Do you spend ages figuring out what to pack for hiking trips? Or trying to find the best walking boots? You might consider hiring a personal assistant, but all you really need is a solid hiking gear checklist. Sit back and relax, because this is your lucky day: in our ultimate hiking checklist, you’ll find everything you need.
Holidays are supposed to be relaxing. However, more often than not we end up worrying about organisational aspects. One of the most stress-inducing parts of planning your trip has to be bag packing. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem: a hiking checklist. As we think of the needs of our hike-loving fans even before their journey begins, we offer you a downloadable PDF-file of our ultimate hiking gear checklist. But first, take a closer look at 10 essentials for hiking that you will find on there:
#1 – The best walking boots
Of course, there is not one pair of walking boots that will be the absolute best in any situation. A bit of research, however, can help you find the best walking boots for you. Keep in mind what type of hikes you want to embark on: will you be walking in the mountains, through forests, in wet areas or hot climates? A universal piece of advice: waterproof and breathable walking boots will help by preventing blisters and tired feet during a hiking trip.
#2 – Insect repellent
Believe it or not: some people don’t want to return to the Scottish Highlands after their first visit. Main reason? Midges. These small, biting insects can ruin entire holidays – let alone hiking trips. The good news is that the right insect repellent allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery without even noticing the annoying bugs.
#3 – Laundry bag
A multi-day hiking trip can be somewhat smelly, and that’s fine. There’s no better feeling than putting on a fresh pair of dry socks after a ling hike, so let’s keep them fresh by separating your dirty clothes from the clean ones.
#4 – Base Layer
A base layer is the layer of clothing closest to your skin. Pick the right fabric to stay warm, dry and happy during your hike. There are many possibilities out there, but here’s the simple version: both wool and synthetics are suitable fabrics for base layers, depending on what you find most important (price, insulation, durability, etc.) – cotton is, in any case, a no go.
#5 – Water bottle
So simple, yet so important. Hydration is the key to a healthy and comfortable hike. For long-distance, it might be a good idea to invest in a hydration pack. This slots nicely into the top of your backpack and conveniently has a long tube of ease-of-drinking.
#6 – Hiking poles
Some hikers underestimate the added value of hiking poles and refuse to give into the ‘hype’. Our advice: at least try them out before judging. The increased balance and support on all types of terrain will add to your endurance during a hike. Moreover, who would say no to a natural arm workout?
#7 – Sun cream
Even on cloudy days, the sun can damage your skin, so this one is important in any part of the world. Yes, you heard me. Even in the UK and Ireland, you might get sunburnt. Sun cream should be ever-present on your hiking checklist and in your hiking backpack.
#8 – Chargers
No matter how far you wander off into nature, some pieces of technology will need to be taken along. Whether you use your cell phone to take pictures, send out some tweets along the way, or merely for emergencies; a charger could be a life-saving item. Especially during multi-day hikes or in secluded areas you might want to bring a portable charger, so you’re able to get by without a power socket.
#9 – Cash
Some cute little villages still aren’t equipped with an ATM machine on every corner. Make sure you always carry some cash, just in case. Also, make sure you know which currencies you might need (euro in Ireland, but sterling in Northern Ireland!) during your journey.
# 10 – Hiking socks
We’ve already stressed the importance of picking the best walking boots. However, without proper hiking socks, you are still likely to suffer blisters and cold feet. For optimal comfort and warmth, make sure you pick high ankle to mid-calf height socks. As for the material, breathability is the most important feature to keep your feet warm. So, like your base layer, avoid cotton and go for socks that are primarily made of wool or synthetic polymer.
If you follow these 10 tips and check out our hiking checklist, you’ll find that it’s not actually that difficult to decide what to pack for hiking.