Guiding you through the Hiking Equipment maze!

Hiking Equipment Checklist Guide

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1 – Hiking Equipment Checklist Introduction

A Visual Hiking Equipment Checklist.

Hiking Equipment Checklist, Hiking Checklist, Hiking Gear Checklist or whatever you call it, is a list of hiking equipment you need to take with you on your hiking trips. A hiking equipment checklist can serve a number of purposes:

  • Memory Aid – it is a useful memory jogger so that you do not forget any equipment;
  • Efficiency Aid – using the checklist enables packing to be done more easily and faster;
  • Analysis Aid – using the checklist enables you to analyse the equipment you use and keep it to a minimum.

Hiking Equipment – Hiking Checklist, Backpacking Gear List, Packing

This video slideshow summarizes the benefits and equipment needed for hiking and backpacking.


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Contents On Hiking Equipment Checklist

Use the following guide to aid you in selecting hiking gear for your hiking equipment checklist:


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2 – What Is On Your Hiking Equipment Checklist

Another Visual Hiking Checklist.

Before including an item for your trip ask yourself how important it is. How likely is it that you will use the gear and how many different uses does it have.

Size and weight of the gear will determine how much you are able to carry. In addition, a philosophy we should all adhere to is “Leave No Trace” and should be considered when selecting your gear.

So, what hiking gear do you need on your hiking equipment checklist?

Well, that will depend on a number of criteria. Firstly, in an attempt to clarify what you may need, we have sub-categorized hiking gear within our hiking equipment checklist as follows:

  1. Gear You Wear;
  2. Gear You Carry;
  3. Safety Gear;
  4. Consumables, and
  5. Optional Gear.

At a higher level, the type and amount of hiking equipment you need on your hiking equipment checklist for your hiking holidays and hiking trips can be categorized by type of trip.

A trip may vary in terms of number of days, terrain, season and weather conditions:

  • Day Hiking – gear needed when hiking over a single day;
  • Backpacking – equipment needed over several days and possibly in addition or instead of those for a day hiking trip;
  • Trip Type:
    • Terrain Type – flat, hilly, mountainous, desert or a variety.
    • Season & Weather Conditions – hot or cold; wet, humid or dry; rain, wind or snow; or a combination.


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3 – Day Hiking – Equipment For A Single Day

Base Layer Top With Long Sleeve
Mid Layer Zipped Fleece
Mid Layer Zipped Gillet

3.1 – Day Hiking Gear You Wear

The gear you wear will depend on the weather conditions expected together with the specific difficulty of the hike being undertaken. Items worn on a trip include:

3.1.1 – Layers

It is best to wear a number of thin layers in order to be flexible with changing conditions. A number of thin layers are generally warmer than one thick garment. The option to take off a layer of clothes means you can prevent getting too hot, which can cause sweat and dampen clothing.

3.1.1.1 – Base (Thermal) Layer

The layer closest to the skin is often called the base layer which may be ordinary clothing (avoid cotton) or made from specialist quick drying (i.e. wicking) material. In very cold climates thermal underwear may be needed in the style of shorts or long johns (i.e. long legs), and/or a vest with either short or long sleeved.

3.1.1.2 – Mid (Insulation) Layer

The mid layer helps to trap air to improve insulation from the cold. This is often 1 or 2 thin garments such as a fleece, gillet or combination. Buying these garments with zipped fronts is recommended as it makes it easier to get some quick ventilation should you get too hot.


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Lightweight Hiking Jacket.

3.1.1.3 – Outer (Protection) Layer

The outer layer is your layer of protection from the elements such as wind, rain and snow:

3.1.1.3.1 – Hiking Jackets

These serve as the outer layer for the upper body, although a Tarp or Poncho may also be suitable. A waterproof jacket is advisable but a showerproof jacket may be sufficient protection in good weather.

For extra protection you can obtain a jacket which is designed to be wind proof. A firm peak on the hood will also keep more wind and rain out of your face. Several pockets would be handy in order to access items quickly.

Read more about hiking jackets here or find out about the best hiking jacket brands here.


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3.1.1.3.2 – Hiking Trousers or Shorts

Hiking Trousers Cargo Pocket And Contents.

Regular hikers wear modern synthetic walking trousers because they have a loose fit, are lightweight, are quick-drying and usually have a number of very handy pockets. In good weather some walkers wear hiking shorts. However longer trousers provide better protection against nettles, brambles and ticks.

