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Encyclopedia > Hiking equipment

Hiking equipment is what one needs to take along to go on an outdoors hiking trip. This list does not cover general travel equipment, such as passport, contact lenses, travel books or contraceptives (although those can be needed according to personal and local circumstances). What one should bring along depends very much on the type of hike, so one should make a selection of the following, based on that. Is it a daytrip or an overnight trip, what facilities can one expect, are there rivers and is the water potable, what are the expected weather conditions (check the latest weather report) and how quickly can conditions change (especially important in mountainous regions)? Two hikers in the Mount Hood National Forest Eagle_Creek hiking Hiking is a form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery. ...

Even for a day trip it makes sense to pack at least rudimentary solutions for staying the night, in case of emergencies. Also always let someone know where you are going and for how long, especially when hiking alone.

Other considerations are weight and bulk. Some items, like a whistle, may seem unlikely to become necessary, but can be real life savers when they do and weigh next to nothing, while others, like a sleeping bag, can also be important but can also be very restricting, so a simpler alternative like an extra layer of clothing might be a better idea.

First of all, of course, one needs something to carry the equipment in. This can be simple fisherman's jacket or a daypack for short hikes, or a full backpack. A backpack A backpack is, in its simplest form, a cloth sack carried on ones back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders and below the armpits. ...


Basic equipment

  • Pocket knife
  • Electric torch plus spare batteries and bulb
  • Map(s)
  • Compass - roughly knowing which way is North can already make a huge difference
  • First aid kit
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Tinder - plus knowledge how to start a fire. In emergencies, a campfire can be one of the biggest life savers (warmth and signalling) and it is not as easy to make as some might think. A fire also keeps up the spirits, which can also be a life saver.
  • Candles
  • Water flask, plus water if needed
  • Water purification - tablets and/or filter
  • Food - preferably with a low water content to keep the weight down (if water is readily available on the spot)
  • Plastic bags of various types and sizes to keep things dry. Ziploc bags are very practical because they are easily closed and opened. Garbage bags can be used to line the backpack with, but also to put in one's shoes to keep the feet warm, even when the socks are already wet.
  • Insect repellent
  • Mat - even a small thin one can make a difference in emergencies
  • Sleeping bag (and/or liner)
  • Clothes - best worn in layers, so one can easily adapt to changing circumstances. So two thin sweaters make more sense than one thick one. Also, on overnight trips, keep one set of clothes dry for evenings and nights (eg a jogging suit) and put the dayclothes back on before you start walking, even if they are wet. You will thank yourself for that during the next evening.
  • A warm hat or cap - even when no cold weather is expected. Per weight and volume, this is the best insulator because a lot of body heat escapes through the head ("If your feet are cold, put on a hat").
  • Big handkerchief - for various purposes, such as a rough water filter, a thin scarf or a bandana to keep the sweat out of one's eyes (should be big enough for that purpose).
  • Rain jacket or parka - preferably either one that fits over the backpack or accompanied by a separate pack liner
  • Boots - worn in boots, that is! Often heavy boots with soles with a thick profile and high heels are recommended to avoid twisted ankles after a misstep, which is one of the worst things that can happen to a solo hiker. However, heavy boots put a lot of weight where it is least desirable and are thus exhausting. A less popular alternative philosophy is to use light trainers with thin soles so one can feel the ground one walks on and avoid making missteps in the first place.
  • Socks - as with boots, special attention should be given to socks (eg, no irritating ridge above the toes). Footwear is obviously essential for long distance walking.
  • Toilet paper or paper napkins - also handy as kindling
  • Sun cream and sun glasses - may be essential for those who are easily sunburnt, eg fair skinned people who rarely go outside. Especially on snow, water or (to a lesser degree) sand. The reflection of snow can lead to snow blindness.

