Top 25 Essential Gear for any Hiking Checklist

You finally set aside some time to go hiking. Locked in the day, Googled the heck out of the mountain you intend to climb, obsessed on the weather, and invited your more adventurous friends. But now it’s time to get your gear ready and you're feeling like an amateur...

Did you get ahead of yourself here?

The extensive list below covers the kind of supplies that will prepare you for any day-hike situation in the spring, summer, or fall. Well, except for encountering a pack of wolves – you’re on your own for that one.

Also, since day hikes can turn into overnighters, and since getting lost or injured in the wilderness can be fatal – we've rounded you off with some emergency supplies.

Even if you’re the experienced, “I-hiked-Mount-Whitney-five-times” kind of guy, you might find something new and cool on this list. If not, or if we missed something, let us know in the comments!

Note: While you're at it, you might want to check out our 20 Awesome Camping Gadgets.

Updated: 2 years ago
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Chia Surge Energy Gel Packs
High Performance endurance gel is perfect for extreme activities, sports, or outdoor adventures.
  • 46 bought
First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece Kit

This small, outdoor first aid kit has everything you need... in case the odds are against you.

  • Full-fledged, easy-to-tote first aid softpack
  • Contains essentials
  • Educational cards explain injury treatment
  • 77 bought

ASICS Men's Favorite Short Sleeve Top
Don't underestimate the good value of a simple, yet effective short-sleeve shirt. This lightweight, breathable short- sleeve is perfect for any active sport or exercise. Easy to move about in and has 50+ UPF protection.
  • 17 bought
UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers
In case of the [unlikely] chance of you being stranded outdoors for a night, it is always better to be prepared and have a case of waterproof storm matches, to ensure that you can still build a fire. Better safe than sorry!
  • 33 bought
 SmartWool Hiking Medium Crew Sock for Men
Socks can make a significant difference in any outdoor activity. Even for a simple day hike, you want to be sure you have comfortable, warm and durable socks to keep your feet protective all day long.
  • 18 bought
Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants

The best part about these pants are the convertible option - can be made into shorts!

  • Abrasion resistant
  • The original Stretch 'Zion' fabric with durable water repellent
  • Quick dry stretch nylon performance fabric
  • 32 bought

Rab Stretch Neo Hardshell Jacket
This highly rated hardshell jacket has crossover chest pockets, 2 large interior mesh pockets for storage, and a hood that is compatible for a helmet. Perfect for ice and alpine climbing.
  • 26 bought
Dorcy LED Waterproof Flashlight
The waterproof design is made with a rubber coating that gives it a slip-free grip and extra cushion to absorb shock. It's built to float, in case it is accidentally dropped into the water. It also comes equipped with a tail cap carabineer clip that makes it easy to secure so you know where it is when you need it.
  • 28 bought
North Face Hedgehog Guide Tall GTX Hiking Boot - Men's

We love the North Face Hedgehog hiking boots as it's a lightweight option. It has the Gore-Tex membrane, for waterproof protection and performance. Tough, durable, with synthetic leather, and also has the added ankle support for rugged terrain.

  • 378 bought
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle with 3.0 Sport Cap
We love this water bottle because it is perfect for daily use. It's durable, has a metal interior so it doesn't hold mold or taste. It's perfect for day hikes, sports, camping, or just to carry around with you everyday.
  • 17 bought
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Small, awesome, easy to use and carry water filter. This personal, award-winning device has been used by millions around the globe.

  • Removes bacteria and parasites 
  • Filters up to 1000 liters 
  • Stores perfectly
  • 46 bought

Silva Explorer Compass
This classic compass is great for hikers, as it's a smaller size, fitting comfortably in your hand. Includes two-degree dial graduation, luminous points and a red lanyard.
  • 35 bought
Buck Trio Folding Pocket Knife
3-blade folding knife is convenient for hiking, fishing or an outdoor adventure. It has classic woodgrain handles, and comes with Lifetime warranty. Great for a gift as well!
  • 34 bought
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
This is not just any regular hat. This hat is specifically designed and created for your Sunday afternoon adventures - whether that be hiking, fishing, or exploring, the oversize flap will protect you from the sun but still keep you cool.
  • 38 bought
Keen Targhee II Mid Waterproof Boots
The Keen Targhee hiking shoes are perfect for backpacking and day hiking. They weigh a little over 2 lbs so depending on your taste these might be perfect. They're waterproof with a breathable membrane. These boots have a very roomy toe box with a folding point above the toes.
Chili's First Rate Polarized Sunglasses - Men's
These are affordable polarized sunglasses for men that are sturdy, a good fit, comfortable and provide protection. Good for a outdoor camping trip, as they are rugged and still stylish!
  • 46 bought
Suunto Vector Outdoor Sports Watch with Altimeter Barometer & Compass Functions
Keep track of your rest periods between sets, count the minutes in your HIIT workout, or see how long you can hold that plank position. This outdoor altimeter watch is also useful for backpacking, trekking or mountaineering. Has a nice face and display, which makes it easy to read in intense light. Measures elevation, has an altitude log, and can log your total number of runs.
  • 47 bought
MSR Pocket Rocket Backpacking Stove
This pocket stove is very compact but it doesn't make any compromises for your hiking and outdoor treks. Being lightweight, it fits into the smallest corner of your pack and is very simple to use. No need for preheating - just turn on, light and start cooking!
  • 36 bought
REI Men's Revelcloud Jacket
This synthetic insulated jacket is lightweight, so can easily be stuffed into your backpack for your next outdoor adventure. This outdoor jacket provides lightweight warmth during cold, dry days on the trail. Durable and packable, water and wind resistant!
  • 42 bought
Leatherman Squirt PS4

The Squirt stands out for its compact size, which is perfect if you are hoping to pack light.

  • Stainless steel
  • Outside-accessible tools
  • Key ring attachment
  • 76 bought

Princeton LED Headlamp
Your headlamp for your night hike! Shock resistant with LED lamp type, this is a perfect headlamp for hiking and outdoor activities.
  • 15 bought
Bushnell Binoculars H20 Waterproof 10x26
Compact pair of binoculars are perfect for an outdoor adventure. 100% waterproof, lightweight, and easy to hold when wet, you will never miss a closer look again!
  • 18 bought
Camelbak Products Dart Hydration Backpack
Maximize your time outdoor with this compact hydration kit, holding up to 2 L of water.
  • 27 bought
 Black Diamond Distance Trekking Pole

If you are planning a rigorous hike, taking along trekking poles would be a great idea!

  • A versatile and affordable 
  • Durable aluminum 
  • Lightweight
  • 46 bought

Editor's Choice
Osprey Comet Day Pack
This awesome convenient day pack is comfortable and perfect for day hikes. This Osprey Comet Pack has multiple pockets, including a side zip access panel, stretch woven side pockets for water bottles or shades.
  • 24 bought

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Top 25 Essential Gear for any Hiking Checklist

About the Author

Editor: Health & Active, Fashion & Grooming, Food & Drink

Jamie’s sweet enough to be the girl next door, but with wickedly indescribable edge. She’s smart. She’s sexy. And she knows what men like. Jamie understands what makes a man desirable and also has an eye for the gadgets and gear that discerning gentlemen need.

She’s on her way to a Bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from California State – Fullerton. Jamie spent a few gap years volunteering in Mexico and Brazil first and honing her operational management skills.

She loves her hiking sticks, yoga mat, the smell of a book, cowboy boots and heavy weights. Orange County, California may be where Jamie lives but home is wherever her passport and carry-on travel bag take her.

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