We advise that you carry long trousers in case the weather changes for the worse. Another alternative is to use convertible hiking trousers which can be converted between shorts and long trousers with the aid of zips. In good weather on lowland walks you can wear tracksuit bottoms or casual trousers but long trips can rub and annoy in ways not noticed in normal use.

Denim jeans should be avoided, as they restrict movement, have very little room to store items in the pockets, and take a long time to dry out. If they get wet they can rub the legs and take a long time to dry out. Jeans also have a high wind chill factor which means that you can become extremely cold in them, particularly when they are wet.

Read more about hiking trousers here or find out about the best hiking trousers brands here.


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Waterproof Overtrousers

3.1.1.3.3 – Waterproof Overtrousers

Overtrousers can be worn over your hiking trousers and socks to prevent them from getting wet or muddy.

Overtrousers can be purchased in a range of fabrics similar to hiking jackets, including breathable high tech models.

A full length zip down the sides makes it easier to get them on and off.


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Waterproof Gaiters

3.1.1.3.4 – Gaiters

If you are going to traverse shallow water or walk through long wet grass gaiters are vital to cover your footwear, trouser bottoms and lower legs.

However, if not worn correctly gaiters are useless. Make certain there is a waterproof seal by pulling them down tight around the boot and fixing them to your boot laces.

Do not tighten gaiters around your calf when traversing water as circulation could be reduced.


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3.1.2 – Foot Gear

A Hiking Equipment Checklist Should Include Hiking Boots Or Shoes.

3.1.2.1 – Hiking Boots, Shoes & Sandals

This needs to be tough enough for the terrain to be traversed with waterproofing strongly advisable, especially if the weather is likely to include rain or snow, or the trail is wet, muddy or marshy. Options include: hiking boots for rocky areas; hiking shoes or trainers for paved trails; or robust hiking sandals for hot, dry climates. Many hikers wear hiking boots whatever the terrain for the ankle support. However, boots come in two varieties of ankle support; high top which provides superior support for ankles; or low top which is more comfortable. Boots can be heavy but the thick soles and heels mean you are less likely to twist an ankle when you misstep. Although trainers are lighter, they can be uncomfortable as the thin soles mean you can feel the ground you walk on. On the other hand, the extra weight of the boots is more tiring. Don’t forget to take a spare pair of laces for your hiking boots and hiking shoes with you on your hiking trips.

Read more about hiking boots here or hiking sandals sandals here. Find out about the best hiking boots brands here or best hiking sandals brands here.

Hiking Sandals For Easy, Warm, Dry TerrainHiking Shoes For Easier TerrainHiking Boots For Anckle Support


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Hiking Socks

3.1.2.2 – Socks

Pay extra attention to the type of socks you use. Ensure there are no irritating seams over the top or to the sides of the toes as these could rub and cause blisters. Socks help wick moisture away from your feet, offer warmth, and provide a cushion. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture and take a spare pair with you when you go hiking.


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Peaked HatBalaclava
Bandana
Neck ScarfNeck Gaiter
3.1.2.3 – Head Gear

It is highly recommended to carry with you, some form of head gear during your hiking adventures such as a peaked hat, Balaclava or Bandana.

Head gear serves several purposes: cooling when hot; warming when cold; and a shield from the sun.

Considering the fact that the majority of heat is lost through the head, head gear is a better insulator compared to other items based on weight and height comparisons. When your feet are cold, not only is it advisable to put gloves on but also head gear.

It may be worth taking more than one form of head gear. The weather conditions at the start of your hiking trip may be different to that later during your journey.

A hat with a peak can protect you from the sun, wind and rain, particularly if you wear glasses that may become obscured by rain which is a hazard.

A scarf or neck gaiter can keep your neck warm. A scarf can also double as head gear and a bandana or balaclava is a popular item which can functions both as a hat and as a neck warmer, and can also protect your ears.


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Waterproof GlovesThin Liner Gloves
3.1.2.4 – Gloves

Thick insulation gloves should be taken when in cold and windy climates, and waterproof gloves should be taken for wet climates.

Thin liner gloves are fine for everyday use and can also be used inside thicker insulation gloves.


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3.2 – Day Hiking Gear You Carry

The gear you carry will also depend on the weather conditions expected together with the specific difficulty of the hike being undertaken. Walking equipment carried on a trip includes:

Various Sizes Of Hiking Backpacks With Different Features.