A pocket knife is a type of folding knife with a blade that fits inside the handle. ... A map is a simplified depiction of a space which highlights relations between components (objects, regions) of that space. ... Compass in a wooden box A compass (or mariners compass) is a navigational instrument for finding directions on the earth. ... First aid kit of the French Army A first aid kit is a collection of supplies and equipment for use in giving first aid, particularly in a medical emergency. ... Household safety matches burning match A match is a simple and convenient means of producing fire under controlled circumstances and on demand. ... A lighter is a portable device used to create a flame. ... From Old English tynder, easily combustible material used for starting a fire. ... Wikibooks Transwiki has more about this subject: Campfire A campfire in a fire pit A campfire is a fire lit at a campsite, usually in a fire ring. ... A collection of lit candles on ornate candlesticks A close-up image of a candle showing the wick and the various regions of the flame. ... Water purification is the removal of contaminants from raw water to produce drinking water that is pure enough for human consumption or for industrial use. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Ziploc is a brand of disposable, re-sealable plastic bags and containers originally developed by Dow Chemical Company, and now produced by S. C. Johnson & Son. ... Commercial insect repellents. ... In camping, a sleeping pad is a simple device often used in conjunction with a sleeping bag. ... A sleeping bag is a protective bag for a person to sleep in, analogous to a bed and blanket. ... (See also List of types of clothing) Introduction Humans often wear articles of clothing (also known as dress, garments or attire) on the body (for the alternative, see nudity). ... There are many different styles of hats. ... Categories: Stub ... This article is about the article of clothing. ... Boots is the name of at least five different albums and singles: Boots by Nancy Sinatra (1966) Boots by Mighty Gabby (1984) Boots by Condemned Eighty Four (2001) Boots by KMFDM (2002) Boots by Noe Venable (2003) It is also the name of a large chain of chemists in the... Trainer may refer to: An aircraft used for training pilots A padded sports shoe (trainer is used commonly in British English where sneaker would be used in American English). ... SOCKS is an Internet protocol that allows client-server applications to transparently use the services of a network firewall. ... A roll of toilet paper. ... Sunscreen or sunblock is a lotion that is applied to reduce skin damage by blocking ultraviolet radiation from the sun. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Snowblind redirects here. ...

Worth considering

  • Tent and/or ground sheet - the sheet (plus a rope) can be a simple substitute for a tent.
  • Bivvy bag or space blanket - a simple substitute for both a tent and a sleeping bag, mostly to keep out wind and rain.
  • Hammock - especially popular in the tropics, to stay away from most creepy crawlies
  • Pillow - small or big, preferably inflatable because of bulk (possibly neck pillow). Can be improvised on with clothes or backpack.
  • Mosquito net
  • String - for all sorts of purposes, such as a clothes line
  • Rope - various lengths and girths, for various purposes, eg para rope
  • Fishing line and fishing hooks - extremely light weight, but potentially a life saver. The fishing line is also very versatile (eg for repairing boots)
  • Machete - may be frowned upon or even confiscated in National Parks, but can be essential when one wishes or needs to go off the beaten track, where one may encounter thick vegetation. Also very handy for construction and collecting firewood. Can also double as a spade.
  • Cooking pot or billy
  • Stove and fuel - can be as simple as an Esbit cooker.
  • Spoon and possibly other eating utensils
  • Rain pants
  • Sarong, shawl or other large cloth - for various purposes, such as a (spare) towel or sleeping sheet (or sleeping bag liner)
  • Scarf - can double as a headdress
  • Gloves
  • Flip flops or sandals - for the evenings or night visits to the toilet (or what ever passes for that)
  • Towel - can double as a scarf or head dress (against the cold)
  • Soap and shampoo - can be frowned upon in National Parks. Preferably bio-degradable. Use sparingly and away from lakes and rivers.
  • Sewing kit
  • Heliograph - a mirror with a hole in it for signalling airplanes. Requires knowledge of how to use it.
  • GPS
  • Walking stick
  • Notebook
  • Earplugs - some forests can be noisy, especially cicadas in the tropics
  • Elastic bands - varios sizes and girths for various purposes
  • Gaffer tape - for quick repairs
  • Condoms - one condom can hold about a liter of water
  • Radio - eg to listen to weather reports
  • Tweezers (if not already in pocket knife) - for removing thorns and such.
  • Spade - for various purposes, eg to dig a cathole.
  • Snacks - preferably of the healthy kind, as emergency 'power food'.

