Backpack Essentials for the Beginner Hiker

More and more people are finding themselves out trekking through the trails.  Hiking is a great source of exercise and can be a lot of fun. Are you a beginner hiker looking to start hitting the open trails?  We can help you get started.

If you plan to be out hiking for more than a few hours we recommend you bring a backpack with you.  Today, backpacks come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. They type of backpack you choose will depend on what you plan to do.  Day hikes of just a few miles. Or, do you plan to do overnight hiking with camping.

Now, what do you put in your backpack?  What are the backpack essentials? No worries, we have you covered.  Here is a list of basic backpack essentials for you to get started with.

Map

Most trails will have maps available to you at the trail head.  This includes local trails, State trails, and national trails. It is a great idea to grab one before you head on off down the trail.  Especially if you are a beginner hiker. Even if you are familiar with the area, grab a map. If you find yourself turned around out in the woods you will be glad you have it.  A copy of the trail map will help keep you directed.

Compass

Just in case you decide to venture off the beaten path.  Plus, some trails may not have maps available. Having a compass on hand will be helpful if you need some directional help.  We recommend the compass as one of your backpack essentials whether you are a beginner hiker or experienced.

Sunglasses – Sunscreen – Insect Spray

Always a good idea to add sunglass, sunscreen and insect spray to your list of backpack essentials.  The sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. So will the sunscreen. We also have insect spray on our list of backpack essentials.  Warding off pesky bugs, bees, horse flies can make your hike much more enjoyable.

Extra Clothing

An extra set of clothing is always a good thing to have in your backpack.  If you get caught in the rain, or have to cross any water you will be glad to have clothing in your backpack.  It can save your day! Or you hike. Especially if you find yourself in need of dry socks. It is not fun to be out hiking in wet clothing.

Headlamp or Flashlight

Add a headlamp or flashlight to your backpack.  For overnight hikes, you will definitely need it.  For day hikes, it is great to have on hand just in case.

First Aid Supplies

Having a first aid kit in your backpack really is essential.  You never know what can happen out there. Maybe it’s just a blister, or you need a band aide.  This is a must-have for every backpack.

Fire Starter & Matches

These are a definite must-have on the list of backpack essentials.  Especially if you are planning an overnight trip. But, we find it just makes practical sense to have them on hand.  Better to have them and not need them. Than to need them and not have them.

 

Jim Sabellico

Jim Sabellico

Jim Sabellico is the founder of TakeMeCamping.org, and an avid outdoors fan who loves traveling the world with his family, cooking over an open campfire and all things outdoorsy. When Jim isn't camping, he's running his marketing agency J. Louis.

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