Packing for A Hike requires ensuring you have the equipment needed to keep you safe and comfortable in the wilderness, know how to use it, and not carry more weight than needed.
It is recommended that hikers travel with only essential items for personal safety. When hiking longer distances, we recommend storing unnecessary luggage at your hotel.
We encourage you to purchase a lightweight, comfortable backpack that will provide you with free movement without pain or irritation of your muscles and joints. An appropriate backpack should release the weight from your back and shoulders to more evenly distribute it throughout your hips and legs. Before selecting a multi-day backpacking pack, we suggest getting fitted at a professional gear store.
Footwear & Clothes
The shoes you choose to walk in should be well broken in, comfortable, and well-fitted, or you may experience painful blisters. Clothing should be modest for certain parts of the trail, high quality, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking to provide the most comfort. Be sure to check the weather forecasts for the duration of your trek and bring the necessary weather gear.
Consider bringing lightweight, calorie-dense, and electrolyte-filled (salts and sugars) snacks and meals; load up on proteins and carbohydrates.
Your shoes should have a stiff sole and ankle support, such as light hiking boots or trail running shoes, and they should be comfortable. We recommend trying on the shoes you plan to hike in later in the day after walking a few miles, as your feet tend to swell during the day and after walking longer distances. Try to wear the same socks with your footwear when trying on the shoes. All of this preparation will contribute to your overall comfort on the trail.
Socks made of merino wool and synthetic materials wick sweat better than cotton socks, so if you have a history of blister development, we suggest wearing a thin liner sock underneath your regular hiking socks. You can also avoid blister development by keeping your feet clean and dry (prevent chafing with baby powder), air out your feet by taking breaks to do so and bringing comfortable sandals or flip-flops for evenings. We recommend not wearing waterproof boots or shoes, as these are not necessary and may contribute to blister development by preventing airflow.
REI’s Expert Advice website contains a wide range of other suggestions, tutorials, and articles from outdoor experts on gear selection and packing.
Essentials for Hiking!
Backpack: Light backpack, 15-25 liters (1 Day Trip), Medium backpack. 25-45 liters (Multi-Day Trip), Camping backpack, 35-60 liters (Camping Trip).
Navigation: Map, GPS, Compass & Guidebook.
Hydration: In winter (2L/Person), In Summer (4L/Person), check for locations to refill the water during your hike. Bringing juice is recommended too.
Nutrition’s: Snacks high in energy and protein, including nuts and fruit, granola bars, or energy bars, Packed food like Tuna and beans.
Illumination: Flashlight, Headlamp and extra batteries, consider lighting a fire in this case you need waterproof matches, Lighter.
First Aid Kit:
- Bandages and plasters
- Moleskin or another blister treatment
- Antiseptic wipes to clean wounds
- Pain reliever/fever reducer, such as acetaminophen/paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
- EpiPen or other epinephrine auto-injector in case of bee-sting allergy
- Sanitary gloves
Sun Protection: Sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, sunglasses, Wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves shirts, long pants, bandana or scarf.
Repair & Tools: Pocket knife or multitool, Strips of duct tape, Needles and strong thread, Repair kits for any items in your pack (e.g., inflatable mats, stoves).
Sanitation: Travel towel, Soap and/or hand sanitizer, Personal toiletries, Toilet paper and Extra plastic bags to pack out garbage
Sleeping & Emergency Shelters: Lightweight backpacking, sleeping bag or quilt, sleeping pad (important for insulation as well as comfort), Light tarp and ropes to pitch it, fire starter, Tent or tarp, lightweight.
Cooking: Multi-fuel camp stove, Cookware (pots, cups, and utensils), Cookstove, fire starter (note airline restrictions).
Insulation & Clothes:
- Extra shirt or jacket, 1-2 extra pairs of pants, undergarments
- Rain layer (if hiking in the winter)
- Insulated jacket (if hiking in the winter)
- Changes of clothes, especially socks
- Clothing for all weather conditions: hot, cold, sunny, rainy, snowy and windy
- Flip-flops or other evening/camp footwear.