MDWfeatures / The Art of Hitchhiking

Whether you are planning for a short hike or a multi-day hike, carrying the right essentials is of the utmost importance for a safe adventure. When you are in the wilderness, you will need the hiking essentials to protect yourself from unexpected dangers. Some of the experienced hikers always keep such things in their bags as they are aware of the necessities that arise in the isolated regions. 

The hiking essentials consist of things required to keep yourself active and safe in the wild. They also help you to complete your hiking trail properly. For example, you may get lost in the wilderness, or the unexpected weather change can hamper your body. Hence, you have to be ready with all the things that are required for your safety in the mountains. 

To make it easy for you, we have arrayed eight hiking essentials that every hiker should carry for a safe adventure. Make sure to add them to your packing list so that you don’t regret forgetting them later.

  • First Aid Kit:

Carrying a first aid kit and knowing how to use it is necessary for you. It should contain supplies that help to treat every ailment as you never know what would happen in the wild. You can watch online videos to gain knowledge about using the first aid kit properly. Many kits are pre-assembled, but if you want to customize your kit, you can do so. Ensure that you have various supplies, such as adhesive bandages, several gauze pads, lotion for skin allergies, and various other things.

Remember to replace the used things in your kit after returning from your hike so that you don’t miss those essentials on your next trip.

  • Map or Navigation Tools:

Whenever you travel to a backcountry, make sure to carry a hard-copy of the route and navigation tools to keep you on the right track. You can highlight the hiking trail on the map with possible routes to take them alternatively if any problems arise. While doing so, always commit yourself to follow the natural route to avoid any dangers and keep the alternate routes only as an option.

Besides, you can carry a smartwatch with a GPS locator or use mobile apps to find your location. But you have to keep them charged and carry extra battery backup for them. Having a compass is also essential to find a direction if you feel lost in the wild.

  • Swiss Knife

Swiss knife or multi-tool serves many purposes while you are in the backcountry. You will need it for kindling, food preparation, repairing your hiking gear, and for various other emergencies. Most knives are created uniquely to serve different purposes, such as cutting or opening a can. These knives have spiral rings, an opener, two-three flathead knives, a pair of scissors, etc. You can buy the knives as per your preference and keep them securely in your bag. These knives are also helpful in cutting out any climbers or roots that create obstacles in your hiking route. Online Knife Show has a vast collection of such knives that are suitable to carry on hikes and camps. You can have a look and select the one that suits your needs.

  • Headlamp:

Putting a headlamp becomes beneficial while wandering at night. If you use a torch or flashlight, your hands would always be reserved. But, if you have a headlamp, your hands will be free to do other types of activities such as finding the right grip while crossing hard rock patches or cooking dinner.

Remember to always carry extra torch or headlamps with you so that you don’t run out of light if their battery drains.

  • Right hiking layers:

Whenever you are planning to visit a backcountry, ensure that you carry and wear the right hiking layers. The weather in such areas can change within a second, where you may either have to deal with extreme heat or extreme cold. Hence, take everything possible to secure your body from head to toe while you go for a hike.

For head, you can carry hats, caps, bandanas, or a buff. The hats or caps can keep you safe from the scorching sun while the bandanas or buff can keep your neck warm in the winters. To cover your body, wear the right hiking outfits that protect your skin from scratches, heat as well as cold winds. Carrying a pair of raincoats is also recommended because you cannot predict the unexpected rains in the wild.

To protect your feet, you should always wear hiking boots and avoid wearing regular shoes. Look for the ones that have a sturdy and comfortable sole with a tight grip. Also, remember to carry an extra pair of socks to keep your feet warm in case of lower temperatures.

  • Shelter

Even if you are going for a one-day hike, remember to carry a proper shelter to protect you in case you get stranded in rains or heavy winds. An ultralight tarp, a waterproof sleeping bag, or a small tent are more than enough to carry on a hike. They do not weigh much and can be used whenever needed.

  • Food and Water:

Carrying a considerable amount of water and food on your hike will keep you active, hydrated, and energized throughout the trail. Your body craves energy while you are walking in the high altitude regions. Hence, it is necessary to carry 3-4 water bottles and nutritional bars that energize you and keep you hydrated. If you plan for a stay, make sure to carry enough essentials to fulfill your hunger. 

  • Personal Hygiene kit:

Staying hygienic in the isolated regions is essential for your health. Hence, you should carry a personal hygiene kit that keeps you clean and fresh while hiking. Make sure that you carry all the biodegradable products and don’t leave any trash behind that is harmful for nature. You can include skin protection lotions, hand sanitizer, compostable wipes, extra tissues, washcloth, washbag, and various other things as per your needs.


Hiking being an outdoor activity makes it necessary for you to carry all these essentials without keeping them as an option. You can modify your essentials list based on the type of your hiking area, your stay duration, and the number of people.