So, you’ve decided where you want to walk on your first hike, but what do you take?
Knowing what equipment to take is a very important part of a hike’s preparation. Start with a basic list and adapt it over time to the hikes you do and your own needs. Take into account factors such as:
- where you’re planning to hike
- types of accommodation available
- how many people you’re hiking with
- and how much you’re prepared to carry.
- if you’re planning to hike in a warm dry place, wet weather clothing is unnecessary and just extra weight to carry
- if there are huts to sleep in at the camp sites you may not need a tent
- and other factors similar to these.
The basic packing list below is a guide only and doesn’t take into account item weights, which is discussed in a later post. It’s important to get a feel for the types of items you should take and work from there.
If you’re unsure what the items on the list are for or why you should take them, check the notes at the bottom, or the more detailed descriptions in future posts.
The list is grouped into sections for convenience based upon when they are required.
- Hiking Pack
- Walking Poles
- Camera and Carry Case
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Mat
- Water Bladder
- Plastic Trowel*
- Hiking Boots
- Boot Collars*
- Socks Wool
- Sock Liners*
- Hiking Pants/Shorts
- Hiking Shirt
Easy Access Equipment
- Money/Cash Card
- Maps, Itinerary
- Duct Tape
- Toilet Paper
- Alcohol Based Hand Wash
- Insect Repellant
- Head Torch
- Pen and Paper
- First Aid Kit including Survival Blanket
- Pocket Knife
- Pack Cover
- Waterproof Jacket
- Empty Plastic Bottle
- GPS/Emergency Beacon
- Wool Socks
- Thermal Shirt
- Thermal Pants
- Fleece Jacket
- Hiking Towel
At Camp Equipment
- Cooking Stove
- Cooking Pot, Lid & Handle
- Plastic Mug
- Pocket Knife
- Gas Cylinder
- Water Treatment Tablets/Device*
- Matches (Waterproof)
- Sewing Kit
- Lightweight Durable Cord*
- Spare Batteries
- A Book
- Wet Wipes
- Small Lightweight Garbage Bags*
*Plastic trowels are for digging latrine holes if no toilets are available or for water channels if it’s likely to rain heavily at a camp site.
*Boot collars prevent small stones and sand from getting into your boots.
*Sock liners are a small lightweight pair of socks worn under hiking socks to help prevent blisters.
*Water treatment tablets/device should be used if you’re in any way unsure of water quality.
*Durable cord is useful in a number of ways: hanging food bags, extra tent support in windy weather, back up shoe laces, washing lines etc.
*Garbage bags are best used for keeping other bags dry within your pack and for carrying garbage.
Food is also an important, but as there are several options, details are provided in a future post.
Always check your equipment against you list at least twice before leaving home to ensure nothing is forgotten.
The Lone Trail Wanderer