Taking on the Great Outdoors: A Nature Lover's Guide to Essential Hiking Gear

Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed

What’s the best thing about hiking?

It’s fun because it allows you to commune with nature, that’s one. Two, it’s an activity that welcomes all ages, and three, it’s an excellent way to exercise.

Think of it as an elevated form of walking. As you know, walking is already a great aerobic activity. Since hiking can involve uneven terrains, it can be more challenging, meaning more energy expenditure. 

Now, if you’re just getting into hiking, you may be interested in essential hiking gear. Here, we’ll share a simple hiking gear checklist to help you get ready for more outdoor adventures.

Proper Hiking Footwear

Some prefer hiking sandals, while others like trail runners. 

However, for beginners, the best option would be hiking boots. You can try less restrictive footwear when you’re more comfortable hiking. As a newbie, it’s better to go for boots since these provide the most support and protection.

When shopping for hiking boots, be sure to consider traction and fit. You’ll also want to break in your shoes before hiking. 

Breathable, Durable, Comfortable Clothes

You don’t always have to put on layers of clothing when hiking, but bringing extra clothes is always a good idea, especially if you forget to check the weather forecast. 

For the basics, you’ll need moisture-wicking undies and shorts or pants that are quick drying. As much as possible, avoid cotton shirts, and opt for a UV protective top. For layering, it’s worth investing in a light jacket, rain jacket, and a down jacket. 

Adding some wool or synthetic socks to your cart is also recommended—the thicker, the better to prevent blisters.

Sun Protection

You already have UV protective clothing, so don’t forget about hiking accessories that offer sun protection. That includes sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. 

Even in gloomy weather, you should put sunscreen on and make sure to reapply it if you’ve sweated a lot.


Relying on your mobile phone may not be enough, especially if you’re hiking in the backcountry. 

That’s why it’s good to have a physical map or a compass. You can also invest in a GPS device that works in the wilderness, but be sure to complete the most crucial hiking essentials first.

Safety Items

There are hiking accessories and items that shouldn’t be optional. For example, you always want lighters or matches in your bag. The same applies to a whistle and a beacon.

It would be best if you also weren’t without a headlamp, pocket knife, and a first aid kit. An emergency blanket and bear spray are also must-haves in your pack.

Other Essential Hiking Gear for a Day Hike

While some wouldn’t consider food and water as gear, you must bring snacks with you, as well as enough water. 

You also wouldn’t want to forget personal items like cash or credit card, an ID, and a phone. Hygiene items such as hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and menstrual products should also be mainstays in your pack.

Are You Ready to Go Hiking?

Now that you know more about essential hiking gear, are you ready to go on a hike soon?

Whether you’re going solo or with friends, don’t forget to keep checking your bag to make sure you’re fully prepared on your hike.

For more hiking-related tips and information, you may check our other posts.

Read also: Choosing the Right Footwear is a Must