Must-Have Hiking and Camping Essentials


Many people going on a camping trip for the first time do not know what it means to be fully prepared for the trip.

While they have major stuff like the camping tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and camping stoves and packs, it is still imperative to master the finer details when you go on a camping or hiking trail or you may end up having backaches, frostbite or blisters. To help you prepare for the emergency situations when you are outdoors, here is an updated list of must-haves for your camping and hiking trips.

Appropriate Footwear

Come rain or shine, camping or hiking shoes are must-haves both for comfort and protection. Odd-fitting footwear will leave you with blisters ruining the very fun of the camping trip. If you are staying overnight and have plans to camp a tent, pack something airy like flip-flops to allow your feet to breathe some fresh air.

Keep the Temperature in Mind

Mountain weather can be unpredictable in backcountry and appropriate preparation should be a primary concern. Ask yourself what you need to survive in the worst weather conditions. Carry additional layers of clothing including underwear and pack some extra socks together with a synthetic jacket or a vest to insulate properly.

First Aid Kit

While nobody wants to think about being injured on a camping trip, chances of falling and bruising are high on these trips. In such a case, you’ll surely be glad to bring a first aid kit for the outdoors. It is more useful if you have kids on the trip as they get more excited on such trips and prone to little mishaps like cuts and scrapes.

Hydration Packs

Hiking is a strenuous activity and staying properly hydrated at all times is very important. Hydration packs make drinking water more convenient and efficient. Carry a collapsible water reservoir together with a water bottle and pack portable water filter or purifier for treating water.

Food Supplies

Always pack easy-to-carry and easy-to-cook food supplies that have extra storage life for your camping and hiking trips. The rule of thumb is to pack a day’s worth of extra food in case of emergency. While energy bars and dried fruits are needed to energize you, canned foods, freeze-dried meals and no-cook food items will always come in handy during these trips.

Sun Protection

While sun glasses and sunscreens (with SPF more than 30) are essentials of any camping backpack, you may also need to pack some clothes to protect yourselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays while outdoors. Throw in some sun protection clothes including shirts and a hat and feel comfortable while you soak yourself in the sun.

Other Hiking and Camping Essentials

While the list is endless, you may need to pack other essential accessories including a compass, GPS, two-way radios (extra pack of batteries of course), camping paracord, army camper pocket knife, weather proof lighters, headlights and flashlights, and repair or kit tools. While you may not use all these in your trip, it is always better safe than to be sorry.


Whether it is one-day trip or for a few days, you need to pack right for your camping trip and keep everything well-organized. Compartmentalize all the stuff according to their need for easy accessibility and distribution. Above all, you need two things that won’t fit in your backpack but are critical to have – knowledge and skills. Without them, your trip won’t be as simple and pleasant as you expect it to be.