As I was recently reminded, regardless how long an adventure is, it’s important know what essential items to bring on a hike. And ensure you have them! I was out for an easy hike recently and as we were chatting, we got distracted and lost our bearings. Luckily, we were familiar with the area but we went in circles for AN HOUR trying to find the right trail to get to my car. It was hot, there were lots of mosquitos, it started to rain, and we had no water or snacks. We knew we were minutes from the car however if we were in other terrain, it could’ve been bad.
So I thought it was a good opportunity to share these essential items to bring on a hike. Whether going out on a day hike or an overnight hiking trip, make sure you have them with you.
Packing List of Essential Items to Bring on a Hike:
Here are 10 essential items to bring on a hike that everyone should have for any outdoor adventure:
- Sun protection (including a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses) and heavy-duty mosquito repellent
- Food and a minimum of 1 litre of water per person, more if it’s hot and/or if you’re planning to be gone all day or overnight. Be sure you’re well hydrated before you depart, too.
- Flashlight or headlamp, and spare batteries.
- Fire-making tools including a lighter or waterproof matches plus a candle or firestarter. Dry lint, cotton balls, or even hand sanitizer works well as firestarter.
- A whistle or mirror to signal for help.
- Rain and windproof jacket, plus toque, gloves and additional thermal layers if you’re hiking in the alpine (even if the weather starts out pleasant, it can change quickly).
- Fully charged phone with navigation and communication apps like Trailforks and Gaia already downloaded (and know how to use them).
- First aid kit (and be familiar with what’s in it and how to use it).
- Emergency shelter, like a tarp or blanket.
- Pocket knife.
You can get all of these essential items to bring on a hike at a local outdoor adventure store like the Escape Route in Whistler and Squamish, or Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) in major centres like Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton. And while you’re there, don’t hesitate to ask the staff for feedback on what to bring – they might have some great new products to tell you about.
Need some hiking inspiration? Check out THESE POSTS for hikes in the Whistler area.
It’s been ages since I’ve thought about what I should pack for hiking but I’ll be giving my daypack a serious overall. Have I missed anything that you’d include of things to pack on a hike? Let me know in the comments.
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