Are you packing for your next hike and not sure what you need? Don’t worry! After many people asked me what gear they should bring along on their hikes, I thought it would be a good idea to create a list of what I consider to be the most important hiking gear for both one-day hikes and multi-day hikes.
This is a very extensive packing list, but it doesn’t mean that you need to carry everything. Some items are extras that might be helpful in some situations, but are not absolutely necessary.
For one-day hikes I’d check out the “Clothing and Backpacking list” and bring the necessary gear according to the weather and temperature. If you are planning a multi-day hike, also check out the “Camping gear list“, which conteins some very useful overnight gear.
CLOTHING AND BACKPACKING. BEST HIKING GEAR LIST
You are going to need a good raincoat if the weather gets a bit ugly. This Columbia raincoat is absolutely waterproof and windproof. For years, I have brought mine to all my hikes and it still withstands the worst weather conditions.
Very practical and comfortable pants for summer or spring hikes. They are light and breathable and have a zipper that makes them short or long depending on the situation.
These are the pants I wear for winter or very high hikes, like that time I climbed the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador. They are light and comfortable but very warm and totally waterproof. I’d bring these pants only to pretty cold hikes; otherwise they can be too warm.
I always bring at least two short or long-sleeved t shirts to all my hikes depending on the weather. They are super light and something you’ll be glad to have brought with you when you end up sweating like crazy.
Short-sleeved shirts are great because you can wear them during your hikes or make them part of your everyday clothing.
I’m sure your mum has already told you that you loose a considerable percentage of heat from your head, right? Well, maybe it’s more like a myth than something true but keeping your head warm during cold hikes will make you feel much better.
I personally wear a bandana only when it gets very windy or cold but some people with delicate throats find it something essential.
Keeping your feet dry and comfortable is perhaps the most important thing when completing a multi-day hike. You don’t want to get blisters or wounds on the second day and have to go back before you planned, right? These Salomon boots are some of the best I have ever used.
Wearing great hiking boots with bad-quality socks will be of no use. Good socks will also prevent those blisters and wounds.
I mainly use these for high routes or very cold hikes, but you can use them for any other outdoor activity like riding, cycling or everyday use.
I think I’ve had like six different backpacks during my last five years of travel, and I must say; this Osprey Aether 70 is just perfect for a long-term traveler. It’s a top-quality backpack with a large capacity, adjustable suspension and great comfort and durability.
However, if you need a lightweight backpack only for hiking, the Osprey Exos 48 is one of the best ultralight backpacks on the market. I love this one!
CAMPING. BEST HIKING GEAR LIST
Very lightweight and durable, this is a 3 season tent you can use in almost any situation. I have tested it myself in heavy rains and snowfall and it has always resisted with no problems. It’s a good tent for one or two people as it has a generous interior and two vestibules for gear storage.
This sleeping bag is probably the item on the list that I love the most. It’s a great companion that will keep you warm on freezing nights in the mountain. It can withstand very low temperatures but you can also use it as your 3 season sleeping bag.
The Kelty 20 is good for autumn, winter and spring hikes, but it could be too hot for use during the summer. For those treks, I bring my super light and compact Camtoa sleeping bag, which is actually pretty cheap.
Having a good sleeping pad is very important for proper rest after a long day of hiking. There are very expensive ones, but I think this Therm-a-Rest is a good value for the money.
Indispensable for any hiker, this lamp allows you to cook, read or do whatever you need to do when it’s dark.
I really like this MSR stove because it allows you to cook even in windy conditions, which happens pretty often when hiking.
Just more practical hiking gear that might help you pack lighter.
These drops can be very helpful. Planning a trip to Africa, Asia or South America? Sometimes you are not sure about the water you are about to drink and these drops will kill all the bacteria, making the water potable.
A good kit to bring to multi-day hikes in case something happens.
You don’t need to bring Rambo’s knife to the mountain; a simple and light Swiss knife will be enough.
EXTRA ITEMS. BEST HIKING GEAR LIST
While I use a Nikon 5500 for most of my travels and day hikes, sometimes I don’t want to carry a big, heavy camera for six or seven days. The Sony RX 100 V is the perfect camera for hiking.
Some people use them, some people don’t. I’m not a big fan of hiking poles myself, though I admit that they can be very helpful sometimes.
It’s not essential, but it’s definitely a great help when hiking. This modern and stylish watch is equipped with an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, digital compass, GPS and many other features.
Check out the Top 10 Best Hiking Watches
I like the design and protection of the Julbo Explorer! Awesome sunglasses for hiking!
Check out the Top 10 Hiking Sunglasses
These matches can be pretty helpful on those hikes when it’s raining cats and dogs and everything gets wet.
Always try to get a repellent of at least 30 to 40% DEET for maximum protection. This is especially important for hikes in Africa, Asia or South America, where some mosquito bites can bring diseases.
Some people like to listen to music while hiking. Personally, I like to do it at the end of the day, when I’m laying down and feeling warm inside my sleeping bag… then I play Eddie Vedder!
That’s all! I hope this hiking gear list has helped you find what you are looking for!
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- Enjoy this fantastic Hiking and Camping Gear Guide by National Geographic!
Do you have any question about Best Hiking Gear List? Please, contact me!
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Hi, I’m Mokel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 7 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.