Backpacking Essentials And Essentials For Hiking
When hiking on a short trail, or doing a multi day hike. You should always have your hiking must haves in your bag. These backpacking items can be any variety of things. Some will be personal items that you can’t live without. Other backpacking essentials will be the items you will almost always need. These items will of course include your emergency backpack gear.
We have compiled a list of some of our backpacking essentials and essentials for hiking. Use this list is an outline of what to bring on your next backpacking trip. Feel free to add or remove items when you see fit. These items are in no particular order of importance, due to the fact that we bring them on almost every trip.
- Good Shoes Or Boots – Hiking shoes are specifically designed for protecting our feet and ankles during outdoor activities. Specifically hiking over rough terrain. There a three main types of hiking shoes. First being Trail Shoes. Trail shoes such as the ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 7 are designed for hiking on well established trail in dry climates. They are suitable for many types of day hikes. Next we have Trail Hikers such as the KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoe. The trail hikers are designed for steeper inclines and muddier paths. They are used where a lightweight boot is more suitable. Next are Hiking Boots such as the Merrell Men’s Moab 2. Hiking boots are designed for mountain and hill walking. They are extremely strong and durable. Crampons can be attached to them for a better grip on ice.
- Water Storage – Any water bottle or container will work for this. We like to use the Nalgene Tritan 1-Quart but any sport type bottle will work. The Nalgene is particularly good if you have a water source nearby. It can be paired with something like the GSI Outdoors 3 qt pot if you need to boil water from a river, lake, or stream. If there isn’t a water source nearby a hydration bladder such as the Hydration Bladder 2 Liter can be used for extra water storage on your hike.
- First Aid Kit – A first aid kit is always a backpacking essential. You can buy a hiking first aid kit that will include almost all of what you will need. Such as the First Aid Kit – 100 Piece from Amazon. Most kits will include essentials such as band aids, cpr mask, tourniquet, and various gauze and tape. We recommend bringing over the counter medicines such as an antacid, painkiller, and something for nausea just in case.
- Compass And Map Of Area – A compass and a map of the area are another backpacking essential item. I know I said item because I think of them as a pair. Some people prefer a watch compass such as the wejie Survival Bracelet Watch others prefer a military style compass like the Sportneer Military Lensatic Sighting Compass with Carrying Bag. Either style is fine to use. A map can be found at a ranger station or at the trail head of wherever you are backpacking.
- Fire Starter – A fire starter can be multiple different things. You can use a standard lighter. Or can you use strike on box matches. Some people prefer to use a magnesium fire starter such as the X-Plore Gear Firestarter. We recommend whatever you are comfortable using. A lighter is almost always the easiest and safest bet. Just make sure you keep whatever you are using dry.
- Rain Jacket – A lightweight rain jacket should always be in your bag. It doesn’t have to be an incredibly expensive one, just something to keep you dry in a pinch. We have always used the Frogg Toggs Unisex-Adult. They are cheap and effective at what they do. The Frogg Toggs are also incredibly light weight.
- Emergency Blanket – An emergency blanket is always necessary. Sometimes things happen and you have to spend the night somewhere that you didn’t expect. An emergency blanket can be used for multiple different purposes. Such as a quick shelter, emergency bivy, or an emergency sleeping bag. Our favorite emergency blanket to use is the Don’t Die In The Woods World’s Toughest Emergency Blankets.
- Snacks – Even on a quick hike, we always bring some snacks. Particularly bars and trail mix type foods. They are quick to eat for a fast snack, and have enough nutrients to buy you some time in a true emergency situation.
- Flashlight/Headlamp – A good flashlight or head lamp is another crucial backpacking essential. Sometimes you lose track of time or the trail just takes longer than you expected. There is nothing worse than trying to find your way out in complete darkness. We recommend carrying both a headlamp and flashlight. One of our favorites is the GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight for our flashlight. As well as the GearLight LED Headlamp Flashlight for our head lamp choice.
- Wet Wipes – Wet wipes are by far one of the most essential items on backpacking essentials list. Nature can call at anytime on the trail and you should definitely be prepared. Using leaves is not the preferred way and you always run the risk of using a poisonous one such as poison ivy. That means a ruined hiking trip, as well as an itchy next few days. We recommend using Combat Wipes Active Outdoor Wet Wipes due to the fact that they are bio degradable. Or you can use whichever bio degradable wet wipe you prefer.
There are more items that could be backpacking essentials for sure. This is just a list of what we think should be considered essential. Hopefully this list will make choosing what items to bring on your next backpacking adventure a little easier.