3.2.1 – Hiking Pack

This is the main item used to carry your gear during your hiking activities.

3.2.1.1 – Hiking Backpacks

Either full backpacks, daypacks or waist packs (also known as hip packs, lumbar packs, fanny packs) for short trips, are required to carry your equipment. Alternatively, if you have very few items, a jacket with lots of pockets may suffice.

Read more about hiking backpacks here or find out about the best hiking backpacks brands here.


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Hiking Backpack Cover

3.2.1.2 – Backpack Waterproof Cover

This is a cover which is used to protect your hiking backpack from wet climatic conditions such as rain and snow.

Your backpack may come with an integral cover permanently attached to it within a pocket, or it may have a detachable one.

Alternatively, you can purchase one separately if it doesn’t have one.


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Platypus & Drinking Hose

3.2.1.3 – Bladder/Platypus

This is a hydration system for drinking fluids whilst hiking without stopping and comprises a reservoir of fluid (i.e. bladder) and a drinking hose. Some backpacks can be purchased with a bladder or provide the facility for using one which you purchase separately. Alternatively, you can used a flask for your drinking fluids. Read more about backpacks and hydration, bladders and platypus here or find out about the best hiking backpacks brands here.


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Uphill Using Hiking Poles.

3.2.2 – Hiking Aids

The most common form of hiking aids in use are hiking poles.

Also known as walking sticks or staffs, they can be very useful if the terrain is tricky or demanding to traverse or you need an aid to help you keep your balance.

Read more about hiking poles here or find out about the best hiking poles brands here.


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3.2.3 – Navigation

Map(s) in a waterproof cover, with enough information to be meaningful and a compass to orient the map can make a big difference to the success of your trip. A guide book, in a waterproof cover, for the area being visited may also be beneficial.

Hiking Guide BookMap And Waterproof Map CoverNavigational Compass


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3.3 – Day Hiking Safety Gear

We advocate taking your safety gear on all trips. Even on short day trips it is shrewd to carry basic items in case you have an accident or get lost and have to stay away for the night. Essential items to ensure your safety or required when an emergency situation arises include:

3.3.1 – Itinerary

Although not a piece of equipment or something you necessarily take with you, an itinerary left with someone responsible can prove to be a valuable life saver should something go wrong during your hiking trip. Should you not reach your destination within a reasonable time after your scheduled time then the responsible person can alert the rescue services.

A First-Aid Kit For Hiking.

3.3.2 – First Aid Kit

Apart from the obvious to treat cuts, abrasions and punctures, such as: antiseptic wipes; plasters, dressings, bandages, tape and safety pins; there are special blister plasters to be used before a blister bursts, or moleskin after a blister has burst.

Tweezers can be used to extract thorns, if not on your pocket knife. Scissors will be useful for cutting items to size. An unbreakable mirror can be used to view areas difficult to treat such as your face.

Additional items may be advisable, depending on your location, including those to attend to broken fingers and limbs, heart conditions, hypothermia, frostbite, hyperthermia, hypoxia, insect bites, allergic reactions, burns and other wounds.

New skin or super glue can be used to stop bleeding by covering a wound and preventing further damage, or infection. Painkiller tablets for headaches and other pains can certainly help to make your trip more pleasant should the need arise. An anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. Antibiotics can be used to treat infections and antihistamines, in the form of a gel or cream for bites and stings, and tablets to take orally, can be used to treat an allergic reaction. Last but not least, a diarrhoea remedy should be included.


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3.3.3 – Emergency Repair Kit

A number of items can be used for emergency repairs including: a variety of safety pins, especially large ones; elastic bands and string of different sizes and widths; duct or gaffer tape; Wire, Nylon Twine & Dental Floss (easier to thread); and a sewing kit in the form of a variety of needles and threads.

String can be used as a clothes line or replacement laces. Also, rip-stop tape and/or nylon patches can be used to patch tears in gear; and spare backpack buckles may be needed should one be damaged (e.g. in a car door).

Ideally, you would take all these items with you all of the time. However, what you include in your emergency repair kit will be determined by the type of trips you take and the degree of risk you are prepared to take concerning any potential repair that may be required.


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A Hiker Wearing A Hat, Scarf And Sunglasses.

3.3.4 – Sunglasses

The sun can seriously limit your visibility and jeopardize one’s ability to travel safely.

Sunglasses are especially advisable when traversing snow, water, or to a lesser degree, sand.

