Having the proper hiking kit in place is certain to help minimize risks and problems when out in the wilderness.

Use a hiking checklist to ensure the day-pack or backpack is loaded with the right kit to ensure a successful and safe trip.

Hiking Kit

Here are twelve items of essential hiking kit for a great experience out on the trails:


Binoculars can provide a variety of benefits on the trials, including seeing far into the distance, searching for the right route, and signaling for help if lost or distressed.

Bug spray/sun cream

Use sun cream or bug repellent as and when required on the hiking trails. Sun cream is a must-have item to pack on the trails that pass beneath blazing sunlight, while the bug spray is certain to provide extra comfort in areas that attract a lot of insects.

Compass and map

Even though the latest technology (Smartphone, GPS, etc.) can be helpful on the hiking trails, make sure to back-up the electronic devices with a traditional compass and map. Plus, a waterproof case is a must-have piece of hiking kit if hiking in the rainy regions.

First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first-aid kit is a must-have piece of kit to take out on ALL hiking trips. The first aid supplies should match the intended activity and be in date (check the kit regularly and replace out-of-date supplies).


A head torch (hands-free option) or lamp is a practical safety piece of hiking kit when expected to be still out on the trails in low-light conditions. Hikes in the fall or winter can benefit from a flashlight in the event of being delayed on the return back to base.

Food and drink

Pack enough food and drink to last the duration of the hike. Use a hydration pack or water bottle to carry enough fluid to last the entire length of the hike. Plus, high energy foods can be included in the pack to give an extra boost should the body start to tire later in the hike.

Hiking Poles

Use a high-quality pair of hiking poles to relieve a lot of strain caused to the knees while on the more difficult paths. Plus, when not in use, most of the backpacks are designed with straps to hold the poles.

Jacket (waterproof)

If planning to hike a region that gets a lot of rainfall, it makes sense to play safe and pack a waterproof jacket. A sudden downfall can leave the hikers drenched and left to dry out while walking on the trails. A simple, lightweight and foldable jacket is more then enough when light rain showers might be expected.


A multi-tool or fold-up knife is a practical addition to the hiking kit and provides a variety of useful functions on the trails.

Survival bag

A survival bag can be packed with a variety of essentials, including:

  • Compass and map
  • Survival food (energy bars, Emergen-C tablets, etc.)
  • Water purification kit
  • Survival shelter
  • Emergency blanket
  • Fire starter
  • Signal for rescue (whistle, signal mirror, flares, etc.)
  • Survival knife
  • Touch or head-light
  • Sewing kit


A LOUD whistle makes a low-cost survival tool. Blowing on a whistle while in distress in the wilderness is an effective method to alert other hikers that might be in close proximity.

Winter clothing

For winter or mountain hiking make sure to pack in the extra clothing (or wear layers) such as a jacket, hat, and gloves to stay warm once the air temperature starts to drop.