10 Things I Always Bring on a Hike

May 4, 2020

Lifestyle, Travel, Travel Tips

Hiking can be a fun adventure for beginning and expert hikers alike. There are so many places in the world that provide gorgeous scenery and the opportunity to escape into the wilderness. But things can go bad really quickly if you don’t know what to bring on a hike.

There are 10 things that I always bring when I’m hiking. Of course, if you are planning on hiking for several days, you’ll need to bring the proper survival and camping gear. But the things on this list can help you have a good time and an easy hike no matter the length of your trek.

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1. Backpack

A good backpack is a must on any hike. You’ll need something to hold everything you need, but you also want it to be sturdy and comfortable to carry for long periods of time. My favorite backpack to take on hikes is this one from S Zone Bags:

The bottom half of this backpack has special compartments for all my photography gear. It holds a DSLR camera equipped with a lens as well as an extra lens or two. I also love the side compartment for easy access to your camera!

The top half has plenty of space for all your other necessities, and it has lots of pockets. Even if you’re not a photographer, the customizable compartments and pockets are really nice for holding all of your stuff!

See it on Amazon here.

2. Water Bottle

Of all the things to bring hiking, water is the most important. You need to stay hydrated when you’re hiking, and most trails don’t have places along the way to buy a drink. Bring a water bottle that’s thermal so your water will stay cold for many hours on the trail. This is a much better alternative than bringing a regular plastic water bottle that gets hot in the summer.

3. Camera

I love to take pictures on my hike. It’s worth it to me to carry around the extra weight of a camera to capture images of the beauty around me so I can look back and remember later. I use my Canon Rebel T5 with my Canon 18-135 mm lens on pretty much every hike.

girl with red hair with canon rebel t5 camera dslr outside photography

If photography isn’t your thing and you don’t have a camera, bringing your phone works too!

Check out the rest of my photography gear here: What’s in my Camera Bag

4. Good Shoes

Bring comfortable shoes! Nobody wants to walk for hours on possibly rocky paths with shoes that hurt your feet. If hiking is something you do on a regular basis, I would suggest investing in a good pair of hiking boots or running shoes. I always bring bandaids in case I get blisters, but blisters aren’t a problem if you wear the right socks…

5. Good Socks

I never even thought about what socks I should wear on a hike before I found these hiking socks from Wildly Goods. These Merino wool socks are designed with hikers in mind to protect from blisters, keep your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and plenty of other features that I never thought possible for socks! And they are really cute and comfortable too!

girl hiking in woods in fall leaves with black hiking boots, black leggings and sand brown socks from wildly goods

You can use my code “Light” at check out to get 20% off your order! Check out Wildly Goods here!

6. Towel or Washcloth

If you happen to need to cross a shallow creek or trek through some mud on your hike, a towel or washcloth will come in handy. Something to wipe off your shoes or feet is not what most people think of bringing on a hike, but you’ll be glad you remembered when you don’t have to hike with wet feet! This can also help if your hands get dirty. Bring some hand sanitizer too so you can wash up before you break out the trail mix.

7. Snacks

Don’t forget to bring some snacks just in case hunger strikes. A little energy boost can go a long way, and you don’t want to be stuck on the trail with nowhere nearby to buy food. If your backpack is big enough, you can even bring a picnic lunch.

girl sitting in the woods looking at the forest trees

8. Weather Protection

No matter what the forecast says, I try to be prepared for rain or shine. I bring a light rain jacket for storms that may pop up, sunglasses or a hat for sunny days, and sunscreen and bug spray depending on where I’m planning to hike.

9. Hammock

After you finally make it to a nice lookout or pretty view during your hike, it’s nice to take a break and set up a hammock. If the weather’s nice, enjoying the view and the nature around you is, in my opinion, best experienced in a hammock. I have a single nest hammock from Eno, and I like to use it even when I’m not hiking.
See it on Amazon here.

10. Sketchbook

While you’re relaxing in your hammock, it can be fun to try and sketch what’s around you. Draw the view, or if you want something easier, just sketch the little things like leaves, flowers, and animals. You don’t have to be a master artist to be creative!

I’ve tried to list everything that you might need to bring on a hike, but is there anything else that you always bring hiking? Let me know in the comments!

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Hiking can be a fun adventure, but you need to have the right gear. And I'm not talking about fancy hiking boots or specialty hiking gear. There are 10 simple things that I always bring on a hike that make it enjoyable and easy. Don't forget to bring these things when you go hiking!

  1. Shondal Wollaston says:

    And the kids! Teach them early to appreciate all nature has to offer!

  2. Bruce Boldenow says:

    Sounds pretty good, how about a Boy Scout type knife and a fire starter, you never know if you will get lost, injured or even just hike too far and can’t get back by night. Might even include a compass, and mylar blanket (shelter & direction, and only a couple of ounces). I always carry a ‘Lifestraw’ for water purification in case I run out, hydration is critical (2.5 ounces) and a whistle to signal for help and a penlight (one ounce) So, for an additional 10-11 ounces and no more room than a hard bound book, you have covered a lot possible emergencies. “Chance favors the prepared mind.” Louis Pasteur

  3. Bruce oldenow says:

    PS: sorry, I also include a few(6-10) feet of cord (like 550 para cord). another 1/2 ounce and a few ist aid items, a few bandaids of various sizes, and ointment, 1/2 oz. I wear a bandana or carry one in my pocket. So, another whole ounce in your pack and as much room as a travel size kleenex pack.

  4. […] Don’t forget to pack the necessities! Here are 10 things I always bring on a hike. […]

  5. bwslidell says:

    Superb post! Essentials for hiking are a must, and your list has everything on it. I particularly concur that wearing comfy shoes and high-quality socks is essential. Enjoy your walk!

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