Hiking is a popular outdoor activity that can take you through lush forests, up towering mountains, and to the top of lofty peaks. The only catch? You need all the right gear for your hike. Check out our list of 10 must-have hiking accessories to make sure you’re prepared for anything!
Essential Accessories for Hiking
Good hiking boots are lightweight, comfortable, and designed to support your ankles. High-top boots provide ankle support (but only if they fit properly). The right socks make all the difference in comfort!
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
Columbia’s Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot features our lightweight, durable midsole for long-lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return as well as an advanced traction rubber sole for slip-free movement on rough ground.
The bootie construction with a waterproof full-grain leather upper means that you don’t have to sacrifice functionality when it comes to this tough customer. Treacherous days out on the trail are comfortable and worry-free thanks to Columbia’s handy features including a durable mesh tongue for breathability and a supportive EVA molded footbed.
A water bottle provides quick hydration during short breaks on a trail; for longer hikes, consider using a hydration backpack instead. Hikers can lose up to 1 liter of sweat per mile! Trailside streams may look like viable water sources, but be sure to filter them before drinking.
Hiking without navigational tools is risky; hikers should know how to find their way out of any situation without help from technology or other people. Hikers should know how to read a map, use a compass, and find their location on GPS. Perhaps the best navigational tool is your brain! Always have a backup plan in case you get lost or injured so you can survive until rescued.
While nature provides a free GPS service in the form of landmarks and terrain, hikers need an actual device to track their progress accurately. Make sure there’s room on your phone for maps and apps that will help you navigate safely.
Food & Snacks
You’ll need extra energy while hiking, but make sure it won’t add too much weight to your pack! Some nutritionists recommend eating 30-60 grams of carbohydrate every 2 hours during activity; look for items that are low in fat and sugar, but high in fiber, protein, or water.
A backpack with enough space for food, water, clothes, and other essentials will keep your hands free so you can enjoy the scenery instead of worrying about how much stuff you’ve got weighing on your back.
Hiking poles help distribute weight better than a pack alone and give hikers more stability on uneven ground or difficult terrains like ice or snow.
In addition to being a waterproof layer of protection from rain or puddles on the trail, a garbage bag can also serve as a pack cover, tarp for shade, ground cloth if you need to sit on something wet, improvised first-aid kit, or sling/splint for an injury – it’s more durable than fabric alone!
And most importantly – use your trash bag to pack out all your dirty clothes at the end of a hike. What would you add?
Sunscreen protects your skin from sunburns which can happen even if it is cloudy outside. Sunscreen should be applied before hiking as well as after to every exposed area of the skin.
There are different kinds of sunscreen depending on how long you will be out in the sun for example waterproof sunscreen is needed when playing sports outdoors like swimming or surfing since water reduces the effectiveness of sunscreen.
Insect repellents keep bugs away so that hikers don’t get bites that could give them an infection from being outside.
Rain gear includes a rain jacket and pants (or shorts if it is warm out) and helps hikers stay dry in the case of getting caught in the rain since it gets wet when you sweat or when you stand in puddles or streams on the trail. It also reduces the risk of getting hypothermia if it is cold and windy out.
First aid kit
First aid kit is vital because anything could happen while hiking such as spraining an ankle, slipping, falling down a steep hill which would cause bruising or scrapes that need to be taken care of ASAP with proper first-aid supplies like bandages, antiseptic ointment, butterfly bandages, etc.
Flashlights and lighters
Flashlights and lighters may be needed for safety reasons such as if you are going to be hiking at night or need a flashlight at the bottom of a ravine that is difficult to climb down. A lighter is also needed in case your gear gets wet and it needs to be dried out so fire with solid fuel tablets can help dry things out.
Survival toolkits can come in handy if hikers get lost because they need something for cutting, protection, starting fires (see above), light, etc. They should also include water purification tablets which can remove parasites from drinking water that may cause serious health problems like giardiasis.
You and your hiking companions should always be prepared for any situation that might occur on the trail. All hikers should know how to read a map, use a compass, and find their location with GPS. Sunscreen and insect repellents help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and insects respectively. Rain gear is important if rain occurs during your hike. A first aid kit is necessary in case of injuries on the trail. Flashlights or lighters are helpful if your equipment gets wet and needs to be dried out. Survival toolkits are important for safety reasons if you are ever lost on the trail.