Hike with Confidence: 12 Essential Gear Picks for Your Backpack

Hikers looking at view Zion National Park

What to pack for a hiking trip can be tricky. One must consider several factors, such as the duration of your trek, the destination, and the weather conditions expected.

Since every item goes on your back, you want to avoid overpacking. But then again, leaving certain things behind could be problematic. Here are 12 gear items every hiker should consider for their backpack.

1. Map and Compass (and GPS)

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If you’re going hiking, no matter how familiar the area is, you should still have a map and compass and know how to use them. While useful, a GPS should be one of many means of finding your way. The most reliable form of navigational aid is a topographic paper map – so know how to read it.

2. Water

Woman hiker with backpack driking from reusable water plastic bottle outdoors in nature

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Drinking plenty of water while hiking in hot weather is especially important. Carry enough water to last the entire hike. If you plan on being out for more than a day, you will need to plan accordingly. Hence, consider taking water treatment tools, such as a water filter or UV light.

3. Portable Charger

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This is a handy item to carry in case your electronics run out of juice. Granted, the purpose of your trip might be to step away from screens and gadgets. But even so, having a fully-charged phone in case of emergencies is proactive. Likewise, it’s a great piece of gear if you are using your cell phone as a camera or GPS.

4. Snacks/Food

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Plan your meals so that you can pack enough supplies. Bring snacks that are simple to eat and do not require cooking, such as sandwiches, ready-made tuna salad pouches, and the like. High-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like nuts, bars, trail mix, energy bars, cheese, and dried fruit help maintain energy.

5. Sunscreen

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If you plan on spending lots of time in high-elevation or snowy environments, your risk of sunburn and other sun-related issues increases drastically. Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by bringing sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

Apply sunscreen generously before your hike and reapply as needed. Even if the weather isn’t forecasted to be particularly sunny. Other items, like a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, sun gloves, and a sun shirt, can all make a difference.

6. Rain Gear

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Even if the weather looks clear, it’s always a good idea to bring rain gear just in case the weather changes. It is obviously designed to keep you dry, but it also serves another purpose: it keeps you warm. It is likely the more significant of the two in terms of safety.

7. First Aid Kit

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You might be far away from the nearest hospital. In case of an accident or injury, you should have a first aid kit stocked with bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain medicines, and anything else you may need. Consider enrolling in a wilderness first aid course.

8. Extra Clothing

Hiker with backpack is resting , enjoying landscape in the autumn mountains. On the background panorama of the mountains.

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You may need to carry extra gear to change into if you get wet or sweaty while hiking, depending on how long and challenging the trip will be. Always pack extra clothing, such as a warm jacket or sweater, if the weather changes suddenly.

9. Multi-Tool

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A multi-tool or knife can be helpful for several tasks, including cutting rope and food preparation. Every hiker should include a modest repair kit with a knife, duct tape, paracord, and a lightweight multi-tool. A stove repair kit and splints for damaged tent poles are other backpacking-specific repair supplies to include.

10. Headlamp or Flashlight

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Many hikers experience being lost on the path at some point in their hiking adventures. Even if you only intended to go on a short day trek, unforeseen circumstances might quickly derail your journey and keep you out way past nightfall.

You’ll need a headlamp or flashlight to help you navigate in the dark if you go hiking in the early morning or late afternoon or if your hike goes longer than intended.

11. Hat or Hood

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Each of these gear items has its perks. While hats are good protection against direct sunlight, hoods are useful against cold weather, strong winds, or rain. Both are lightweight and foldable, meaning they won’t take up much room but will keep you prepared for sudden weather changes.

12. Insect Repellant

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The use of repellents when hiking helps keep harmful organisms at bay. Even if you are unfazed by insects, a repellent minimizes your exposure to disease. Certain insects (mosquitoes) and other tiny biting pests (ticks) are vectors, transmitting diseases to humans via their saliva. So, repellent minimizes your exposure.

14 True Strange and Quirky Stories From Hiking Adventures

Woman Hiking

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Hiking adventures are full of entertaining stories, but the ones we are sharing today aren’t necessarily exclusive to normal events. From doppelgängers and animal remains to an eerie cage with a mattress inside, the woods are full of unexpected encounters.

Here are 14 quirky and strange stories shared by outdoor enthusiasts in an online forum.

14 True Strange and Quirky Stories From Hiking Adventures

Exactly What To Wear Hiking All Year Long (For Everyone)


To stay safe and comfortable while hiking, there are a few key things to consider when choosing hiking clothing. Depending on the time of year, climate, and the elevation, hikers need to adjust clothing choices accordingly. We live for hiking and want to share our best advice on hiking gear and what to wear. Continue reading to find out exactly what to wear hiking all year long with recommendations to suit everyone.

Be sure to read all the way to the end for hiking outfit inspiration for men and women.

Exactly What To Wear Hiking All Year Long (For Everyone)

15 States in the U.S. Perfect for a Colorful Weekend of “Leaf Peeping”

woman holding autumn leaves

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Who wouldn’t want to capture the trees changing color, the crunch of dry leaves underfoot, and a pumpkin-spiced latte in hand? 

“Leaf peeping” is an informal term to describe the activity of visiting areas to see the fall foliage, and these 15 states in the U.S. are perfect for this kind of activity. 

15 States in the U.S. Perfect for a Colorful Weekend of “Leaf Peeping”

Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

Source: Quora

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Amaka Chukwuma

1 Comment

  1. Burt Ranall on June 6, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you guys for listing these.

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