Sunglasses can help avoid snow blindness due to sunlight, especially when reflected in snow.


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3.3.5 – Night Light

Head TorchNight Light

A headlight, night lantern or torch/flashlight plus spare batteries and bulb, or a beta light (a light containing a radioactive isotope of hydrogen which interact with a phosphor material to produce fluorescent light) is needed for night time activities or to attract attention if lost. LED lights are very common these days as they are robust and have a low power consumption. Candles can also be used and are also a useful aid when starting a fire.


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3.3.6 – Multipurpose Tool/Pocket Knife

Multipupose ToolPocket Knife

A knife can be used for a multitude of purposes: cutting rope and clothing; opening packages; building shelters; eating; shaving wood for tinder; and field surgery if it has been sterilized first. A variety of blades is best and a flexible option is a multi-tool such as a Leatherman. You can also obtain knives with eating utensils such as a fork and spoon.


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Emergency FlaresHeliograph

3.3.7 – Getting Help

There are a number of ways in which you can get the attention from someone in an emergency whilst hiking in the great outdoors.

It is advisable to have more than one method available to use for different circumstances and in case one method gets broken or lost:

  • Signalling Devices (Heliograph/Flares) – An unbreakable signal mirror (Heliograph) or flare are devices you can use to obtain help in an emergency. Heliograph is a mirror with a hole in it for signalling airplanes but knowledge of how to use it is required.
  • Mobile/Satellite Phone, Two-Way Radio – Most people these days have a mobile phone. However, you cannot always guarantee you will get a signal when you need it, especially in the middle of nowhere. Also, your mobile phone may not have the power when you need it. It is advisable to take spare batteries in a waterproof bag. Other devices include a satellite phone and two-way radio.
  • Emergency Whistle – A whistle can be used to attract attention when lost. It can save your life and weighs very little.
Satellite PhoneTwo-Way RadiosEmergency Whistle


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Firesteel Fire Starter

3.3.8 – Heat Source

This can help prevent hypothermia. You can also signal for aid in an emergency. A fire increases one’s chances of staying alive as it serves to keep up the spirit. You can use a lighter and/or matches; or possibly a flint or magnifying glass, as these will work when wet. Fire starters, such as chemical heat tabs, canned heat, or magnesium sticks are also available. Tinder and the knowledge of how to start a fire would also be useful.


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Waterproof Watch

3.3.9 – Watch (Waterproof)

As with most facets of life, it is good to know the time of day. Knowing the time enables you to plan your activities and modify them in the light of changing circumstances. For example, you know roughly how much daylight you have left to reach your destination. If you know you don’t have enough time you can plan an alternative course of action.

Having a watch that is durable and both scratch and shock resistant ensures it is more likely to continue to function if knocked during hiking. Also, if it should rain, snow or you should immerse your hand in water, it would be advantageous to have a watch that is waterproof.

Other important features include a long battery life (or use a mechanical watch) so it doesn’t run out of power during your hiking adventure; and a powerful backlight so you can see the time in dim light or at night time.

You can actually buy hiking watches that have various functions useful to hiking such as for navigating and forecasting the weather. You can get a watch with a GPS included; a digital compass, altimeter and barometer. A well know and respected range of watches are the Suunto hiking watches.


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3.4 – Day Hiking Consumables

Food to provide energy and fluids to keep you hydrated are basics for any walk. A water flask or bladder plus water taken together with sufficient food for 1 or 2 meals, and maybe snacks, preferably healthy “power foods”, in case there is an emergency and you can’t complete the trip as planned.


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Inflatable Sit Mat
Folding Sit Mat
Folding Stool

3.5 – Optional Day Hiking Gear

Other items that the hiker may desire to bring along may include:

  • Seat – A sit mat or pad, or a portable folding stool/chair is a good idea for sitting on when a rest is needed.
  • Binoculars – Binoculars are useful when you want to purvey the terrain ahead; observe the distant weather; or watch the wildlife.
  • Stuff Sacks – Stuff sacks are great to help organize your gear within your backpack.
  • Radio – A radio is useful when you want to listen to weather reports, plus spare batteries in a waterproof bag.
  • Camera – Take a camera to record images of your hiking trip, plus spare batteries and memory in a waterproof bag.
  • Music Player – Take a music player for times when you feel the need to listen to music. It is better if this is part of your mobile phone as it is less bulky, and take spare batteries in a waterproof bag.
  • Writing Material – A paper notebook and pen/pencil is useful for making notes or writing messages. The notepad can also be used as tinder for a fire in an emergency.
  • Spare Prescription Glasses – Take a spare pair of prescription glasses with you if worn, in case you lose or break the pair you wear.
  • Personal Medication – Don’t be caught out without your personal medication if you have any prescribed.
  • Swimwear – Take your swimwear with you in case you wish to make use of nature’s natural water features.
  • Computer – Take a computer with you if you are planning to work whilst away or want to make use of Wi-Fi zones whilst away.


