a woman with a red hiking backpack

Hiking and Backpacking Essentials

It’s a pleasant summer day and a perfect time to spend holiday with your hiking buddies. Hiking is truly a delightful way to explore and experience the wonders of nature. Whether you want to delve into the mountains, enjoy the indescribable vistas or just stay closer to home, there are many places for hiking to choose from. The national parks offer broad networks for various trails suited for all levels.

One of the most beautiful hiking destinations is Wyoming’s majestic Teton Mountains, towering above Jackson Hole Valley with jagged snow-topped peaks. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take souvenir photos of the 13,770-foot Grand Teton, the glittering Jenny and Jackson lakes, waterfalls, and the rich flora and fauna of the area.

a backpack, a hat, a hiking shoes, a map and a compass on the ground with grasses and flowers

Perhaps, you are very excited as you imagine these things, but before you get too excited, ensure that you don’t miss any of the essential things to pack inside your hiking bag.

There are a few crucial things to consider and ask before you can determine what you need to bring on a day hike or an overnight hike.

  1. Know where and how far your hiking destination is
  2. Determine how long is the hike
  3. Is it a day hike, an overnight hike, or a few days hike?

Generally, the longer and more remote, and the more inclement the weather is, the more things you need to bring, like extra clothing, gear, food, tent, first aid kit, etc. 

Of course, you need to bring a hiking backpack that is stable and strong enough to carry all your stuff to be put inside it. As much as possible, bring water resistant or a waterproof bag to protect your things from getting wet from the moist, unexpected rain, etc.

So, to help you prepare, here are the following most essential things to pack for your hiking adventure.

HIKING ESSENTIALS

Footwear

Appropriate footwear makes an easy and comfortable hiking experience. Remember, your feet will be the most active part of your body when hiking, so ensure that it will be happy feet as you go on with your adventure. When selecting well-fitting shoes or boots, think of traction, support, and protection.

Complete Gear for both Rain and Dry season

Before you go out and head to your destination, make sure to check the weather in that location. However, there are times that the weather forecast is not 100% accurate. So, it would be best always to be the most prepared hiker all the time.

To not worry about the changing weather, dress in layers to adjust to unpredictable weather and activity levels. Wear moisture-wicking clothes and also carry a warm hat.

Water

You cannot afford to forget to bring water when you go for a hike or a trek. In moderate temperatures, half a liter of water per hour is ideal for drinking. Carry enough water and know where and when to treat water while you’re out on the trail.

Food

If you are an amateur hiker or a first-time hiker, you might be overwhelmed and excited to bring as much food as you can, fearing that you might starve when you are into the woods or on your way to the summit. However, you are not as free to bring all the foods that you want. Just pack the right amount of calorie-dense foods to help fuel your hike. Bring candies, cookies, or biscuits.

Safety Items and First Aid Kit

Fire starters or any means to signal an emergency to quickly locate you and see the trail and your map in the dark. (lighter, matches, fire, and a whistle)

First aid supplies to treat illness or injury are only as helpful as your knowledge of how to use them. 

Knife or Multi-Tool

A small but incredible, multi-tool or gear equipment tool set, has countless uses, especially with gear repair and first aid. You can also bring a handy foldable knife that can be used, especially when hiking overnight.

Shelter

If you are hiking for over 24 hours, you need to bring a tent (make sure it’s lightweight and easy to carry), and things need your protection from the elements in the event you are injured or stranded.

Sun Protection

Sunglasses, sun-protective clothing, and sunscreen are useful in every season regardless of temperature or cloud cover.

Map and Compass/GPS

Online maps and GPS units on the phone are handy but aren’t always reliable in the backcountry, so it is better to bring a printed map and a compass as a backup mapping device and know how to use them.

Before you pack your things, make a comprehensive list to make sure you don’t forget anything important for backcountry hiking, where self-sufficiency is very crucial to your well-being. Hiking is worry-less and much fun with complete things packed in your bag to make your hiking comfortable and worthwhile!