Let’s face it, technology has come a long way in the past couple of years, never mind the last few centuries!
Though hiking has been around since humans could walk, there are many modern accessories that make your trek an easier and more enjoyable experience.
Check out this list of must have items we’ve put together that will take your next adventure to the next level.
Ranging from a couple of bucks to hundreds of dollars in investment, just a simple change (or all of them) might revolutionize the way you hike!
Top Thirteen Items To Take Next Time You Go Hiking
High Protein Snacks
Not only will snack bars packed with protein serve as a handy, easy to transport pick me up, but they’re also scientifically proven to help you work harder and hike better. Throw a few in your pack next time you head out and be sure to stop and rest while you eat them. Otherwise, you’ll have no performance enhancement, but probably get indigestion!
Weight Distribution Backpack
We aren’t saying that rucksacks are a modern invention, but the right one could take you from slow snail to trekking tyrant by minimizing the impact on your back and shoulders. If you can’t quite afford one of these fancy bags, just learning how to pack your regular one more efficiently can improve your hiking speed and stamina.
Forget a big, bulky bottle of water weighing you down. These bags are specifically designed to help you hike hands-free, right down to sipping through an attached straw. You won’t have to stop and rummage through your stuff to find a drink, which means you’ll reach the summit faster and with your thirst totally quenched. Check out https://www.besthydrationpack.org/best-hydration-pack-for-hiking/ to find one that suits you.
Smart Watch/Fitness Tracker
Like we said, some of these are pricey! From the Apple Watch to Fitbit and other less pricey imitations, you can get a fitness tracker that puts your key stats, monitored live right before your eyes, whilst you’re out hiking. From counting steps and tracking your heartbeat to reminding you of important facts and even bringing through unmissable calls or texts, you’ll be able to leave your phone zippered away where it can’t distract you. Do take it out for that all important summit selfie though, obviously. A smart watch can’t take one for you!
For under ten dollars, you can pick up a pair of insoles that will completely change the way you walk, run and hike. Transforming any pair of boots into a comfortable, blister-free set of hiking shoes, you’ll find that not only do you get less (if any) pain or rubbing discomfort, but your overall form and hiking ability improves too! These are especially good to pick up for kids, as it makes them way less likely to whine about their sore toes.
Stay connected even when you’re far, far away from an outlet! By taking a rechargeable battery power bank, you’ll ensure your important smart devices never die on you whilst you’re out in the wilderness. Not only is this convenient and affordable, but it’s also pretty serious, and could be the difference between you – lost in the middle of nowhere – being tracked and found via phone signal. Try and get one with a decent capacity, so you’ll be able to charge several times if necessary.
Okay, some people prefer to take in every aspect of nature when they hike, from the picturesque scenery to all of the sounds of the wilderness. That said, if you prefer to enjoy your favorite music whilst you hike, investing in a pair of wireless buds is a great use of your money. Not only are they smaller and sleeker, but no wires mean nothing that could get caught up or tangled in bushes and branches. It doesn’t have to be music either – you could enjoy a podcast or audiobook whilst you go!
Whilst we advise against going for a night hike regularly without a professional guide, a headlamp will really come in handy. Not just for evening walks, but dark and foggy days and keeping your fellow hikers in sight. Much better than a flashlight or your phone’s inbuilt light, this baby straps to your noggin and puts a bright beam of light right in the direction you’re heading. You might look like a bit of a dork, but hey, at least you won’t fall over!
Multi-tool / Decent Pocket Knife
A lightweight, efficient little multi tool is perfect for the deeper, darker hiking excursions you head out on. A Swiss-Army style knife with other attachments are useful for a variety of tasks whilst out in nature, and will also come in handy if you need to practice self defense. Whether a human or an animal enemy takes you by surprise, you’ll be glad you had one with you!
First Aid Kit
And we’re not talking about a couple of band-aids and some sanitizer. A complete and comprehensive kit with bandages, cleaning solution, wound dressings, creams, slings, and all that jazz. You can get a small and sleek little pouch with absolutely everything you need in and just toss it into your pack, but make sure to check the best before dates on all of the items on a regular basis. Sunscreen with a high enough SPF should also be part of this kit, as well as some emergency shades and a sunhat, for those especially hot and heavy hikes.
Sure, you’re heading out for a trek and not a camping trip, but who knows what could happen? When it’s cold and you’re stranded, you’ll be incredibly grateful that you taught yourself to start a fire, and that you have the means to get one started. Being able to do so safely and responsibly is imperative to protect the environment (especially fragile woodland) so don’t cheap out on these, and definitely practice at home before you start setting things alight in nature! Remember: things can get out of control in only seconds.
For those big, multi-day trips, you’ll already have shelter covered. However, even if you’re only headed out for the afternoon, a lightweight emergency blanket or pop up shelter is always a good idea. Nobody wants to spend the night outside unexpectedly, but things happen, and the right blanket could save your life. These thin, lightweight Mylar blankets offer incredible insulation and keep you sheltered from the weather whilst retaining body heat, so keeping one in your bag could genuinely save your life! Weighing less than a plastic grocery bag, but far more precious and useful, it’s a simple investment that could stop you from freezing to death on the side of a mountain!
Again, we hope you don’t have to use this, but having one could be the difference between you getting rescued and your untimely death. Inexpensive and efficient, they send your immediate location (wherever you are in the world) to designated signal recipients, so you can easily be found and saved no matter how far away you’re stuck. They don’t work on the same signal as your phone, so even when you’re too far away from a cell tower, you’ll be able to call for assistance in an emergency. Plus, if you don’t like taking your smartphone into the wilderness with you, this is a great compromise for your loved ones – you’ll always be able to reach them!