How to Make Your First Hiking Trip a Success: Essential Gear for Beginners

Hiking is indeed one great way to enjoy the outdoors and be one with nature. It makes for a great escape from work and allows for disconnecting from technology. However, if you are a beginner, this activity can sometimes be intimidating.

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For that reason, we’ve put together a guide that lists the essential gears to take with you on your first trip so you can have everything you need without having to overthink it. Whether you’re looking to hike in the desert or the mountains for the ultimate hunting experience, these products will definitely make your first adventure as fun and comfortable as possible!

As long as you have these essentials, you should be all set to step into the wilderness.

1. Hiking backpack

Of course, you need something to put on all your essentials when hiking. And for that, you need a backpack that can handle heavy loads. This hiking essential comes in varying sizes and designs. For short treks, a backpack with a 15 or 20-liter capacity is ideal. It should be more than enough to carry some snacks, extras, and several pieces of clothing layers.

If you wish to spend more time in the wilderness, you need a bigger backpack that can carry more clothes, water, food, and other essentials. For such long journeys, a backpack with a capacity of 30 or more liters makes a good choice.

2. Navigation tools

Every hiker should have strong navigational skills outdoors. These skills are of the essence to avoid getting lost. However, if you are a newbie, having these devices handy should help keep you on track and reach campgrounds.

  • GPS app – This allows you to download maps ahead and take them with you into the wilderness. What’s great about having a GPS app installed on your device is that you can use it even if you no longer have cellular service.
  • Compass – For new hikers, a navigation compass may be quite challenging to use. But it helps to bring one with you just in case. 
  • GPS Watch – This is useful if you are hiking as a group and trying to locate somebody within the vicinity.

3. Hiking boots

Footwear is another hiking essential. It comes in various designs, and the choice is up to you and the trail you’ll be walking on. You can opt for an over-the-ankle pair for complete protection. You can also choose lightweight boots, which are perfect for trail-running activities.

Now, a pair of lightweight hiking boots may suffice if you are taking a trail without obstacles. The sturdy boots, on the other hand, make an ideal choice if you are going on mule deer hunting or rough trails with streams, roots, rocks, and other unexpected elements.

Regardless of your choice, make sure that your footwear is comfortable. And don’t forget to wear synthetic or wool socks to avoid having blisters.

4. Food supplies

For someone new to hiking, it can be challenging to know how much food supplies you have to carry with you. But seasoned hikers suggest eating 200 to 300 calories per hour. For your water supply, you may need about half a liter, assuming you will only have moderate activities.

It is worth emphasizing, though, that these are just estimates. The actual quantity of food supplies you need depends heavily on some factors, including the hike intensity, weather, body type, and age.

Over time, as you gain more hiking experience, you should get a better sense of how much food supplies you need. If it’s your first hike, it’s a good idea to bring extra water and food just in case your trip takes longer.

5. First aid kit

This is very basic, and you don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to know this. It’s always wise to bring with you a basic first aid kit. You have to carry one, and you should know how to use everything in it. 

Here are some of the basic supplies included in a first aid kit:

  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper
  • Blister kit
  • Gauzes and bandages
  • Antiseptic wipes

6. Optional extras

Other extra hiking essentials you may carry with you are:

  • Headlamp – A headlamp is essential if you are hiking after dark. You have to carry one with fresh batteries.
  • Pocket knife – In the event of an emergency, a small pocket knife can be helpful. It allows you to cut things easily.
  • Windproof matches – Other emergencies may require you to start a fire, such as being in the middle of a cold forest or during a storm. That said, keeping windproof matches in your backpack is a good idea.
  • Emergency blanket – Emergency blankets are designed to keep 90% of your body heat, protecting you against moisture, rain, wind, and snow.
  • Hiking poles – If you are fond of adventures, then hiking poles may be your best friend. 
  • Whistle or other forms of personal alarm – This device may be very tiny, but it can be a lifesaver. You can just wear it like a necklace or hang it in your backpack. Use it if you need help or send a signal.

Pack These Essentials, and Enjoy Your First Hike!

The great outdoors has many wonders, making them a perfect spot for spending the holidays or taking aerial photography and videography sessions. But this place also has many dangers. So, before heading out on your first hiking trip, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared with the right equipment to keep you safe and comfortable while you explore the beautiful world around you.