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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: 3 months ago

25Chia Surge Energy Gel Packs

Chia Surge Energy Gel Packs
High Performance endurance gel is perfect for extreme activities, sports, or outdoor adventures.  Learn more »

24First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece Kit

First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece Kit
When on any outdoor adventure - better safe than sorry! Small outdoor first aid kit with everything you need, in case the odds are against you.  Learn more »

23ASICS Men's Favorite Short Sleeve Top

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.  Learn more »

22UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers

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!  Learn more »

21 SmartWool Hiking Medium Crew Sock for Men

 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.  Learn more »

20Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants

Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants
We love these pants because they are comfortable, versatile for either sports or casual wear, have great pockets and are a great fit. The best part about these pants are the convertible option - can be made into shorts!  Learn more »

19Rab Stretch Neo Hardshell Jacket

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.  Learn more »

18Dorcy LED Waterproof Flashlight

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. Learn more »

17North Face Hedgehog Guide Tall GTX Hiking Boot - Men's

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.  Learn more »

16Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle with 3.0 Sport Cap

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.  Learn more »

15LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

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. It can filter up to 1000 liters of contaminated water without using drops, iodine, chlorine or other chemicals. Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for emergencies.  Learn more »

14Silva Explorer Compass

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.  Learn more »

13Buck Trio Folding Pocket Knife

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!  Learn more »

12Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

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. Learn more »

11Keen Targhee II Mid Waterproof Boots

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.  Learn more »

10Chili's First Rate Polarized Sunglasses - Men's

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!  Learn more »

9Suunto Vector Outdoor Sports Watch with Altimeter Barometer & Compass Functions

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.  Learn more »

8MSR Pocket Rocket Backpacking Stove

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! Learn more »

7REI Men's Revelcloud Jacket

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!  Learn more »

6Leatherman Squirt PS4

Leatherman Squirt PS4
The Squirt stands out for its compact size, which is perfect if you are hoping to pack light. Even though it is the smallest in the Leatherman world, it is still just as strong and the blades just as sharp.  Learn more »

5Princeton LED Headlamp

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.  Learn more »

4Bushnell Binoculars H20 Waterproof 10x26

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!  Learn more »

3Camelbak Products Dart Hydration Backpack

Camelbak Products Dart Hydration Backpack
Maximize your time outdoor with this compact hydration kit, holding up to 2 L of water.  Learn more »

2 Black Diamond Distance Trekking Pole

 Black Diamond Distance Trekking Pole
If you are planning a rigorous hike, taking along trekking poles would be a great idea! These hiking poles are versatile and have the stable Z-Pole design to hold up everyday-use by hikers, trail runners or backpackers.  Learn more »

1Osprey Comet Day Pack

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.  Learn more »

Discuss This

  1. Professor XXX
    I've got a few of the items in this list. I don't leave home without my CamelBak.
    5 months ago
  2. David Schreiner
    So I need to spend $1606.61 to go hiking? How about a map, re-use a gatorade bottle, bandana, sturdy shoes, lightweight long pants and long sleeve shirt? A single pocket knife, lighter and a little knowledge.
    5 months ago
  3. I agree with David...still, nothing better than a good pair of hiking boots.
    5 months ago
  4. Professor XXX
    Anybody have any experience with #14, the knife?
    5 months ago
  5. Thai Tan
    5 months ago
  6. Nick Mack
    Very cool list.
    5 months ago

About the Author

Man Stuff Expert, Product Editorial Director, Happy Person

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. As Faveable's man stuff expert, she manages fitness, outdoors, girls and fashion.

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.