A hiker standing in front of a mountain

Prepare for Your Hike With These Essentials

Always Know What to Bring on a Hike

Knowing what to bring on a hike can make a big difference in the quality of your adventure. While your packing list will vary some depending upon the distance and terrain you expect to encounter, there are some essentials that you will need for every hike. Whether you are a novice or expert level hiker, go over this checklist before you hit the trail to make sure you are fully prepared.

Comfortable Shoes

On the trail, your feet are your primary source of transportation so it is important to keep them healthy. Make sure you wear the best footwear that will keep you free from blisters and pain. It is also important to make sure the tread is appropriate for the terrain so that you can avoid falls. If you will be hiking near a river or stream, go ahead and toss a pair of water shoes in your backpack as well.

Orientation Gear

Even if you have hiked a trail a hundred times, there is still a risk of getting lost. Maps are lightweight and work well in places where you may not have cellular service. During your planning, take some time to familiarize yourself with the map so that each new twist of the trail makes sense.


As a general rule, you should have at least one bottle of water per hiker for each hour you plan to hike. However, it is always best to pack a little extra. The same goes for food. Energy bars, dried fruit and other trail foods are easy to throw in your backpack for a day hike. Remember, that even an hour long hike could turn into an overnighter if the unexpected occurs so make nourishment an essential item on your packing list.

Climate-Friendly Clothing

When you are outdoors in unfamiliar territory, the weather can change in a flash. Wet clothing and cold temperatures are a dangerous combination. Avoid being surprised by a sudden rain storm or temperature drop by packing all season weather wear. Waterproof gear, layers and sunglasses can keep you comfortable while safeguarding your health.

Preparing for a hiking adventure is exciting, and you can get the most out of your trip by taking along the right supplies. Make sure to wear your best footwear out on the trail, pack enough nourishment for each hiker and spend some time familiarizing yourself with the territory. This way, you can step out onto the terrain knowing you are ready for anything.