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You’ve made the decision to head off on a trek … awesome! The world is full of incredible hiking trails, and strapping on your boots is a great way to immerse yourself in nature.

But as fun as trekking is, it’s incredibly important that you head out with the right equipment. This doesn’t always mean you need to spend a tonne of money on hiking poles, or camelbacks, but it’s often the simplest things that are the most important on a trek.

Whether you’re heading on a day walk, or a multi day trek, the following are essentials you should always have with you.

This list covers the basics for beginner trekkers, though even if you’re a seasoned pro, it’s important never to become so overconfident that we forget the essentials.

Trekking Essentials: Everything You Need With You On A Trek

Image credit: Amy Blyth

A Good-Sized Water Bottle

It might seem like a given, but forgetting your water bottle can be dangerous, especially on long hikes as you might put your body through severe dehydration. This should be the first thing you place on your backpacking checklist.

Carrying a water bottle is a must, and refilling it whenever possible is a smart move, even if you’re someone who doesn’t need to drink a lot of water. A lot of the time it’s not necessarily about forgetting to take water, as opposed to not taking enough.

If you’re going to be trekking a lot, cut down on plastic waste by buying yourself a water bottle. Though if you are traveling with plastic bottles, make sure you don’t leave litter on the trail.

If you’re heading on a multi day trek and plan on filling up your water from natural sources (like rivers, waterfalls etc), a fantastic purification device for travel is the SteriPEN Freedom.

These kind of steripens use ultraviolet light to sterilize the water so that the bacteria are unable to multiply thus making the water safe to drink. You can use the SteriPEN Freedom for 45 seconds to sterilize up to half a liter of water.

LifeStraw is another fantastic option for making contaminated water safe to drink. It purifiers the water and is perfect for hiking as they are durable, lightweight, and require no electricity or batteries to operate.

Appropriate Food

Camp food trek hiking hike RF

Just as water is important, it’s equally as important to carry food with you. This will give you the energy to save you from low-blood pressure or fainting on long walks.

Pick food that is lightweight yet full of energy. Chocolates, energy bars, or dried fruits will give you the right sugar rush and energy that you need to keep going.

And remember to pack an adequate amount of food. If you’re going on an overnight trek, make sure you have munchies for during the day, as well as proper meals for lunch, dinner, and breakfast the next day.

There’s nothing worse than trekking on an empty energy tank and an empty stomach!

Choose the Right Type of Shoes

Hiking the Channel Islands in Jambu.

We all remember the iconic hike Reese Witherspoon took in ‘Wild’, and how her boots failed her in the middle of the trip. Don’t fall in the same trap.

The appropriate boot for you will largely depend on the type of trekking you plan on doing, how long you plan on wearing them for, and the types of terrain you’ll experience on your trek.

In this sense, it’s important to assess what type of qualities you need in a hiking boot before you go and buy something. For instance, you might not care about paying for boots that are waterproof (though it’s always a good idea anyway).

If you’re tackling something like the Manaslu circuit trek, this is a hot destination, so you’ll probably want lightweight shoes. If, however you’re trekking through snow, or rain you might want something that is heavy duty and waterproof.

Consider the type of trekking you plan on doing, and head into a shoe store for some expert advice. Don’t forget to choose the right pair of socks as well and to carry at least three more with you to avoid blisters and other problems.

First Aid Kit

Saddleback Leather Squared Backpack Review

Never underestimate the importance of traveling with a solid first aid kit – in fact, this should be one of the very first things you pack.

According to a recent survey, a massive 80 per cent of us are not equipped to deal with minor medical emergencies in our own homes – let alone when we’re out on a hiking trail. But accidents and injury can easily happen.

You generally don’t have to be a doctor to help yourself, or others, in an emergency, though you do have to have the first aid skills and tools to administer the care required; you need to be traveling with a first aid kit.

Read this post for a checklist of everything you should have in a travel first aid kit, or check out one of these pre packed options from Amazon:

Compact First Aid Medical Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Series Whitetail First Aid Kit

2-in-1 First Aid Kit (120 Piece)

Other Essentials You Might Need

A lot of people might forget to bring their moisturizer which is mostly fine in hot weather, however in cold weather, moisturizing is a must to avoid skin problems.

Also, things like a powerful sunblock, and a good pair of sunglasses to avoid the harmful sun rays is important when you’re spending time outdoors, especially if you’re trekking in a different country which may have stronger UV rays than you’re normally used to.

Other essentials you may wish to pack could include a camera, a hand sanitizer, a Swiss army knife, torch and batteries, and your right choice of clothes in your backpack.

Do your research and make a checklist. A checklist might feel like you’re being too OCD, however this is one of the only sure fire ways to make sure you never forget anything.

COMFY ALL TERRAIN BOOTS WE RECOMMEND: CLICK PHOTO ↓

Capra Waterproof Hiking Boot by Merrell

Mountain Trainer Alpine Approach

 

KEEN Revel III Cold Weather Hiking Boot

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

    8 Comments

  1. Having a big enough water bottle would be key for me Meg. I need hydration LOL…with water, I can trek for hours. Cold, hot, matters not. Just being hydrated is enough. Rocking tips here.

    • Absolutely Ryan, we had a scare in the Aus Outback recently where we had taken 3 bottles of water but it still wasn’t enough. And it’s super scary when you’re exhausted and dehydrated and don’t have any more. Being hydrates is so important :)

      Happy trekking!

  2. Absolutely, those are essential for trekkers.
    If you are planning to trek in Nepal then remember us we care about all of your essentials.

    #happy trekking#trek for health

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Ashim!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post :) Happy trekking!

  3. I really enjoy reading your post Meg. In regards to Manaslu trek, most have waterproof shoe because often need to walk on fresh snow over the Larkya-La pass plus.

    • Thanks for the additional tip Dil :) Glad you enjoyed the post!

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