Whether it is hiking the trails in the spring, summer, or fall, a carefully planned hiking checklist makes it easier to identify the must-have items.

Plus, it is critical to prepare for the worst possible conditions and check the weather forecast just before setting off. Any well-planned hiking adventure should take into consideration:

  • Alternative routes in the event of poor weather
  • Individual hiker’s abilities
  • Longer then planned travel
  • Plan of action for illness or injury en route

Hiking Checklist

A planned hike should be cut short and hikers returned to base in the event of bad weather.

Hiking checklist for clothing

Clothing chosen for a planned hike should take into account the entire hike route. While it might be warm and comfortable in the valleys, it can soon start to feel cold if hiking in regions with high peaks.

A base layer of clothing close to the skin is usually preferred in a synthetic material which helps with perspiration.

Plus, certain synthetics and wool have the ability to insulate the body when after getting wet.

Key rules for staying safe and comfortable include:

  • Avoid cotton
  • Getting protected from the wind
  • High-energy snacks
  • Staying hydrated with water
  • Wearing multiple layers to stay warm

Include the following items of equipment:

  • Base layer in wool or synthetic materials (underwear or T-shirt)
  • Long pants in wool or synthetic
  • Hat
  • Synthetic pile jacket or wool sweater
  • Gloves
  • Headlamp or flashlight (pack a spare set of batteries)
  • Rain or wind-proof gear (breathable fabric is best)
  • Spare pair of socks (a welcome relief after stepping into a stream)
  • Proper hiking boots or shoes
  • Insect repellent
  • Long-life or high energy food to last the duration of the hike
  • Enough water to stay hydrated (plus a water treatment system if likely to be near a natural water supply)
  • Knife
  • Trash bags (plastic bags are great for disposing of trash to keeping clothes and gear dry)
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Matches (waterproof)
  • Whistle
  • Sleeping bag (great if forced to spend the night under the stars)
  • GPS, compass, trail map, or guidebook
  • Other items that can be useful on the hiking trails
  • Orange vest — a practical addition, if planning to hike in certain areas during the hunting season
  • Spare socks
  • Whistle
  • Duct tape — a quick and simple solution to repair a ripped tent to damaged kayak
  • Mirror — useful for attempting to signal when in distress
  • Emergency blanket
  • Watch

A hiking checklist can also include:

  • Trekking poles – a practical addition, if traveling the more difficult terrain or have joint problems
  • Binoculars and camera — great for admiring the local wildlife and natural settings
  • Water-proof case or bag — protects the water-sensitive equipment from damage

Things that can be left behind

Certain hiking supplies can be left behind until more experience or planning the multi-day trek, and include:

In summary

When it comes to preparing the hiking checklist make sure to pack the must-have equipment that increase the level of safety while at the same time not being too heavy to carry for the duration of the hike.

Good Hiking Checklists and References: