Feel confident & prepared to hike in all-weather conditions with our ultimate hiker’s packing list – find out what to bring on a hike for safety & survival in the great outdoors!
Carry a backpack if you have a lot of gear or if you are doing longer, multi-day hikes. Or in Erik’s case, having to carry my weight too…
Make sure that it’s well padded for a good fit with adjustable straps & plenty of pockets.
Choose one with side pockets to hold water bottles or a sleeve for a hydration bladder.
Comfort is an important factor in any hiker’s packing list so look out for a chest strap & waist belt.
An interchange jacket is 2 jackets in 1 that can be worn separately or in layers.
The outer shell is a waterproof rain jacket.
Inside there’s a detachable, zip-in fleece jacket to reflect your body heat for warmth. Look for a jacket that also comes with a removable hood.
An interchange jacket is a versatile item in any hiker’s packing list for hiking in different weather conditions.
Convertible pants with zip-off legs are a functional option for hiking year-round.
The fabric should be lightweight yet durable & able to dry quickly.
Convertible pants are breathable so in colder temperatures there’s room to wear a pair of thermal long underwear underneath for extra warmth.
Quick-dry t-shirts use materials that are lightweight & wick away sweat.
That makes them a good choice for a hiker’s packing list.
Choose a loose fit to allow the skin to breathe & keep cool.
Proper waterproof hiking shoes can make all the difference while hiking.
Select a pair with a sturdy sole for stability & an air cushion heel to absorb shock.
Another feature to look out for is breathable mesh panels to keep your feet dry.
After wearing merino wool hiking socks you won ‘t look back!
Say goodbye to blister & hot spots with all-weather performance socks for hiking in all conditions.
They’re soft, fitted & extremely comfortable on the trail.
The right brand will also offer a lifetime guarantee against holes, making hiking socks a good investment in a hiker’s packing list.
If you’re only doing light hiking, hiking sandals are a great alternative.
They provide excellent traction on land & can also be worn in the water.
Hiking sandals are also faster to dry & easier to clean off mud & dirt.
WARM WEATHER ACCESSORIES
Sunglasses are a very personal choice but you should choose a polarized pair for protection against the sun & to reduce glare.
Hats are another personal choice between fashion & functionality. Either way it should definitely be on every hiker’s packing list.
A floppy brim sun hat with SPF protection will give you the most shelter & you will easily be able to tuck it away in your backpack when it’s not needed.
A headwrap can be worn in many different ways, under different climates.
In hot weather, it can be worn around the heat & wrists to protect you from the sun & also wick away sweat.
A headwrap is also handy as a face pass for hiking on dusty trails.
Always apply sunscreen before hiking & every 2 hours after, especially in hot weather.
Choose a broadspectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, depending on your skin tone & how easily you burn.
Keep your lips from cracking under the sun by applying lip balm.
It’s another essential item that should be on any hiker’s packing list.
COLD WEATHER ACCESSORIES
Thermals / Thermal Underwear
If you’ll be hiking in the cold, dress in layers with thermal underwear as your base.
Invest in high quality products as some thin thermals wear out quickly.
Choose thick 100% cotton knit which wicks away sweat, keeping you dry if you sweat in the cold.
Make sure the thermals are cuffed & the ankles & wrists to trap in the warmth.
Keep your head warm & snug with a fleece beanie that covers the ears during the cold.
Keep you hands warm & toasty while hiking with a pair of thermal gloves.
If there’s a chance of rain, put an ultra-lightweight rain poncho on your hiker’s packing list to keep dry.
Select something a little sturdier than the cheap plastic style, especially if you also want to wear it over your backpack.
One size fits most & it should come with an adjustable hood & reusable bag.
ALL WEATHER ACCESSORIES
Forget about a flashlight, keep your hands free while camping or hiking at night with a headlamp.
Choose one with different light modes & pivot settings.
If you are bird watching or hiking to spot wildlife, bring along a pair of binoculars.
It’s one of our biggest hiker’s packing list regrets from our recent trip around Central America where we visited a lot of national parks.
Swiss Army Pocket knife
Have all the tools of the trade in your hand with a Swiss Army Knife.
From a basic set to an all-out tool box, there’ll be a combination that suits your hiker’s packing list needs.
If you’ll be hiking in an area with any kinds of mosquitos, ticks, bugs or sandflies don’t forget to bring along an insect repellent.
Mosquitos can transmit Zeka & Dengue viruses so don’t take any chances.
Choose a repellent in a pump spray to minimize contact. 30-40% deet is sufficient & shouldn’t cause any adverse reactions.
Many insect repellents can be sticky, oil & smelly so check out reviews before purchasing.
Water Filter Bottle or Filter
Water is life, especially when you’re hiking.
We always bring along our LifeStraw water filter bottle which removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria.
If you’re after something a little less bulky, check out the LifeStraw water filter.
You can drink water from both products immediately, unlike water purification tablets which take at least 30 minutes to work.
Hydration Bladder or Pack
If you’ll be hiking in an area without any sources of water, consider a hydration bladder as an alternative to carrying bottled water.
This allows you to sip water from a hose that connects to the bladder inside your backpack. Make sure both are compatible with each other.
For day hikes you can also use a hydration pack in place of a backpack. Most should have pockets large enough to fit a smartphone or wallet.
Of course food has to be on a hiker’s packing list. Here are some suggestions:
- Breakfast: banana, hard boiled egg
- Lunch & dinner: sandwiches, crackers & cheese
- Snacks: nuts, dried fruit, seeds, granola & energy bars
Hikers can be easy targets for petty theft, or worse.
Keep your money & valuables secure by wearing a money belt with RFID blocking.
Carry a whistle that can used to attract attention – it’s a small investment for what could be a life saving device against predatory humans or wildlife.
First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit for emergencies should include plasters, bandages, antiseptic wipes & gauze pads.
Download a first aid kit manual or app to your phone that provides you with information & CPR techniques you need to handle common first aid emergencies
Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any hiking trip overseas.
We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years – it’s the best-value provider we’ve found & we’ve also never had any issues on the few occasions we’ve had to make a claim.
These days most people rely on their smartphones as a GPS for hiking navigation.
You may not be able to get a signal everywhere so download all the maps you need for offline access.
We’ve always used Maps.ME that features many hiking trails & topographical features. It’s allowed us to do many hikes on our own, without tours or guide.
Make sure your smartphone battery is fully charged before leaving. Having the GPS on & a bright screen will drain your battery quickly. You may want to bring along a spare battery or compact power bank.
Smartphones are fragile & should be housed in both a heavy-duty & waterproof case especially if you will be hiking with a chance of rain or for multi-day hikes.
Serious hikers looking to add more gadgets to their hiker’s packing list can look at investing in a GPS navigator.
They can be hand-held or wrist-mounted and are much more reliable than smartphones for navigation.
Compass & Map
If you prefer the old-fashioned way, bring along a compass & make sure to pick-up a map before heading out on any hiking trail.
Capturing awesome landscape photos is one of our top reasons for hiking!
For many hikers, taking a few photos with their smartphones does the trick.
A flexible tripod is a great option to have for taking photos in the outdoors.
After securing your camera to the tripod, you can wrap the flexible legs around a branch for interesting shots from new perspectives.
Did we miss anything out?! Let us know in the comments & happy hiking!
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