If you’re planning to take a trip up into the mountains for some outdoor adventuring, hiking, and camping, there are certain things you should bring along to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. These five must-have hiking items will help ensure that your hike is a success, no matter how long or strenuous it ends up being.
1. Portable, Healthy Food
A hiker must have food on hand in case their journey takes longer than expected. It is important to include protein and carbs, but also quick snacks such as dried fruit, nut butter, and crackers to curb hunger pains. If you want protein food, try buying jerky beef, which is very portable, packed full of protein, and doesn’t require refrigeration.
Online stores are renowned for snacks but don’t count on them coming to your rescue when you’re stranded without snacks. Your best option is to carry nonperishable food like nuts and granola bars that can last until you find a resupply.
2. Portable Water
Keeping hydrated is also key and the best way to do this is to drink purified water, not water from streams or lakes. Pack enough that you’ll have two liters per person with extras in case of emergency. Look into getting a camelback-style hydration pack or backpack.
3. Extra Clothes
In case you get caught in the rain, carry some lightweight dry clothes. A second pair of socks is always good to have. To stay dry and provide comfort, it’s best to pack quick-drying clothes (like workout pants and an overshirt) that are also layers (so you can take off some if the day warms up). For extra warmth at night and during cool mornings, a thermal base layer with lightweight shells over the top work great.
Some good examples of clothing items to pack: fleece jackets, sweaters, long pants, lightweight wool socks
4. Comfortable Shoes
A great shoe is what makes or breaks your day. Be sure to get shoes that are comfortable, well-made, and not too heavy. They should also have some grip to help with slippery rocks. Shoes with a higher cut will provide more support, which is important if you’re carrying weight. When it comes to comfort and protection, we say shoe off-beat boots any day.
Have enough money on hand to cover your expenses plus emergencies, especially when hiking and camping in nature. You never know what can happen during the trip, so be prepared in case you don’t have access to an ATM or credit card machine.
Bonus: Don’t Forget a Battery Backup
Take lots of photos while traveling on your mountain trip, which reminds us: Do not forget to bring a high-quality portable battery backup for charging your devices. Even if you’re away from civilization and wi-fi, it’s smart to charge your stuff. Anker makes some very powerful chargers in a variety of sizes, so you won’t add too much weight to your gear.
A map of the area is necessary and a backup headlamp or flashlight in case the hike takes longer than expected. Finally, make sure you are prepared with sunblock and insect repellent to prevent burning or being bitten by mosquitoes. Be safe and have fun!