Hit the Trails: 5 Essentials You Should Bring on Every Hike

Hiking is one of the best ways to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and try to reconnect with nature and its healing properties. Many people notice immediate improvement of their moods and health after regularly going out for a hike.

But, have you ever wondered what makes for a good hike? Well, every hiking enthusiast probably knows that in order to have an adventurous and safe experience they need to bring with them some essential equipment. What exactly are these hiking essentials?

How Should I Prepare for a Day Hike?

To determine what you need to bring on a day hike, you need to consider some important aspects. To help you get prepared for your outdoor adventure, I’ve made a list of some important pieces of hiking gear that you should bring with you before deciding to head out.

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Foldable Pocket Knife

Knives are essential pieces of hiking gear that many people decide to take on their trips. Besides, you never know what can happen when you are out in the wilderness by yourself. Therefore, a foldable pocket knife is a versatile tool to have with you safety-wise.

The more time spent hiking far from civilization, the more you realize how important it is to be prepared for a real survival situation and value the importance of this small but useful equipment. You can notice how a compact knife can help you do various things such as doing tent repairs, processing wood for kindling, and fastening your emergency shelter in case of storms.

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It’s also a great tool in cases of emergencies, like gear preparation and opening food packages, cutting cords, or moleskin from your first aid kit to prevent blisters. This tool is handy and invaluable no matter how long your trip. A foldable pocket knife doesn’t take up much space and is ideal for hiking and backpacking adventures. This knife keeps the sharp edge protected inside the handle when not in use.

You have different types available on the market that differ in their shapes and sizes. Some of the most common materials used for manufacturing them are stainless steel, obsidian, carbon steel, and surgical steel. When it comes to the shape you can choose from wide vintage designs to many new models including canoe-shaped, camper style, pen knife, etc.


As its name implies, a firestarter helps you start a fire quickly which is very helpful especially in wet conditions. With this tool, you can quickly ignite a fire and sustain the heat for more than a few seconds. It is filled with a chemical called paraffin which is non-poisonous and non-hazardous.

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With the aid of this hiking equipment, you can eliminate the need for carrying a lighter or matches to perform all your firing needs in outdoor places. Besides, it is considered the safest method to light up a fire and at the same time the most environmental-friendly. You can buy firestarters in specialized local stores that sell various types of hiking equipment or order it online from the many shops that offer an abundant selection of hiking gear like the handy foldable pocket knife.

Choose Weather Appropriate Clothing

Heading out in nature requires making sure you wear appropriate clothes that are suitable for the climate of the region you’ve decided to go hiking. For cold climate areas, you need to be well prepared with clothes that provide good insulation and keep you protected from the elements.

Therefore, you need to pick a material that is waterproofed and fits your figure snugly. Materials such as merino wool, polyester, and nylon all possess properties to absorb the sweat without making your feel cold throughout your hike. You also need to feel comfortable in the clothes and shoes you wear as this can help you feel flexible on the trail.

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Enough Supplies of Food

Our body runs on fuel. We need food and water for our brain and body to function as a whole and perform at their best. Whether you are taking a quick afternoon hike or planning to go on a long hiking excursion, you need to make sure you have enough food supplies.

The food you choose needs to serve you as fuel and provide you with enough nutrients and vitamins to support you on your most daring adventures. There’s no need to take along heavy canned foods troublesome to open with your chosen pocket knife.

You can bring with you some lightweight, nutritious freeze dried meals, snacks and healthy bars that will satisfy your hunger and give you enough power even during the most challenging hikes and tracks. You can also decide to take with you some fresh fruits or vegetables as these are the best options that can help you recover after a strenuous long hike.

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Navigation Tools

Feeling lost in the woods by yourself doesn’t sound like much fun, so being supplied with the right navigational tools, such as a compass and map, is necessary to keep you oriented on the trail. They’re just as essential as the reliable foldable pocket knife. However, knowing how to use them is a must. While most people usually rely on their smartphone devices that have built-in GPS mode, an old-fashioned map and compass shouldn’t be left out.

As a matter of fact, they prove to be very helpful in case your phone runs out of battery and you need guidance on the road. Knowing how to read a map and navigate a compass are crucial skills, especially when travelling off-trail. If you think you are not confident in knowing how to use them, you may consider taking a class on land navigation so you can become better acquainted and familiar with the basic navigation techniques.