From rugged wilderness to mountain peaks and rainforest trails, what to pack for a hike unquestionably requires careful consideration.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or new to the outdoorsy action, we’ve curated a shopping list of all the must-have essentials so you’re well equipped for your next adventure.
Put In The Prep
Food And Water
You’re exerting a lot of energy on a hike so you’re going to want to stay hydrated. As a minimum, pack a 2 litre water bottle per person, but always consider the length and intensity of the hike because you may want to bring more. Food wise, be sure to take lightweight options that are nutrition-heavy. Energy bars and trail mixes are ideal.
Check the forecast and dress to the conditions but always be prepared for temperamental weather. Consider whether you’re trekking under dense rainforest where it can get quite cool, or high up a mountain where it can be windy. You can get raincoats made from lightweight material that easily fold into a small compartment that won’t take up much space in your bag. Grab women’s rain jackets here and men’s here.
Back To Basics
The Puffer Vest
The versatile vest needs no introduction. It’s the perfect fashion-function combo that can take you from mountain peak to the bar. Bonus? It’s super lightweight and makes for a great alternative if you don’t want to carry a heavy jacket. Shop a selection of women’s vests here and guys shop here.
Made from a special fabric blend known as Polygiene, thermals will keep you warm, dry and for an added bonus: odour free. Similar to your trusty vest, if you layer properly you won’t need to carry a heavy jacket up a mountain. Get women’s base layers here and men’s here.
Your hiking ensemble would not be complete without a pair of hiking boots with plenty of grip so you can walk your favourite trails with ease. Your socks are just as important for a comfortable hike so choose synthetic or wool socks to avoid blisters and always take a spare pair. Get women’s socks here and men’s here.
A backpack is an absolute must for day hikes. You’re going to want a bag made from lightweight material that’s fitted with multi-compartments (like side water bottle holders so you can easily reach around for a sip of water without slowing down). Look for something with adjustable straps and a waist buckle so you can fit the pack to your body—this is key to protecting your back and shoulders and avoiding unnecessary injury.
A hat is an obvious sun-safe accessory for any outdoor activity. From neck covers to sweat-wicking capability and a durable water repellent finish, these hats are as fashion-forward as they are functional. Get women’s hats here and men’s here.
These are the sporting heroes you need perched on your nose and featuring in your next mountain peak selfie. Think futuristic wrap-arounds, flexible and rubberised frames, and colourful lenses. Get women’s sunglasses here and men’s shades here.
Whether you’re hiking to a mountain peak at sunrise or returning from an all-day hike at dusk, a head torch is always a good idea. Even if you’re only heading out on what you think will be a few hours, sometimes you can get delayed or misjudge how long a hike will take you, so throw one into your day pack just in case.
When stepping into remote wilderness you need to be prepared for possible injury or survival situations. From gauze and bandages to insect repellent, you’ll be surprised by how much can fit into small first aid kits. Some survival kits even come with a fire flint, rain ponchos, emergency blankets and more. Shop first aid kits here.
For those longer hikes, walking poles help to disperse your weight to your upper body so you can relieve strain on your legs. If you’re going on a mountain hike, many trails require scrambling to the peak, and walking poles are hugely helpful to maintain stability in these situations.
Now that you're ready to go, here are these best hikes in and around:
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Image credit: Micky Wiswedel.