7 Essential items to take on every hike

When going on a long hike, it’s essential to know what to take. Take too much and you are carrying unwanted weight, carry too little and you may leave behind something you really need. 

In this article, we are going to look at the seven outdoor essentials you should definitely take on a hike. 

1. Map and compass

I personally use a compass application on my phone, but I also take a paper map and a compass just in case, as with a phone issue like no signal or running out of battery do occur, and taking extra power banks etc does add to the weight. A map and small compass are small, light and very reliable. 

2. Food and water

Before setting out I usually drink around half a litre of water to hydrate me, then there is a little less to carry also. As a general guide plan for around 2 – 3 cups of water for every 1 – 1.30 hour of hiking. 

Be sure to pack light and perishable food such as:

fruit, vegetables, nuts, energy bars, Sandwiches

This is only a guide and consumption does depend on the person. As always listen to your body, if you get tired then rest, if you get thirsty then drink, if you get hungry then eat. 

3. First aid kit

I believe that all hikers should carry a basic first aid kit, this is not just for you and your group’s safety but also to provide assistance to anyone you may come across that needs help. Take a look at this article )_)_)_)()()_)()_)( where I give a checklist and explain what you should have in your first aid kit. Also, don’t forget to look at our blister care and prevention article here. 

4. Whistle

This is such a seemingly simple and lightweight item, but it can save your life in certain situations. Imagine you run into problems on a trail, you have no phone signal and can’t move very far. A whistle helps to draw attention to your situation, when people hear a whistle deep in the wilderness, they do respond. 

5. Matches / lighter

Trying to make a campfire from scratch with no source of ignition is possible, but it can be a pain and very time consuming especially if you are not used to doing things like that and more so if it’s in wet conditions. Take along a lighter to save your time and energy. 

6. Headlamps

I do like a good headlamp, infact I usually take two and spare batteries, there are some great quality headlamps on the market now, with high power and last a long time. The benefit of the headlamp over a handheld torch is obviously they leave your hands free and the light always follows the direction you are looking. 

7. Torch

Torches generall are higher power than headlamps and can come in more useful for certain terrains and situations. Take a look at some great, lightweight and powerful torches here. 

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