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4 – Backpacking – Gear For Several Days

4.1 – Backpacking Gear You Wear

Hiker at the top of a mountain carrying hiking equipment.

4.1.1 – Day Gear

The gear you wear whilst walking during backpacking is essentially the same as for day hiking.

4.1.2 – Evening Gear

Additional clothing is advisable for overnight trips to swap for the day clothes which can be put back on before starting to walk, even if they are wet. Extra clothes can also protect against hypothermia, thorns, insects, sun, wind, and often the cold. They can also be cut into bandages or made into pillows, towels, or improvised ropes. At least one set of clothes should be kept dry in a separate waterproof bag for evenings and nights, such as:

  • Clothing – A tracksuit, shirt and/or T-shirt (plus spares) for general use before sleeping (they could also double up as bed clothes);
  • Footwear – Items such as standard socks (plus a spare pair) with flip-flops, sandals or shoes for moving around whilst your daytime footwear airs or dries out. They can be especially useful during the evenings or night when visiting the toilet area;
  • Bed clothes – Clothes for sleeping in such as pyjamas.


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4.2 – Backpacking Gear You Carry

75 Litre Backpacking Backpack

4.2.1 – Hiking Pack

When hiking over several days you are likely to be carrying more hiking equipment. As a consequence you will need to use a larger multi-day backpack. Read more about hiking backpacks here or find out about the best hiking backpacks brands here.

To aid with the organization of your gear you may want to use one or more sizes of bags:

  • Stuff Bags – Bags that have a draw cord closer;
  • Compression Bags – Bags with straps that enable you to compress the contents into a small size to save space);
  • Dry Bags – Bags that enables you to expel air through one way valves and keep gear dry) bags.
Stuff BagDry BagsCompression Bag


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An Example Sleeping Bag For Hiking.A Sleeping Bag And Mat Inside A Hiker's Tent.

4.2.2 – Sleeping Gear

Assuming you are not staying in accommodation, you may need a hiking tent with stakes and ties; a tent patch kit to repair any tears that may occur; and a ground sheet to provide protection from the elements. A ground sheet plus a rope can be a simple substitute for a tent.

A sleeping bag and/or liner may be needed to stay warm at night. A sleeping pad can also be used to sleep on for extra comfort. A cover keeps the pad dry when carried on the outside of the backpack. A sleeping bag can be very restricting, so a simpler alternative like an extra layer of clothing could be used instead.

Ground SheetSleeping Bag LinerSleeping Pad
Tent Repair KitTent StakesTent Ties


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Cooking Stove & Fuel

Billy CanCooking Pot

4.2.3 – Cooking Gear

A hiking stove and fuel together with a cooking pot or billy can be used for cooking. Cooking can be done simply with an Esbit cooker and Esbit blocks are also good fire starters, although not very friendly to the environment.

Matches and/or a lighter (kept in a waterproof bag) can also be used to start fires.

A tin opener, spoon and/or fork is also needed if not part of your multi-purpose pocket knife.

A cup will be needed for drinks. Use an insulated cup if you want to maintain the temperature of the contents for longer periods, be it hot or cold. Use a bowl for eating your food, if not eating straight out of the cooking pot or billy.

Knife UtensilsInsulated MugCollapsible Bowl
UtensilsWeather Proof LighterWeather Proof Matches


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4.2.4 – Hygiene Tools

Items you will need to maintain your hygiene whilst out hiking include:

  • Towel – preferably made from a quick drying material;
  • Hairbrush/Comb – for your hair, if you have any to maintain;
  • Mirror – to view your face, and any other areas you are unable to see directly;
  • Nail Clippers – especially for trimming your toes which can become bruised and painful if they grow too long and bump up against your footwear;
  • Razor/Shaver – for removing unwanted hair plus spare batteries in a waterproof bag.