A tent is a shelter, consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over or attached to a frame of poles and/or ropes. ... A space blanket is a blanket designed to be used in emergency situations to reduce heat loss from a persons body. ... The hammock is a device used to sleep or rest in. ... A pile of pillows A pillow is a type of bedding— a small (and usually soft) support for the head, usually used while sleeping in a bed, or for the body as used on a couch or chair. ... A mosquito net offers protection against mosquitos, flies, and other insects, and thus against diseases such as malaria. ... Twine is modern electronic music composed by Chad Mossholder and Greg Malcolm. ... Coils of rope used for long-line fishing A rope (IPA: ) is a length of fibers, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. ... Fishing line is any cord made for fishing. ... Different hook types Different hook sizes (not to scale) A fishing hook is a hook used to catch fish. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, UK A national park is a reserve of land, usually declared and owned by a national government, protected from most human development and pollution. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Cookware and bakeware. ... A billycan, more commonly known simply as a billy or occasionally as a billy can, is the traditional Australian utensil for boiling water, making tea and cooking anything liquid on a campfire. ... A stove is a heat-producing device. ... Esbit is a solid fuel in tablet form, which is used by campers and hobbyists. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section can be improved by converting lengthy lists to text. ... A village chief in Thailand relaxes in the early evening. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A Scarf joint is a means of joining usually wood, sometimes metal, end to end. ... A glove (Middle English from Old English glof) is a type of garment which covers the hand. ... Various kinds of flip-flops, from cheap foam/plastic to leather In footwear and fashion, flip-flops are a kind of flat, backless sandal that consist of a flat sole held on the foot by a u-shaped strap that passes between the first (big) and second toes and around... Sandal (or Sandals) may refer to: Sandal (footwear) are an open type of footwear. ... A towel is a piece of absorbent fabric or paper used for drying or wiping. ... Soap most commonly appears in bar form. ... Several shampoos on a shower window Shampoo (Hindi: शम्पू) is a hair care product used for the removal of oils, dirt, skin particles, environmental pollution and/or other contaminant particles that gradually build up in hair. ... Signaling with heliograph, 1910 A heliograph uses a mirror to reflect sunlight to a distant observer. ... Over fifty GPS satellites such as this NAVSTAR have been launched since 1978. ... A walking stick (or two) is a tool used by many people to ease pressure on the legs when walking. ... A spiral-bound notebook A notebook (also notepad, writing pad, etc. ... An earplug is a piece of protective clothing that is meant to be inserted in the ear canal to protect the wearers hearing from loud noises or the intrusion of water. ... Genera Many. ... Rubber bands A rubber band (in some regions known as a binder and in others as an elastic) is a short length of rubber formed in the shape of a loop. ... Gaffer (Gaffa) tape Gaffer tape (also, gaffers tape, gaffa tape, gaff tape, gaffing tape, or cloth tape) is a tough, fabric backed adhesive tape used in the movie and entertainment industry and elsewhere. ... A 67 m long condom on the Obelisk of Buenos Aires, Argentina, part of an awareness campaign for the 2005 World AIDS Day A condom is a device, usually made of latex, or more recently polyurethane, that is used during sexual intercourse. ... Using tweezers to remove a tick Tweezers are tools used for picking up small objects that are not easily managed or handled with the human hands. ... Rusty spade small spade for clay soil; the other one for sandy soil and loamy soil A spade is a tool fit for digging, or something resembling that. ... A snack food is seen in Western culture as a type of food that is not meant to be eaten as part of one of the main meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, supper). ...

Special interests

Porro-prism binoculars with central focusing Binocular telescopes, or binoculars, are two identical or mirror-symmetrical telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point accurately in the same direction, one to be viewed through each of the users eyes to present the viewer with a greater sense of... Birding or birdwatching is a hobby concerned with the observation and study of birds (the study proper is termed American origin; birdwatching is (or more correctly, was) the commonly-used word in Great Britain and Ireland and by non-birders in the United States. ... A camera is a device used to take pictures (usually photographs), either singly or in sequence, with or without sound recording, such as with video cameras. ... Gaiters are a type of protective clothing for a persons ankles and legs below the knee. ... Ice axe 1 - pick 2 - head 3 - adze 4 - leash 5 - leash stop 6 - shaft with rubber grip 7 - spike An ice axe is a versatile mountaineering tool that practically every mountaineer will carry. ... Snowshoers in Bryce Canyon Snowshoes are a form of footwear devised for travelling over snow. ...


  • The Tropical Traveller by John Hatt
  • Backpacking - One step at a time by Harvey Manning

A mover and a shaker who is very fond of the Isaguagh Alps area He and his hiking buddies helped name trails and monuments on courger MT. This made the trails and land marks real and valuable and was one reason that the King county regianal wildland park was establisted. ...

See also



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