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What To Bring For Your Next Hiking Trip

Deciding what to carry in your backpack for multi-day hiking can be a complicated task. If you charge more than the account, you will start to resent yourself from day one. On the other hand, if you forget some important element, your trip may be less pleasant than expected. Here we help you with some tips to make it easier for you to decide what to carry in your backpack for a multi-day hiking trail. Let’s start with the hiking checklist infographic. Not sure what to bring hiking? We’ve got you covered!



What to Bring Hiking When You’ve Never Been Before


I used to backpack miles into the mountains and camp for days to see this view. Here I’m 26.


Choosing Backpack – First Priority in the Hiking Checklist


The material that you will take with you will be determined by the duration of the trip with a backpack, the capacity of the backpack and the weight that you can carry comfortably. We are going to focus on trekking of several days and we will start from the base that we use a 60-liter backpack. There are a few additional accessories that you can consider to complement your backpack:


  • Indoor waterproof bag: if rain is a serious possibility on your walk, consider carrying one (or several) of these in your backpack. They will help you to keep your clothes dry, but also to carry your equipment more organized, store dirty or wet clothes, etc. They are very light so they do not involve extra weight.
  • Dry sacks: similar to the previous ones, but with a higher level of protection against water. 
  • Ultralight foldable backpack: sometimes you may leave your main backpack in mountain shelters or lodges, and go on a small excursion or visit a town. In these cases, it will be very good for you to have an ultralight folding backpack, to carry money, extra warm clothes, smartphone, and other frequently used utensils. 
  • Large capacity hydration system (3 liters): for trekking in remote areas or in self-sufficiency you will surely need to carry a significant amount of water, at least 3 liters. Remember that constant and adequate hydration is a fundamental part to enjoy trekking of several days.


Note: Also check out Everything You Need to Know About Backpacking Base Weight


Hiking Clothes – How to Wear Properly


It is important to wear the appropriate clothes to the climate in which you are going to move and be clear about the characteristics of the season of the year in that place. For example, if you travel to an area where there is a rainy season you will have to keep it in mind when making your equipment. In the same way, if you travel to a hot area and with extreme temperatures, your equipment must be suitable for such rigors. Do not leave anything to chance. Here are some recommendations for clothes in your hiking checklist:


  • Mountain footwear: boots or trekking shoes. Make your choice based on the expected temperatures and weather conditions. Remember to always wear shoes to rest after the walks, and some flip flops if you have a shower in public areas. 
  • Trekking socks: along with footwear, one of the most important parts of the team. It is very important that they are breathable, comfortable, and that they do not produce blisters. 
  • Leggings: in addition to being essential in winter walks, it can also be very useful in muddy or very humid areas: they will help you keep your boots and socks dry. 
  • Base layer (layer system): it is always important that the base layer of our clothing be breathable, whether we are going to move in hot or cold temperatures. If your base layer is not able to expel moisture due to your perspiration, you may have problems such as cold or chafing. 
  • Intermediate layer: the intermediate layer will be responsible for providing the heat that your body needs, in addition to continuing with the ventilation function that started the base layer. Again, choose based on the expected weather. 
  • Outer layer: this third layer will protect you from wind and rain. We usually talk about breathable and waterproof membranes, very versatile garments due to their ability to protect and lightness. 
  • Pants: a good option may be removable pants (usually by zippers), which will serve you in varied situations. Do not forget some waterproof over-pants to put on the first ones if the risk of rain is high. 
  • Poncho: it is a good option to protect you from the rain, but only in cases where you are going to move through easy terrain.


Base Material that You Should Put on Packing List for Hiking


Your base material will be the one that gives you the confidence to survive every day during the hiking or backpacking trip, both in moments of pleasure and in difficult times. Take the following gears into your hiking checklist.

  • GPS tracker for hiking: it doesn’t matter how much you know the terrain, always carry an outdoor GPS tracking device with you during a journey of several days. GoFindMe GPS tracker is specially designed for hikers and backpackers. It works with radio wireless transmission so that no cellular service is required. It occupies very little space and is very light, so running the risk of not carrying it will surely not compensate you.  
  • First aid kit: you can buy them ready-made, or do it yourself. Remember to include some blister pads and water purifying tablets, among other elements. 
  • Lighter survival: it is very comforting to light a fire in the camp at the end of the day, but pay attention to the regulations, since in many places it is forbidden to light a fire. 
  • Hygiene/hygiene material: toothbrush, deodorant (have you tried alum stone ?), Petroleum jelly for rubbers, soap, sunscreen, etc. 
  • Flashlight/frontal: one of the essential pieces that cannot be missing in your base device. Today there are those that work on batteries or rechargeable batteries. 
  • Sleeping bag: choose it according to the temperature range in which you are going to move 
  • Insulating mat: an essential component, along with the sleeping bag. Consider choosing an inflatable mat for comfort. 
  • Tent: if you have to carry it, make sure it is a lightweight model, but at the same time provide the necessary security. 
  • Multipurpose knife: no doubt, essential. You never know when it will get you out of trouble.


Extra Essentials for Your Hiking Checklist


These are some essential elements that really live up to his name. Make sure you have them ready before starting your trekking or trip.

  • Travel Insurance: to protect your equipment, your wallet, and most importantly you. 
  • Vaccines: find out if they are necessary in the place where you are traveling. 
  • Updated passport: we also recommend you take it photocopied and stored separately, and scanned on your smartphone. 
  • A friend or relative: no, you don’t have to carry it in your backpack, but it is always advisable to tell someone your plans so that they know where to look for you in case of emergency, especially if you are going to do the trekking or solo trip.


That’s all for my advice on a packing list for hiking.  No matter if you’re a beginner or have taken hiking several times, being well-prepared will ensure a safe and happy hiking experience.

Nia McKenna

Nia is an Associate Editor at The Fairytale Traveler and self diagnosed travel junkie. Having traveled to 5 of the 7 continents, her love of good food and culture is a force to be reckoned with. When she isn't off adventuring with her husband, which she writes about on her blog CircaWanderlust, she can be found with a good cup of tea cuddling her pups and taking pictures of her food. She loves black and white movies and could listen to Elvis on repeat.

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