Essentials Every Keen Hiker Needs

Hiking is a way to stay fit and connect with nature. It’s an activity where you can challenge yourself and find solace in the great outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or just starting out on your hiking journey, having the right gear can make all the difference in your experience. These are the essentials every keen hiker needs to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Proper Footwear

A decent pair of hiking boots is perhaps the most crucial investment for any hiker. Look for footwear that offers ankle support, has a sturdy sole with a good grip, and is waterproof or water-resistant. Ill-fitting or inadequate footwear can lead to discomfort, blisters, or even injuries on the trail.

Knee Supports

Whether it’s a simple knee sleeve or a more advanced brace, exercise compression supports from Bearhug provide stability, reduce strain, and alleviate discomfort during long hikes. They can be particularly beneficial for people with a history of knee injuries or those carrying heavy loads. Investing in a quality knee support can help prevent injuries and enhance the overall hiking experience. Make sure to choose one that fits comfortably and provides adequate support for your specific needs.


A well-fitted rucksack is essential for carrying all your gear comfortably. Choose one with padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, and multiple compartments for organising your belongings. How big your backpack is will depend on the length of your hike and how many things you need to carry.

Navigation Tools

Even if you’re sticking to well-marked trails, it’s important to carry navigation tools, such as a map, compass, or GPS device. These can help you stay on course and navigate in case of unexpected detours or emergencies. Familiarise yourself with your route before setting out, and know how to use your navigation tools effectively.

Hydration System

Staying hydrated is vital during any hike, especially in hot or humid conditions. Invest in a hydration system such as a hydration pack or water bottles that are easy to access while on the move. Think about taking a portable water filter or purification tablets if you’ll be refilling from natural water sources along the trail.

Clothing Layers

Layering your clothes allows you to adapt to changing weather conditions and exertion levels during your hike. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin, add insulating layers for warmth, and top it off with a waterproof and breathable outer shell. Don’t forget to pack extra clothing in case of unexpected weather changes.

First Aid Supplies

It’s a good idea to be prepared for accidents with a well-stocked first aid kit. Include essentials such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, blister treatment, and any personal medications you may need. Take a basic first aid course to learn how to administer first aid effectively in wilderness settings.

Emergency Shelter

In case you’re unable to reach your destination before nightfall or encounter unforeseen circumstances, having a lightweight emergency shelter can provide much-needed protection from the elements. Options include a compact tent, bivvy sack, or emergency space blanket.


Fuelling your body with nutritious snacks and meals is essential for keeping energy levels up during a hike. Pack lightweight, high-energy foods like trail mix, energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, and jerky. Don’t forget to account for extra calories burned during strenuous activities.


Even if you plan to finish your hike before dark, it’s wise to carry a reliable light source in case of emergencies or unexpected delays. Choose a lightweight headlamp or torch with a long battery life and pack extra batteries as a precaution.

Personal Safety Gear

Depending on the terrain and conditions of your hike, additional safety gear may be necessary. This could include items such as a whistle for signalling, a multi-tool for repairs, sunscreen and sunglasses for sun protection, insect repellent, and bear spray in areas with wildlife encounters.

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