Hiking is a fun activity enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. You don’t need much to hike–hiking shoes, a tent, some food, and water. That’s all. Sometimes you can go hiking even without a tent if you plan on coming back the same day. But seasoned hikers don’t travel with the bare essentials. Instead, they understand a few items’ importance and always carry them along. Today, we have compiled a list of eight such tools for hiking that everyone must carry to enjoy a fun and safe hiking experience.
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1. Water bottle
A water bottle is the most obvious thing to carry for hiking. You wouldn’t want to carry a cheap or flimsy water bottle to a hike. Buy a full stainless steel water bottle and carry it all the time.
Many people also buy insulated water bottles to carry warm water. If you’re hiking in icy places, that might be necessary. But otherwise, a regular water bottle is enough.
2. Dry snacks
Carrying dry snacks on hikes is essential because they don’t go wrong. Carry snacks with you that’ll last for weeks without going bad. You can choose from dry fruits, nuts, dried and cured meat, or anything else that lasts a long time.
You must never hike without food. Accidents can happen anytime, and if you are stranded in a jungle, you need something to eat to maintain your strength. So carry protein and fat-rich food the next time you go hiking.
A single utility tool or Swiss knife makes carrying 5 or 6 other items unnecessary. Many brands make versions of multi-tools, and you can choose any. However, ensure it’s made with quality material and for ongoing use.
Multi-tools are all-in-one knives that most seasoned hikers carry. It can save your life and also open beer bottles. In addition, you can cut an apple or fix a screw with a Swiss knife. It’s the single most versatile thing to carry on a hike.
Sunscreen is not a cosmetic item. You better wear sunscreen. However, if you are hiking in hot places with scorching sunlight, harmful UV rays can give you everything from burns to cancers. Every person should use SPF, but hikers should be particularly cautious.
It’s recommended to use sunscreen with SPF 30 or above. Pick a lightweight sunscreen that won’t leave your face greasy and sweaty. Always carry sunscreen with you on hikes.
5. First aid kit
Seasoned hikers don’t need reminders for their first aid kits. But it’s something that every hiker and every traveler should have.
A first aid kit need not be elaborate. Carry cotton swabs, antiseptic lotions, electrolytes, bandages, painkillers, and other general medicine. All these things can fit in a small bag you can throw in your backpack.
A basic first aid kit is often the difference between life and death. So make sure you carry one when you are hiking.
6. Hiking shoes
Spending money on shoes is often all about showing off. Hiking shoes, however, are a different story. Don’t buy a cheap hiking shoe that barely fits you and feels uncomfortable. A wrong hiking shoe will spoil the experience and damage your feet.
Buy a pair of rugged, strong hiking shoes that can endure all weather conditions. Go for premium polyester or leather. Fabric shoes are generally not a good idea for hiking. But in some cases, you may want something lightweight to wear. Choose one pair of great hiking shoes that you can wear for 5 to 6 years at least.
7. Waterproof lighter
Fire is necessary for hikers, especially those who want to explore the depths of the woods. Instead of carrying a regular lighter, buy a waterproof lighter. It will last a long time and be more useful in some situations.
It would be best if you always carry something you could light a fire with. Carry high-quality lighters instead of matchsticks to ensure a safe hiking experience.
Most hikers already carry flashlights with them. But if you aren’t, buy one as soon as possible. A solid and powerful flashlight is a fantastic tool to have during hikes. It can help you find your way back to the trails or spot a poisonous snake at night. You can also use a flashlight to send SOS signals when in danger.
Make sure the flashlight you carry can emit intense light. A weak flashlight is better than no flashlight, but jungles are often too dark for ordinary flashlights to be enough. Invest in a high-quality flashlight, and it’ll easily last you years.
Add these eight things to your essential tools for hiking checklist to never forget something critical on your next adventure. We hope this list makes your hiking experiences better.