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4.3 – Backpacking Safety Gear

Space BlanketBivvy Bag
Lip BalmSunscreen

A comprehensive list is provided for a day hike. However, they are more likely to be needed over a longer multi-day hiking trip. Additional safety gear to take includes:

  • Bivvy bag or Space Blanket – used mainly to keep out wind and rain and can be used as a simple substitute for both a tent and a sleeping bag. A mat, even a small thin one can make a difference in emergencies by insulation you from the cold terrain.
  • Sun Cream/Sunscreen – in the form of a spray, cream or gel may be vital for those who are easily sunburnt, for example, fair skinned people who rarely go outside.
  • Lip Balm – can be applied to your lips to relieve or prevent chapped or dry lips.


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4.4 – Backpacking Consumables

The consumables that you may need to take with you on your backpacking trip can be grouped as follows:

Water Filter
Water Purification Tablets

4.4.1 – Meals

You will need to take enough food and fluids to last for your whole journey, unless you can source them whilst on your travels:

  • Daily Food – It is preferably to carry food with a low water content to keep the weight down, as long as water is readily available at your location. Eating food when there is no water is not recommended as the body requires water to metabolize food.
  • Daily Fluids, Water Filter & Iodine Tablets – Take sufficient water for the day and water purification tablets and/or a filter in case you need to source extra water locally. Filters take time so a simple, low-maintenance way to create safe drinking water is to use iodine tablets.
  • Emergency Snacks/Fluids – These can prevent or cure hypothermia and dehydration, common illness that can be serious risks in the middle of nowhere when immediate medical attention is unlikely.

4.4.2 – Washing-Up

Whilst on the road you will need some washing-up liquid. Try to make it bio-degradable so as not to harm the ecological balance of nature. You will also need a washing-up/pot scrubber to clean your cooking equipment.


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4.5 – Hygiene Consumables

These will be needed to maintain your personal hygiene and include:

  • Toilet Paper – A necessity to maintain good hygiene and also useful as kindling. It is preferable to use Toilet Paper that is bio-degradable and it should be kept in a waterproof bag. Another alternative is paper napkins.
  • Teeth Cleaning – Items for cleaning teeth include: a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and dental sticks.
  • Soap & Shampoo – Soap and shampoo are needed to stay clean but can be frowned upon in National Parks. Keep the soap in a container and use bio-degradable versions of both soap and shampoo. You are also advised to limit their use and keep away from lakes and rivers.
  • Hand Care – To look after your hands you can use a hand sanitizing lotion for cleaning and a moisturizing hand lotion to help protect your hands.
  • Deodorant – Something to combat unpleasant odours may be needed, especially in hot climates.


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4.6 – Optional Backpacking Gear

Pegless Clothes LineHammock
Inflatable PillowEar Plugs

Other items that the backpacker may want to take with them include:

  • Clothesline – A clothesline can be useful for hanging out your gear to dry after a day of hiking, even if you haven’t washed your gear. It could also serve as part of your emergency repair kit.
  • Sleeping Gear – A hammock is particularly common in the tropics. It enables you to stay away from most insects, especially poisonous ones. A pillow, either small or large can also be taken but we suggest it is inflatable, possibly neck pillow, to reduce bulk. An alternative is to make a pillow from your clothes or backpack. Earplugs can also be useful in noisy forests.
  • Sarong/Shawl – Apart from being worn, a sarong, shawl or other large cloth can serve as a spare towel, sleeping sheet, scarf or head dress.
  • Folding Bucket – This is used for carrying water and can be folded down to a small size for travelling.
  • Freezer/Ziploc Bags – These come in various types and sizes can be used to keep things dry and pack things out. Ziploc bags are very practical as they are easily closed and opened.
  • Garbage Bags – These can be used to line the backpack or placed in your footwear to keep your feet warm, even when the socks are already wet.
  • Folding Spade/Shovel – This can be used for various purposes, including digging a cathole in order to dispose of human faeces.
  • Fishing Pole, Line & Hooks – A fishing line or pole together with fish hooks are very light and can be used to catch food. The fishing line can also be used to repair footwear.
  • Big Handkerchief – This can be used for various purposes, such as a rough water filter, a thin scarf or a bandana to keep the sweat out of yours eyes.


