Hiking for Beginners: What to Bring on a Hiking Trip

hiking needsHiking is a great activity that people who need to have a bit of exercise can definitely try for themselves.

A lot of people who are not interested in other physical activities find hiking to be a great alternative for exercise. With that said, if you’re a beginner in hiking, you might have several questions plaguing your mind.

One of the questions you might ask yourself before going on a hiking trip is what sort of items should you bring to the trip.

Well, there are several items that will prove useful to you for a hiking trip. With that said, below are some hiking gear and items that you need to bring with you for your upcoming hiking trip.


Having trusty navigation tools are important when it comes to any hiking trip, no matter how simple it is. It’s better to be safe than sorry, even if you’re hiking in familiar grounds.

Plus, it can get you more acquainted to using these navigation tools as you get used to going hiking more often.

Make sure that you have a set of navigation tools that are lightweight so that you aren’t carrying around heavy tools. A compass and a map should be good enough.

Although phones already have navigation in place, you shouldn’t rely on technology. So have an actual map and compass with you.

At the same time, you should consider purchasing a waterproof map so that you can navigate yourself even if the weather turns against you.

Rain Jacket

Speaking of the weather turning against you, you should also bring with you clothing that will protect you from the rain. With that said, a rain jacket will be extra helpful for when the seasons turn despite the weather reports stating otherwise.

If you have a windbreaker and think that that is a rain jacket, well you would be wrong. A windbreaker may be resistant to wind and water, but it doesn’t make them waterproof. Thus, you should get yourself a rain jacket as well.

Windbreakers are best to bring with you if you’re sure it’s going to be a sunny hike for you. Otherwise, if there is a cloudy day, then it’s time to bring out the rain jacket with you.

Hiking Poles

One piece of equipment that a lot of hikers should bring with them when going on a hike are hiking poles or hiking sticks.

As a beginner, if you’re not used to hiking, then having some hiking sticks with you will help you get into the right stride for a better hike.

At the same time, there are other benefits to having hiking sticks with you. First of all, they reduce the impact that the hike has on your knees and feet, which will reduce the fatigue that you have on your body.

Also, hiking poles will ensure that you aren’t unstable should you lose your footing. An additional benefit is that it will also enable you to have a good rhythm for when you hike.

Sun protection

Nowadays, having sun protection is smart, even if you don’t go hiking. However, going hiking means you will need sun protection even more than before.

In fact, you need sun protection even when you think that the weather isn’t all that sunny.

Your sun protection can vary from a hat, clothing that protects you from the sun rays, polarized sunglasses, and sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30. Even your lips need a lip balm that has sunscreen protection because sun damage can affect your lips as well.

If you don’t have the right sun protection, then your skin will get damaged both in the long-term and in the short-term. A common skin issue that can occur because of sun damage is a sunburn, so make sure that you get some sun protection.

Hiking Footwear

Another important hiking equipment that you need to bring with you is hiking footwear.

Your feet will bear the brunt of the hike the most, so you should make sure that you have the appropriate footwear with you.

Regular sneakers aren’t ideal for a hike. You should have a set of hiking boots if you plan on taking up hiking.

Having high-quality hiking boots will protect your feet from external damages. Additionally, you should make sure that you don’t wear new hiking boots on a trip. Try and break them in first because it can be uncomfortable to hike with boots that are new.

Another hiking footwear that you can try using is trail shoes. Although this won’t work for longer hiking trips, they will work well for short-term hikes.

Extra Water and Food

Of course, for your hiking trip, you need to pack some sustenance to keep you less fatigued as you go along your hike. With that said, you should make sure that you have enough water and food to get you through the hike.

First of all, you need to make sure that you’ve got enough water to bring with you. Try to bring some extra bottles, or you should bring a large water container with you if you can. You wouldn’t want to be dehydrated during your hike, so make sure that you’re prepared with extra water.

At the same time, you need to have some extra food with you. Ideally, the food you bring with you should be consumable even while you’re on the trail.

Hiking Backpack

Another essential hiking gear that you need to bring with you is a backpack made for hiking. It is important to know the difference between a regular backpack and a hiking backpack.

There are some hiking backpacks that are great for a single or a short hiking trip. These are likely to be more lightweight. In comparison, there are hiking backpacks that have more capacity and are great for long-distance hiking trips.

To keep things light for you, make sure that you only bring essential items with you and not anything extra.

Emergency and First Aid Kit

In an emergency, you want to be prepared and have all the right things. Thus, having a first aid kit or an emergency kit with you is crucial, especially for a hiking trip.

If you’re only going on a short hiking trip, then you might not need to go all-out with your emergency kit.

However, the farther you go along into the wilderness and the longer the hiking trip, the better it is for you to have an emergency kit. In fact, it’s best that you accompany your emergency kit with a bit of emergency medical training.

Hand Sanitizer, Toilet Paper, and Trowel

When you’re on a hiking trip in the wilderness, there’s unlikely to be a toilet out there in the wilderness.

To help you get some form of comfort when having to answer the call of nature, you might want to consider bringing a trowel, some toilet paper, and a hand sanitizer with you.

Wet wipes are a more upgraded version of a toilet paper if you’re particularly choosy about the lack of running water.

Safety Items

Some safety items to bring with you are items that won’t usually have used during usual hikes. However, in an emergency, you might be thankful that you have them with you.

Some of these safety items, such as a fire-starting kit, can help you stay warm.

Another useful safety item to bring with you is a whistle. Ideally, this should be worn around your neck so that you can access it any time.

Multi-Purpose Tool

Since you’re going to go on a hiking trip, you have to keep your pack as light as possible. This is the reason why items that have plenty of purposes are especially important to bring with you.

On that note, you should consider bringing a high-quality multi-purpose tool with you during your hiking trip.

Having a multi-purpose tool can provide a lot of conveniences for you during the hiking trip. At the same time, they don’t occupy much space in your pack.

Fire Starter Kit

A fire is something that you need to be able to make during a hiking trip, which is why you need items that will help you be able to start a fire.

Make sure that you’ve got stormproof matches so that they’re still useful even against wind and water.

Make sure that you only use a fire starter kit for emergencies as much as possible. If you can, try and make a fire out of things you can see in nature. But if you really can’t, then a fire starter kit may help.

Extra Clothing

No matter what type of climate or weather you’re going to have the hiking trip on, it’s best that you’re prepared and pack extra clothes with you. You might get soaked through by a sudden burst of rain, or you simply end up ruining your clothes.

Either way, having a back-up for these instances is useful, especially in keeping you extra warm during colder nights.

Emergency Shelter

For long-distance or longer hikes, you might want to consider bringing an emergency shelter with you. If you have an emergency bivy sack with you, it can help provide some form of shelter for you. High-quality ones can protect you from the elements completely while still being quite breathable.

Trying out something new in your life may be intimidating. However, bringing the right things with you can help you feel more prepared with a hiking trip. With that said, above is a list of items that you can bring for your upcoming hiking trip. If you bring these with you, then you will have an easier time adapting to this new physical activity.

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