> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Hiking Checklists > Hiking Equipment – Essential Hiking Gear
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POSTED BY August 16, 2017

Hiking equipment can vary from trail to trail – you may not need ice pickaxes for walking the Dingle Way, but you very well might for hiking a trail in the Alps. The core essential hiking gear remains the same for many hiking trails. It’s important to pack the following items for your own safety on the trail.

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Try our hikes in Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales or on the Camino!


Ten Essentials – Hiking Equipment

The Ten Essentials are ten of the basic hiking equipment tools that everyone should pack when going on a hike. They are recommended by countless hiking and scouting organisations. The list of essential hiking gear is as follows:

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Sunglasses, sun cream and a sun hat
  4. Spare warm clothing
  5. Headlamp and/or handheld torch
  6. First-aid kit
  7. Firestarter
  8. Matches
  9. Knife
  10. More food and water than you need

The above hiking equipment are the absolute basics that you should always have with you. We’ve listed some more essential hiking gear below.

It may not be possible to bring all of these on the trail, so choose the ones that are most relevant to your type of hike.

Extra Hiking Essentials

  1. Lip balm – to prevent your lips from chapping.
  2. Spare batteries – in case your headlamp runs out of juice.
  3. Water filtration system – this will be useful if you run out of water supplies.
  4. Emergency shelter – this can be in the form of a tent, a bivy, a storm shelter or even just an emergency reflective blanket.
  5. Sleeping bag – in case you get caught in low-light and need the camp the night out.
  6. Whistle – this can be life-saving if you get lost and need to get attention.
  7. Insect repellent – very useful for when the midges come out to play.
  8. Binoculars – you may be able to see an escape route that you can’t see with your naked eye.
  9. Trekking poles – these can be used for stability while walking while also making great splints should there be any injuries.
  10. Rubbish bag – remember – Leave No Trace!
  11. Rain gear – you can never be too prepared for the rain.
  12. Piece of cord/rope – you will undoubtedly find a use for this, whether it’s a new shoelace or tying your whole shoe back together.
  13. Blister kit – this will be your best friend when those little blisters start to form.
  14. Toilet paper – you never know when nature will call on the trail!
  15. Itinerary of your hike – leave one in your car at the trail head and one with a friend so people know where you are.
  16. Emergency contact info – have a piece of paper on you with this information, and also any medications you may need to take.

With this essential hiking equipment checklist, you’ll be sure to always have the hiking gear that you need when out on the trail.