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Going for a hike in the backcountry can be lots of fun, which is why we are sharing this essential hiking packing list to help you plan your next trip.

More so, when you want to escape from the fast city life. What is more refreshing than waking up to the sounds of birds, a breeze of fresh air, and a quick hunting expedition for breakfast? It’s an excellent opportunity to bring out our survival instincts. Yet, being away for days from basic amenities can prove challenging. Then, do you have all your essentials hiking gear ready in your hiking backpack? If unsure, use this guide as your checklist as you remember all of your favourite hiking quotes and prepare for your trip!

If you are want to take awesome photos for your hiking trip, make sure to pick up one of the best cameras for hiking and backpacking!

What to pack for your next hiking trip

Dartmoor National Park Devon Family Hiking in the uk

A Navigation Tool

Typical navigation tools for a hiker include a map, a GPS device, an altimeter, and a compass. A hiking map will show you the hiking trail that you should follow. Yet, when you miss a turn on one of the trails, the compass comes in handy to get you back on track. A GPS app or a Smartphone navigation app will also work as a compass. But, you may have to fumble with several input buttons before getting the coordinates right.

Plus, such devices work where there is a good network reception. Then, the gadgets must remain with ample battery charge. Hence, should you get lost for days or weeks, the compass is your best shot. The altimeter helps you to know your elevation.

First Aid Kit

A hiker has to prepare for minor accidents and injuries that happen when he is in those remote areas. Hence, he must carry a functional first aid kit and know how to use the medical supplies appropriately. A basic first aid kit for a hiker will include lightweight medical tape to cater for minor cuts and blisters. Second, add some alcohol wipes for the wounds. An antihistamine will assist relieve any bites or allergic reactions. Other items include gauze, antibiotic ointment, and pain relief tablets.

We recommend you prepare for your hiking trip in advance, giving you plenty of time to get your first aid kit and other essentials well-organized before your trip.


Multi-tools are pocket-size survival tools that consist of up to 10 to 14 pieces of cutting and repair equipment. Instead of carrying a big knife or survival items, a hiker should opt for a multi-tool instead. These tools are quite portable, accessible, and easy to use. You’ll have all your devices when you need them in one location.


Do you intend to stay in the woods after dark? Then, you must include functional hiking headlamps in your backpack. Such a lamp should be waterproof. Also, it should be bright, beaming far and wide, with a provision for night vision. For headgear, the bulb should remain lightweight even after fitting the batteries. Next, opt for a light with longer running times.

Sun Protection

Every hiker who prefers the summer hiking season should carry a pair of sunglasses and ample sunscreen. Also, his choice of clothes should protect him further from the harmful sun rays. Such garments include a wide-brimmed hat, neck capes, long-sleeved shirts, and select fabric clothing.

Fire Starter

Carry a lighter, matches, a stove, and dry tinder material as your emergency fire starter kit. It will come in handy during those cold, rainy nights out in the woods. Typical tinder materials include petroleum jelly-coated cotton balls tacked in a Ziploc bag. Or, some Fritos corn chips that will burn for longer. To keep your tinder material dry, ensure you invest in a durable, waterproof backpack for your trip. For starters, OutdoorCrunch’s huge guide to top Osprey hiking backpacks has lots of options you may want to try.

Sufficient Food

Most hikers carry minimal food with the hope of hunting and finding more food during the expedition. Still, things may take a sudden twist, leaving you with insufficient food supplies. Avoid getting stuck away from home with no food. Carry at least some dried and fresh fruits, nuts, energy bars, granola, and ready-to-eat tuna pouches. You want lightweight food that will give you the most energy. If you have a camping ground or a camping van set up, ensure you have a refrigerator or cooler. Use it to keep your food supply fresh for longer.


A hiking trail can be punishing to an amateur hiker. In fact, in extreme weather conditions, a hiker will only last a few days without water. Hence, he must plan on ways of keeping himself hydrated for days. A typical backpack for a hiker includes a water reservoir that carries about 1.5 liters of water. Apart from it, the hiker should bring a water purifier to clean his water reserve along the way. He can also bring a bladder and a portable filter.

Warm Clothing

A hiker should carry clothing that keeps him warm and safe. The clothes should also be comfy and cover most of the hiker’s body. Such clothes keep him safe from crawling snakes, insects, and harsh weather elements. Some of these clothing include long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, underpants, and a light windproof jacket.

Next, the clothes should be treated with insect repellents and be made of a soft fabric that wicks away sweat, dries fast, and keeps you warm at night. Opt for comfortable sneakers or hiking boots as per the terrain of your hiking trail.


Most hikers prefer using lightweight camping tents. These shelters are easy to carry up the trail. The tents retail in a preassembled state, allowing for a quick setup. Hence, settle for a tent that will keep you dry when it rains. This tent must have ample room to cater for all its occupants. Plus, there needs to be adequate space to set up your sleeping gear, cooking, and other items. Whether you are going for a short hiking trip or a few months away in the forest, be ready for any outdoor challenges that await you. We now have helicopter evacuations that can trace you when you get lost. Yet, in a remote area, this search and rescue may extend for days. You can only survive the wait if you have your hiking essentials with you.

Happy hiking!

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What to pack

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