10 Essentials You Need in Your Backpack When You Go Hiking

Person with a hiking backpack

 It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional mountaineer or a casual hiker – you need the proper equipment to ensure that you are prepared for anything. Things go wrong sometimes, and when they do, you want to be sure that you are not at risk of any danger.

From the right hiking footwear to emergency shelters, here’s everything you need to bring with you when you go on a hike:

1.Waterproof Hiking Boots 

Okay, this is not really something you bring but rather wear. You want to be sure that you’re prepared for any type of weather. It’s better to wear a pair of shoes that’s not only comfortable but could get you through slippery slopes and mud if it comes to that.

2. Navigation Devices 

You need a topo map and a compass with you whenever you go hiking or camping. Sure, you might have advanced smartphones and other gadgets with GPS but these things can run out of battery. The last thing you want is to get lost because you did not bring the right navigation tools. Also, make sure that your map is either in a waterproof map sack or laminated so it won’t get wet. 

3. Insulation

The weather can be unpredictable. You can set out while the sun is out and end up soaked in the afternoon. It’s recommended to bring quick-dry clothing and extra insulation clothing for layering. A hooded jacket and some rain protection are essentials that you shouldn’t forget to bring.

4. Sun Protection

Just as it is essential to be ready for the rain, you should also prepare for the scorching heat of the sun. Wear sunscreen and some SPF lip balm. Then bring a pair of sunglasses, a brimmed hat, and long-sleeved clothing.

5. First Aid Supplies 

You should also include a first aid kit in your backpack so you’ll be prepared for any ailment or minor emergency. There are some pre-packed first aid kits and even a Lifesaver CPR Mask Kit that you can find at stores like Outfitters Megashop. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to determine what items you’re likely to find helpful and customize your kit according to your needs.

6. Illumination

A headlamp is another essential that you need in your backpack, whether or not you intend to be out after sunset. Hikes sometimes last longer than you expected and there may be instances when you are stranded in a part of the trail because of the weather or other factors. You want to be sure that you have enough lighting so you can find your way home even in the dark. 

7. Fire

Building fire is one of the basic skills that you need to learn if you’re always outdoors. Today, it doesn’t take much effort to build a fire. You can simply bring two lighters, a few waterproof matches, and some Firestarter cubes. The latter should only be used when completely necessary, though. 

8. Repair Tools 

Something as basic as a multi-tool knife, such as the Swiss Army Tinker, could be a lifesaver in dire situations. You should also have some rope, duct tape, and other repair tools that could come in handy for emergencies like getting your tent ripped or punctured.

9. Nutrition 

You need sustenance when you go hiking. Make sure that you have enough energy source in your bag. Dried fruits and nuts, jerky, and energy bars are convenient to eat during a hike and don’t spoil. For a heartier lunch during your break, you could bring a salami, a cheese sandwich, and the like.

10. Hydration 

You probably already know this, but it’s worth repeating. You need to be sufficiently hydrated when you go hiking. Your body needs water to make sure your body’s systems are running smoothly. Water can help you cool down when you’re feeling hot or warm you up when you’re feeling cold.

That said, water is among the heaviest things you’ll have to carry. Instead of bringing too many bottles of water, invest in a lightweight water purifier but ensure that there’s a water source where you’re headed, too.


Those are the ten essentials you need to have when you go hiking or camping. Make sure that you create a checklist when you pack so you won’t forget anything. If it’s your first time to try outdoor activities, and you’re planning to do it regularly, it’s best to invest in high-quality equipment that would make your life easier when you’re up in the mountains or in the trails.

Outfitters Megashop is where you’ll find all the hiking and camping gear that you’ll need to enjoy your activity and ensure your safety at the same time. Check out our products before you schedule your next hike!