Hiking is one of the best ways to get out, enjoy nature, and explore the world around you. The gear you need for hiking varies depending on how strenuous a hike you’re planning, but there are some items that are always good to have with you. Here are five things you should always take with you when hiking.
Water bottle or Hydration Pack
Staying hydrated on a hike is of vital importance. Not drinking enough, especially on a warm day, can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. A general rule of thumb is to carry half a liter of water per hour for a moderate hike, and up to one liter of water for every hour you’ll be outside for a more strenuous hike.
The best water bottles are insulated water bottles that keep your water cold and refreshing. Most people are more likely to drink when their water is cold, rather than warm or tepid. We love the Takeya insulated water bottles, which keep our water cool for more than 24 hours! On longer hikes, we opt for a 2-liter insulated hydration pack, which allows us to carry more water and easily access it without having to stop.
Strenuous hikes can burn a lot of calories. It’s important to keep your body fueled so it has the energy it needs to power you through your hike. Always make sure to carry enough snacks with you and stop for a break to chow down on something at various points in your hike. Carbs and protein are your friends on hikes. Non-perishable snacks like trail mix, protein bars, and PB&J sandwiches are great options.
You might not anticipate staying out past dark, but if such a situation arises, you will be very glad you were prepared with a flashlight. Ideally, you want an actual flashlight and not rely on your phone – you may want to conserve battery to call for help.
There are any number of situations that might cause you to get caught in the dark. If you get lost or turned around, you might find yourself out later than you wanted to be. If you have to take cover from bad weather, you might not make it back before sunset. It’s always better to be prepared. Ecogearfx.com has a large selection of flashlights to choose from.
Not that applicable during the Texas summer, but as we head into fall and winter, you want to make sure to take a jacket, even when the temperature is warm during the day. Temperatures can drop quickly at night, and Texas weather is unpredictable in the best of times. A jacket, raincoat, or poncho will ensure you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you.
We always pick up a paper map of the area from the visitor’s center as a backup. We love AllTrails, but we don’t always have service on our hikes. The maps help us stay on track if we can’t use our phones.
Of course, you can spend hundreds, if not thousands, on hiking gear if you wanted to, but these are some of the basic necessities to take with you on a hike. Do you take these items on your hikes? Let us know in the comments!