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5 – Trip Type – Terrain, Season & Weather Conditions

Hiking equipment may include the following items depending on the type of trip or activities you are planning:

5.1 – Gear You Wear

The gear you wear can depend on the terrain conditions:

  • Snow Shoes – These may be needed for travel on snowfields and in ice conditions;
  • Crampons – These may be required to aid climbing up and down snow covered hills and mountains and in ice conditions;
  • High Gaiters – These may be needed to prevent the ingress of snow into your boots in snow and ice conditions.

5.2 – Gear You Carry

Other gear you may need to carry in order to traverse your terrain include:

  • Snow Poles & Ice Axe – Often need for glacier travel;
  • Avalanche Beacon – Used for detecting the possibility of an avalanche;
  • Hand Warmers – Used to provide instant heat in situations where your hands become too cold;
  • Insulated Water Bottle – Used to maintain the temperature of your hot drinking fluids; prevent your drinking water from freezing in very cold conditions; keep your drinking water cool in hot conditions; and protect your hands from the temperature of the bottle;
  • Rope & Carabineers – Needed when climbing;
  • Machete – For helping to clear vegetation, which is also useful for construction and firewood collection, or can double as a spade.


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5.3 – Safety Gear

A GPS Device For Navigation Whilst Hiking.

There are a number of items that you can take with you to improve your safety:

  • Head Net – Depending on your location, this has the potential to protect you from infections and save your life should a mosquito decide you are tasty. You may require this if you have an unplanned overnight stay outdoors.
  • Insect Repellent/Bug Spray – Depending on you trip, an insect repellent, or bug spray, can help you remain bite free so you can enjoy your trip.
  • Bear Repellent/Pepper Spray – As the name suggests, this is to repel bears.
  • Snake Bite Kit – In areas where there are poisonous snakes you should carry a kit for snake bites.
  • GPS Unit – A robust GPS for navigation, preferable waterproof, to display and monitor progress on trails. Good GPS systems have an electronic compass, altimeter, and aerial maps to help you keep aware of changing elevation and avoid sudden drop-offs or other hazards. They can also come with a barometer and thermometer to help you keep aware of changing weather conditions.

    Read more about handheld GPS Units here or find out about the best handheld GPS brands here.

  • Altimeter – This keeps you informed of the changing elevation and can be included on either a manual compass or with a GPS unit.
  • Barometer – This keeps you informed of the changing weather conditions and can be included on either a manual compass or with a GPS unit.
  • Thermometer – This can be used to keep an eye on the temperature and guide your decisions on layers or even whether to continue your journey as planned. This too can be included on either a manual compass or with a GPS unit.


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5.4 – Miscellaneous Gear

Some miscellaneous items you may need:

  • Permits – If you intend to take part in any extra activities such as camping, fishing, hunting, etc. make sure you have the correct permit before you start your activity.
  • Identification, Passport, Visa – Wherever you travel it’s a goo idea to have some form of identification, especially if someone requires you to prove who you are. If travelling to foreign lands you will need a Passport and probably a visa permit.
  • Money & Small Change – A source of money is always advisable when travelling and may include a credit card, bank debit card and cash or travellers cheques. It’s always a good idea to also have some coins available for any small purchase or travel fares.
  • Foreign Currency & Phrasebook/Dictionary – A source of foreign currency should be considered mandatory when travelling abroad. Again, have some coins available for any small purchase or travel fares. A phrasebook and/or dictionary should help smooth your travel within a foreign land.
  • Converter Plug – If travelling abroad and you want to use your electrical devices, make sure you make the correct converter plug for the countries you are visiting.


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6 – Hiking Equipment Checklist Summary

The above hiking equipment checklist is quite extensive but not an exhaustive one.

The items listed should cover most of your requirements for either a single day hiking trip or for a multi-day backpacking adventure.

Whatever type of journey you are planning to undertake we wish you safe, happy and successful hiking trips.

Take a look at our complete list of hiking equipment brands here or our post on the best hiking equipment brands that provide a wide range of equipment here.

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2 Responses to Hiking Equipment Checklist Guide

  • Hi Dave, WeighMyGear.com looks like an interesting utility for weight conscious hikers to plan, organize and pack for hiking trips. However, I wouldn’t have the time, energy or inclination to want to catalog my hiking equipment just to keep track of it’s weight. I think you would have to be a real hiking enthusiast to want to use it. It will be interesting to see how popular it becomes. Regards, Richard

  • Here another good supplemental online tool to help organize for outdoor activities, such as hiking, backpacking, climbing, skiing and more…

    http://www.weighmygear.com/

    I hope someone finds it useful and helpful.

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