Hiking Checklist: What to Bring on An Outdoor Adventure

Are you preparing to go on your first outdoor adventure? Read this hiking checklist first to learn everything you need to pack prior to your trip. 

Going on a hike, especially for the first time, can be a really exciting moment. Heading out for a hike is an excellent way to explore nature, release some stress, and connect with your surroundings. 

But, you’ve also probably heard a lot of news stories with headlines similar to something like “Search And Rescue Mission To Find Unprepared Hikers Who Got Lost.” Now you probably think that it will never happen to you, right? Well, it can happen to any hiker that leaves for outdoor adventures without proper preparation, tools, clothing, and so on. Whether you want to go deep into the mountains or stay somewhere closer to your home, you still need to prepare before heading out the door. 

To help you figure out what to bring with you on a hike, we’ve created a hiking checklist. Keep reading below to find out more! 

A hiking checklist will make ure you don’t forget any essentials for your next hiking trip! Image source: unsplash

A proper hiking backpack

The first thing you’ll need on your hike, and to prepare for it, it’s a proper hiking backpack. When you’re going on a walk in the park, any backpack will do. Yet, when you’re going into the “wild” for an entire day, or even longer, you need a backpack that will help you go through this adventurous experience, not inconvenience you. What’s more, it should also help you carry all the things you bring with you without feeling their actual weight. Plus, it should be spacious enough to allow you to carry enough stuff to be prepared for any type of unexpected situation.  

The must-have features of hiking backpacks that are essential to help you out on your hike include: 

  • A fully adjustable suspension system
  • Quick access to outer pockets 
  • External straps and loops
  • An easy-to-open system
  • An internal compartment for a hydration system
  • Integrated rain cover
  • A small detachable backpack

Weather appropriate clothing

Once you have a proper hiking backpack, it is time to fill it in with things you’ll definitely use during your adventure and things that you need to take with you just in case an unexpected situation arises. 

One of these things that you need to pack for your hike is weather-appropriate clothing. Obviously, you’ll be wearing hiking clothes that match the weather on the day. Yet, you might only regret not taking some “just in case” extra clothes. You’ll never regret having them with you. If you know that the climate in your area, or the area you’re visiting, is pretty unpredictable, you should definitely pack some extra clothes, both warm and thin clothes. 

In case the temperature drops, it starts raining, or the wind comes strong unexpectedly, it would be better if you’d have a fleece and lightweight waterproof jacket with you. Also, you should have a moisture-wicking hiking t-shirt with you in case the temperatures go higher than you were expecting them to. 


Outdoor adventures are very unpredictable, and sometimes they bring some unexpected events, whether that means a sudden change in the weather conditions or as worse as getting lost in the woods in the dark. These are risks that all hikers take. But, you still have to be prepared for anything that may happen. 

So, there are a few accessories that you should take with you on your hike because they can make your life so much easier in situations you may not expect to stumble upon when you first start your journey. Here’s what else you should pack: 

  • Sunglasses- You may have expected a rainy day, but the weather had different plans, and the sun is shining brighter than ever. A pair of hiking sunglasses can help you a lot. 
  • Neck warmer- If the wind comes strong in some regions of the trail you’re following, a neck warmer can help protect you against biting wind, dust, insects, and even harmful UV rays. 
  • Hat or men toque- A hat or men toque can also prove useful in case the weather isn’t exactly as you expected it to be. For example, if the day gets too sunny, a hat will protect you from harsh UV rays and keep your head cooler or, if temperatures drop, will keep your head and ears warm on your hike. 
  • Gloves- A pair of gloves may also come in handy (literally) in case you have to endure temperatures lower than you were expecting. They will protect your hands from the cold, wind, rainwater, or even snow. 
  • An extra pair of shoes- Damaging your hiking boots while you’re well deep into the mountains on a difficult trail can be a terrible experience. But if you have an extra pair of shoes, even if they aren’t that suitable for hiking, it could save the day. 
  • Pajama- If you’re taking a longer hike, you’ll also need to sleep in your camping tent because walking in the woods or into the mountains during the night is definitely not safe. So, make sure to also pack some mens pajamas in Canada so that you can sleep comfortably after a long hiking day. 
  • Portable charger- being stuck on a hiking trail with 0 battery and no clue where to go next. So, make sure to bring a portable charger with you. 

Plenty of water and food

It may be obvious, but it is still worth mentioning: you need enough water and food when you go into the wild because:

  • You need to stay properly hydrated.
  • Have enough energy to continue your hike.
  • Be prepared in case your outdoor adventure prolongs.

Make sure to pack enough of: 

  • Water 
  • Energy drinks 
  • Snacks like protein bars 
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruits 
  • Canned food

First-aid kit

A first-aid kit is a must-have thing in your hiking backpack. Hiking is an adventurous activity, meaning that there are some potential risks that can happen, from a simple scratch to a hand or foot sprain. A first-aid kit includes enough tools to treat the wound or get primary medical treatment in case of a more severe accident. 

Include insect repellent and sun protection in your first-aid kit as well because you may need both while you are in the wild. 

A map and trusty compass

Last but not least, you should never go hiking without packing proper navigation tools. When you are deep into the mountains or into the woods, the right way to go isn’t that easy to guess. So, you need tools that will show you the way, such as a map and a trusty compass. If there’s broadband coverage in the area you’re visiting, technical tools such as a GPS device or phone apps are also excellent options. 

What are your hiking essentials?



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