Must-have Items In Your Trekking Bag
If you are planning a day hike or an overnight trip to explore the beauty of nature with your friends or even by yourself, you need to carry certain items in your backpack to make your experience safe and comfortable. Though a lot of the things in one’s trekking bag can depend upon the location and weather conditions of your chosen trails, there are ten essentials of hiking that sum up the different requirements that you should always have with you. These essentials are the ten pieces of gear that one should bring with them while trailblazing.
So, if you are packing for a high altitude trek or even a rough terrains trail, these essentials will keep you safe. The must-have safety items in trekking bag include:
Navigation devices are a must-have for everyone who is heading for a hike or trek. While phone GPS units are the handiest, you cannot entirely rely on them considering network issues. A paper map and a compass are thus indispensable emergency backups in such situations. Though buying these devices and keeping them in your bag is easy, knowing how to use them can be a bit tricky. It’s always better to learn how to read a topographic map and use a compass before your trip to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
Another important device to keep in your hiking bag is a headlamp or a flashlight. A light source is essential for when you need help finding your way through the wilderness during night time. A headlamp is usually preferred over a flashlight because it helps the travelers to go “hands-free.” This allows them to do other tasks which might include holding trekking poles or setting up tents. Also, always remember to carry extra batteries with you.
Dealing with an emergency on an empty stomach makes the situation even worse, especially during a tiring adventure activity like hiking. It is very important to carry high-calorie nutritional foods. Always pack extra food for at least a day in case of an emergency. It is best to carry high-energy bars, dry fruits, and other packed items that don’t require cooking. In case your trip gets extended owing to bad weather or other circumstances, you can binge on these food items and it will keep you going.
It goes without saying that it is very important to carry enough water during activities like hiking. To determine how much water you need to carry, make sure you check the temperature and the difficulty of the hiking trail. It is recommended to carry at least two liters of water during moderate temperatures. If you are aware of any reliable water sources in the middle of your trail, you can also carry water purification tablets or filters to treat the water before drinking. Also, try to carry extra water bottles that can be filled and used during emergencies. Keep yourself well hydrated while hiking and make the most of your trip
Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing for your hiking trip. Make sure you have quality sunglasses that protect your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet radiation. And if you are hiking on snow or ice, it is important to wear tinted snow glasses or ski glasses that will protect your eyes from solar radiation, snow blindness, and mountain winds at high altitudes.
Wearing sunscreen during hiking is advisable as it protects the skin from sunburns by limiting exposure to sun rays. SPF 30 sunscreen is recommended for most of the outdoor activities. You can also use an SPF lip balm.
First aid is a vital component within a hiking backpack. You can either buy these kits from a store or personalize your own. An ideal first aid kit consists of bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, nitrile gloves, as well as antibiotic, anti-allergic, and anti-diarrheal tablets along with common painkillers. It is also necessary to learn how to use the items in the first aid kit before an emergency actually occurs. Learn beforehand about some basic first aid techniques and how to use particular tablets to help yourself and your friends when required. You can also carry a guide that will help you deal with medical emergencies.
Knives and repair tools
Knives are an essential piece of gear that are useful in several spheres including food preparation, first aid, and repairs. In addition to just loose knives, one can also carry an entire repair kit for emergencies. Other repair items that can be useful while hiking are cable ties, plastic buckles, duct tape, safety pins, and other such things. It is recommended that you carry an elaborate penknife and multi-tools which include things like screwdrivers, scissors, and a can opener. These tools will make your hiking experience easier and better.
It is crucial to have reliable supplies to start and maintain a fire in case of emergencies during your hiking expeditions. Heat and light from a fire can be life-saving in several situations. Starting and sustaining a fire in the middle of the wilderness is a valuable skill that can help you and your friends in the hour of need. To be able to start the fire, hikers should carry certain fire starters in their backpacks, some of which can be lighters, waterproof matchsticks, chemical heat pads, and cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. One can also buy a pack of commercial wood soaked in chemicals that can catch fire easily.
Check the weather conditions and make sure to carry your clothing items accordingly. Conditions during hiking can change abruptly and it can get chilly or wet. So, it is necessary to pack extra clothes apart from the ones that you decided to wear.
You should keep extra socks, gloves, hoodies, and jackets to keep yourself warm and cosy. Also, don’t forget to keep your raincoat handy, just in case it rains. These extra clothes can really help you in case of a sudden change in weather or temperature. Your footwear also plays an important role for a comfortable and safe hiking experience, so buy good quality hiking shoes and carry an extra pair for emergencies.
If you are taking an overnight trip, tents and sleeping bags are a must-have. You should always carry some sort of shelter with you while hiking overnight. But even if you are on a day hike, it is equally important to carry an emergency shelter for unexpected changes in your plans or weather conditions. A bivouac shelter or bivy sacks are ideal for such situations. These can be extremely portable and packable and can be carried easily on your back. These emergency shelters will protect you from sun, wind, and rain and will keep you warm and dry. You can buy these bivy sacks from stores or online conveniently.
Apart from these ten items that you need to keep in your hiking backpack while packing for a high altitude trek, several other things also play an important role in making your hiking trip comfortable and successful. This trekking bag items list includes–
- Footwear – One of the most critical gear for a hiker is the right pair of boots. Select your hiking boots based on the terrain you will be exposed to. Buy good quality boots, keeping in mind factors like comfort, durability, weight, and water resistance.
- Communication devices – A fully-charged smartphone is your best friend and can easily get you through difficult situations. While organising your backpack, don’t forget to keep a charged power bank as well to keep your phone’s battery alive. If you are trekking to places where there will be no phone coverage, you may also want to carry satellite communication devices so that you can send messages and ask for help during an emergency.
- Toiletries – It is very important to maintain your health and cleanliness especially during an outdoor activity like hiking. Carry your toiletries with you and include soap papers, tissue rolls, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer to maintain your hygiene.
- Other Personal items – Always keep your cash and credit cards handy just in case you need them for doing some last-minute shopping for your hiking expedition.
Hiking is an adventurous yet beautiful experience, one that will make memories for life. To make the most of your hikes, plan and prepare for it beforehand. Pack your bag with all the required gear and make sure you carry these ten essentials in your backpack!
Hi! I am Paridhi. When not downing endless cups of coffee and binge-ing on Masala Fries, I can be found deeply engrossed in contemporary novels. Delhiite by birth and nomad by passion. I travel and I know things. I write travel blogs by day and binge watch thriller and rom-com by night.