Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking

Are you planning to go on a hike but not sure what to take along with you? Keeping these essentials for hiking with you will make your hike more comfortable and safe.

In this blog, we will talk about the 10 essential items that you need to bring with you on the hike. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going on a day hike, an overnight hike, or a longer hike this blog is for you.

These 10 essential items will make sure that you will increase your chances of survival.

So these items can actually be divided into categories. Depending on the circumstances of your hike you can use different items for each category or each system. It’s just a list to remind you that you need these things to survive if something happens.

Top 10 Essentials For Hiking

1. Navigation

Navigation - Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking

The first thing you need to bring with you is something to navigate with. You always need to have a map and a compass. You can bring a GPS as it will pinpoint your location very accurately if you do get lost. It will help you to know where you are and help you to follow a route that is not signposted.

If you can download the GPX file then you can just see how far you are off-trail and where you are on the trail as well. But remember if you’re relying on a GPS or on your phone just make sure your phone has enough battery to last you for the duration of your hike.

We strongly suggest you bring them up in a compass regardless of whether you’re using your phone or not. It’s very important that if you do have some gear in your backpack, you know how to use it otherwise it’s dead white.

2. Hydration

Hydration - Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking

The second thing you definitely need to bring and this is a must. You should always carry extra water with you because you never know if you’re gonna hike longer than expected.

If you’re going on a day hike that means you have to carry plenty of water for the duration of your hike and a little bit extra. Always carry a liter extra that’s what we would suggest.

If you’re going on an overnight hike or a longer hike then it’s a good idea to study the map of the trail that you’re going to and know where your water sources are. In that case, you know how long you have to go without water and where to find the next water source.

We would suggest always bringing a water filter with you or something to filter your water. You can use those water purification tablets or you can use any type of water filter like a Sawyer Squeeze.

3. Nutrition (Food)

Nutrition - Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking

The next thing you need to bring with you is obviously some extra food. We would advise you always to bring some extra food with you even if you’re going on a day hike. Always bring some extra trail mix, power bars, or some fruits with you if you are going on a day hike.

If you’re going on an overnight hike or a longer hike we would suggest always bringing an extra dinner with you. If your hike takes a day longer or something like that or even if you get lost you know that you have plenty of food to last you a little bit longer.

You never know you might get injured on the trail, and you might be stuck in a hut or on a campsite for two days, and then at least you’ve got some extra food.

4. Insulation (Clothing)

Insulation (Clothing)

Besides water and food, you should always bring an extra layer of clothing with you because the weather can be very unpredictable. So you always need to make sure that you have something to keep you warm.

Just in case the weather changes or if it’s getting cold all of a sudden or imagine if you get lost and you need to spend a night at least then you have something warm to put on if you do get cold.

We would advise you to always bring extra socks with you. You never know it might get really wet or you might have to cross a creek and then your feet are wet and there’s nothing worse than having wet feet.

Also, check out Best Hiking Tips For Hikers: Hiking For Beginners

5. Sun Protection

Sun Protection

We should all know that the Sun is a silent killer. It’s very important to put sunscreen on, to bring sunscreen with you even if it’s just a small tube. Sun Protection is one of the most overlooked essentials for hiking. People usually neglect using any type of sun protection.

Also, bring your sunglasses and a hat with you. You can also purchase a sun hat to protect your face and neck from sun rays.

By not doing these things, you increase the chances of sunburn, skin aging, and even skin cancer. For a tropical country like Australia, try to have some UV protective clothing to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

6. Light


We would advise you to always bring a torch or a headlamp with you. It’s very lightweight, easy to carry, and very small to put in your backpack.

If you get stuck and it gets dark these items can come in handy. You will at least know where you’re going and you can find your way back to the car or wherever it is you’re going.

The torch will help to see you in the dark and help you navigate easily in the forest avoiding any encounter with wildlife.

Some people think they can let their eyes adjust in the dark but honestly, we wouldn’t count on it. It can help you feel a little bit more comfortable and a little bit safer even though it’s just a false sense of security.

7. Fire

Fire - Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking

Another thing you always need to have and is very small is something to start a fire. Whether it’s a lighter or some waterproof matches. Waterproof matches can come in handy when you’re in an environment where it rains a lot.

We would definitely advise bringing a storm lighter because they will be a little bit more windproof and waterproof. It’s a little bit heavier but at least you know that you’ll be able to start a fire when you need to.

We would also advise you to bring something with you that is an easy fire starter such as some cotton pads. Fire is not only good for deterring animals but also for keeping you warm at night. To learn how to light a fire follow this link.

8. Repair Kit

Repair Kit - Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking

Something that is very important but often overlooked is a repair kit. Let’s say you’re going on an overnight hike and you bring your sleeping bag with you then you should have the gear to repair your sleeping bag, to repair your tent.

Even if you have a small hole in your jacket it’s always nice to know that you can repair it on the spot and it will make your hike a lot more comfortable.

We would suggest you always bring a knife or a multi-tool like a Swiss Army knife. You can even carry duct tape, a needle with some thread, and some repair patches that come with your tent or sleeping pad.

9. First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit - Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking

A first aid kit is probably the most important among all essentials for hiking to carry with you. Whether it’s just a few band-aids or a survival first aid kit, it’s always important to be able to treat basic injuries.

You also need to know how to use your first-aid kit. We would strongly suggest doing a first aid course. When you’re in the bush, if you know first aid then you can help yourself and other people.

Your first aid kit should always include some basic foot care such as care for blisters and some bandaids. It should have a vaseline, ointment cream, disinfectant wipes, and something to treat a wound with.

The first aid kit can also have pair of tweezers to remove ticks. You also need to know how to treat bites and stings by wildlife.

10. Emergency Shelter

Emergency Shelter - Top 10 Essentials For Hiking: What to Pack for Hiking
Emergency Shelter: Essentials for Hiking

The last thing we want to talk about is having an emergency shelter. When you’re going on a day hike you don’t expect to spend the night but you should be prepared.

We would advise carrying an emergency blanket. This is really lightweight and doesn’t take up much space but in an emergency, it can be a lifesaver. It can be used like an insulating layer or an extra layer of warmth.

It can also act as a shelter like a tarp. In the worst-case scenario, this will help you spend a night more comfortably. It will also increase your chances of survival because it will give you that extra warmth.

Of course, it’s always advisable to bring a tent if you’re going on an overnight hike.

Hiking Essentials

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

These were the top essentials for hiking you need to keep in mind before starting your next hike. You can also check out other insightful blogs on traveling tips and places on our website. Happy Travelling!

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