A hiking adventure is much more enjoyable when traveling with a lightweight pack with only the must-have supplies in place.

Hiking essentials can be kept to a minimum if careful and able to avoid packing in the less than critical items.

Because it is important to be well-prepared for a hike it can be difficult to complete a short list of the most important items.

Hiking Essentials

Here are nine of the most important hiking essentials to stay safe on the trails:

Early morning start

To get the body prepared for an early morning start make sure to eat a healthy breakfast. A carbohydrate rich breakfast like cream of wheat, oatmeal, or similar is certain to help with filling the body with energy to complete the trail.

A simple technique to maintain the energy level is to eat nuts and fruits throughout the day, and drink plenty of water.

Let others know

Before setting off make sure someone is aware of the intended route and proposed return time. Always make sure friends or family members are mindful of the intended action, especially if hiking in the less populated areas.

In the event of an emergency the rescue services can be given guidance on the likely location.

Weather forecast

Getting a weather report on the day of the hike is a practical step to avoid issues with bad climates, especially if hiking in mountainous areas. Use the forecast to help determine the right clothes for the trip.

But, in the extreme cases of weather it usually benefits to safely retreat and return to base. Avoid the dangerous weather and return when the skies aren’t blue and clear.

Guidebook, map, and compass

Pack a navigational tool like a compass or map. Alternatively, if available a GPS can help to navigate in the event of being lost.

Prior to exploring the more difficult trails it might benefit to sigh-up to a map and compass course.

Flashlight or headlamps

Hiking essentials include a practical light source like a flashlight or headlamp. Even if the day-hike is expected to finish before low-light condition, it can still benefit to take along a useful light source.

Plus, a spare set of batteries will mean you are even more prepared.

First aid kit

An all-inclusive first aid kit should include basics like pain relievers, antibiotic ointment, squeeze bottle, gauze, adhesive tape, and adhesive bandages. Also, a sling or cravat bandage is a useful addition.

Duct tape

A simple roll of duct tape can be useful in a variety of situations such as the ability to repair a rip in the tent or a hole in the kayak.


Use a hydration pack or similar to take a good supply on the hiking trails. You will want to drink a lot more water when exercising — an ideal amount is 2-quarts per day.

A well-hydrated body is certain to function that much better when out in the open.

Trash pick-up

Avoid leaving behind trash when out in the backcountry because there is no trash pick-up services in this part of the country.

The only thing that should be left behind is footprints.