrated. To maintain and restore a fluid balance in your organism, it’s life-and-death to have a portable water source with. You can opt for a double wall vacuum insulated water bottle as portrayed below or choose the one with built-in filtration. Today’s selection of outdoor products can satisfy almost any market’s demand.


3. Water bottle.jpg

5. Food

Planning on your wilderness nutrition is important. Bringing along healthy fats, protein, and salt can boost your body’s energy. Depending on your hike’s duration you can start with crackers accompanied by peanut butter, dried fruits, mixed nuts, and banana honey oat bars. If these easy-to-carry snacks suit well for short journeys, longer hikes might require more elaborated dishes. To save the space in the bag, consider some delicious Uncle Ben’s instant noodles or veggies rice. Canned tuna – if too heavy – can be replaced with delicious mini-salami snacks.



6. Cooking utensils

Cooking utensils can truly bring your outdoor experiences to the next level. Aroma of fresh coffee or the very same Uncle Ben’s temptingly tasty rice can easily make it to the list of many joys in the great outdoors. A small portable gas stove with a gas cartridge would suffice to boil water or rehydrate your food. Also here, to have a lighter or a box of waterproof matches can ultimately help you to start a campfire to get warmer or simply keep mosquitoes away.


6. Cooking utensils 1.jpg

7. Portable hand tools

Even if you pin your hopes primarily on snacks, a set of outdoor travel cutlery can be exceptionally handy to have with you. Whether to cut veggies, chop some woodsticks to set a campfire or any other general camp tasks, carrying a knife is helpful. In addition, bringing along a surviving sewing kit can serve a great deal if you have to repair your tent or you face a hole in your backpack.


7. Portable hand tools.jpg

8. First aid kit

Heading into the wilderness might be dangerous. From simply keeping your hands clean to healing a bloody wound, you might need antiseptic wipes, blister treatment or antibiotics. You can either purchase a pre-packaged personal first aid kit at your local pharmacy or assemble your own one knowing your specific outdoor needs and pursuits.


8. First aid kit 1

9. Navigation tools

Once in the woods, you have to know where you are and what’s the best way to get around. In the era of digitalization you surely have a variety of tools to help you out, from Google maps to advanced hiking apps. Although, those alone should never be your only tools as trusting your life to a battery can be somewhat overconfident. Instead, bring along a compass and a good old map. A power bank is not a bad idea either.


9.1. Navigation tools

10. Headlamp

A bright comfortable headlamp belongs to the hiking checklist as a fish to a water reserve. A hands-free tool can easily become your favourite, once you have to figure a wooden toilet in the night or find a path back to your camping place in the twilight.


10. Headlamp 1.jpg

11. Personal care products

Nobody canceled your daily routine for healthy skin and teeth whilst hiking the trail. Both biodegradable soap and a hand sanitizer, a small toothpaste and a dental foss belong to personal hygiene essentials that should be checked prior to leaving on your journey. It’s also recommended to have multiple plastic bags to do or keep your laundry in.


11. Personal care products

12. Outdoor protection

Obviously you won’t take all your Sephora and Dr. Hauschka scin-care products used back home as things such as waterproof clothing and food might take priority. However, if you have a sensitive skin, it’s worth of sizing down some of your most favourite products – consider a face cleansing foam and a day cream SPF 50 – down to 100 ml and bring along. Make sure your skin feels as protected and comfortable as yourself whilst passing through picturesque scenery. And don’t forget to apply a sunscreen generously whilst being outdoors.


12. Sun protection

So while the travel destinations might change in their geography and variety, the right gear and existing hiking checklist will always help you to enjoy the great outdoors. Can you relate to aforementioned items? What are some of your must-haves during the hiking? Share below.

© 2019 Elena Bubeeva, All Rights Reserved.

5 thoughts on “What should be on your hiking checklist?

      1. I clamp a small whistle on the outside of my bag with a carabiner. I’ve never used it but the idea is for safety. If I slip down the side somewhere or hurt a leg, I would blow a whistle in the hopes of being found!! Someone told me that a few years back so I take one!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I would totally consider this tip, thanks! I guess it might be helpful in other cases, too, just to get an attention. Several years ago I felt down badly whilst snowboarding. Needed to laid on a cold ground for a while until help arrived as my legs were completely bundled up …


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