This is an extensive list of Hiking Gear, Tech & Accessories
All the way from novice to seasoned hiker, gear and equipment are always important to the success of your hike.
Whether you want to take just the basics or would like to be super prepared for every event, this list will cover your every need (with a few items people always forget).
Go ahead and read through the list. It could also give you some ideas for gifts, and be sure to share your favourite.
The 115 Hiking Gear Ideas Are Listed Below
I’ve split the ideas into different sections for ease of reading. Feel free to let me know if you think of any more!
Essential Hiking Gear & Accessories
1. Hiking Boots
You’re gonna be walking, so a good-fitting pair of hiking boots is pretty essential. Boots protect from ankle rolling and will make walking over long distances much more comfortable than in normal sports shoes.
2. Hiking Backpack
A hiking backpack is necessary to carry all the items you’ll need on your hike, whether it’s a day or multi-day hike you’re doing.
3. Water Bottle
Hydration is super important when hiking. The amount of water you need to take depends on body weight, temperature and length of hike. Water bottles come in many different shapes, sizes and materials.
4. Clothing For the Weather Conditions
Depending on whether you are summer or winter hiking, this can include…
- A Coat (warm/waterproof/windproof)
- Base Layers (shirt or t-shirt)
- Trousers or Shorts
At some point while hiking, you’re gonna need to eat! Obviously, the length of hike determines what you take, but always be prepared just in case things don’t go to plan.
Hiking Gear for Summer
- Sun Cream
- Sun Glasses
- Sun Hat
6. Sun Cream/Block
Any time out in the sun (even if it’s cloudy) you’ll want to protect your skin. At high altitudes, the UV levels can be higher and even if it’s not such a sunny day, you can still get burnt.
7. Sun Glasses
A comfortable pair of sunglasses that still allow you to see where you are placing your feet are useful when in strong sun.
8. Sun Hat
If you don’t opt for sunglasses, a sun hat is a good alternative. Or you could go for both! A sun hat provides greater protection for your whole face.
Hiking Gear for Winter
- Glove Liners
- Winter Hat
- Winter Goggles
- Snow Spikes
- Hand Warmer
- Heated Clothing
Protection from the cold in winter is very important. Consider whether the gloves you buy are waterproof and how thick they are. There is a pay-off between finger dexterity and thickness/warmth of the golves.
10. Glove Liners
Glove liners add an extra layer of warmth to your hands. They are often tighter fitting than the gloves themselves so hold in the heat better. If your gloves are thin and offer good dexterity, glove liners can help increase the warmth without the compromise of losing hand movement.
11. Winter Hat
Depending on how much you feel the cold, a hat is an option – especially for those with less hair! We lose a lot of heat through the head, so wearing a winter hat can help keep you warm.
12. Winter Goggles
When the weather gets really bad goggles help you keep your eyes open – of course, you need to see where you’re walking. Coloured lenses also help with winter sun glare.
13. Crampons / Snow Spikes
Crampons, snow spikes or grips are great for when the ground freezes. Less for snow, but more for ice under the snow, or when snow melts and re-freezes overnight.
14. Hand Warmer
Electric or single-use hand warmers are as you’d expect…when your hands get cold, you can use these to warm them up. Or any other part of your body if you feel inclined.
15. Heated Clothing
From hats to jackets, modern technology allows us to produce heated clothing. It tends to be more expensive than regular stuff, but if you find yourself getting extra cold, heated garments could be for you!
- Route Apps
- Hiking Watch
- GPS Device
- Mobile Phone
Ordinance survey, route or hiking maps are very useful if your hike is long and poorly marked.
17. Route/Hiking Apps
There are many Apps on the market today both for Android and iPhone that allow you to plan and navigate your hiking route. Many of these Apps have user-generated trails, so you can upload your own route too.
18. Hiking Watch
Many of the more expensive hiking watches now offer navigation too. Although their screens tend to be small, a hiking watch is a quick and easy way to see if you are on track!
If you’re into more rustic / old-style hiking trips, then a compass may be your thing. Use the compass to make sure you remain on track, even in bad weather when you can’t see landmarks.
20. Dedicated GPS Navigation Device
These are a great alternative to a paper map. They offer a large screen and storage capacity for many maps, plus they have GPS and a compass built in.
21. Walkie Talkie / Two-Way Radio
Walkie-talkies and two-way radios are important for when mobile / cell phone reception disappears in those hard-to-reach areas. Consider taking a couple for your group or to allow you to contact someone in the case of an emergency.
22. Smartphone / Mobile Phone
Smartphones allow you to do a lot these days. You can download many apps for navigation and they usually have built-in GPS so you can see where you are.
A torch is a good thing to remember if you feel you may be hiking towards the end of the day. Remember that you never know when there may be delays and you may get stuck longer than expected on your trail.
Camping Gear For Your Hike
- Sleeping Bag
- Ground Mat
- Mini Stove
- Tinned Food
- Tent Slippers
If you intend to sleep overnight and are not going to go “open-air”, then you’ll need to take a tent with you. Consider the weight of the tent you buy so that it doesn’t weigh you down over a long distance.
25. Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag is an essential hiking item to keep you warm at night as the air cools down. There are different “season” sleeping bags for different temperatures. The warmth of a sleeping bag is often quoted as 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 season. The lower the number, the warmer temperatures the sleeping bag is designed for, and this often means that it is lighter as well. Sometimes sleeping bag warmth is measured by tog value as well.
26. Ground Mat
These are either made from foam or can often be inflatable (blow up) as well. A ground mat with give you more comfortable contact with the ground and also help insulate you so that you don’t lose heat throughout the night.
27. Mini Stove
If you plan to cook hot food, then you’re gonna need a stove. Bear in mind that it has to fit in your backpack, so we want to think as small as possible. There are lots of options these days that are designed as light and convenient as possible for hikers.
28. Tinned Food
If you are going to be staying overnight, tinned food is a great option – Either for your stove or food that can be eaten straight from the tin.
29. Lamp / Lantern
When it gets dark you need to see! A lamp or lantern for your tent or nearby tree is very useful to add a bit of light. Consider different colour bulbs to avoid attracting insects.
A lighter is always a useful, small and light thing to have with you. You may want to light a fire, or your stove may require an external light to get it going.
For some people this may be an essential in their hiking backpack, but a knife is always useful to have. Consider a Swiss Army knife which is often full of different blades as tools. For example, many have a tin opener and a saw.
A pillow to rest your head on at night is always going to make sleeping more comfortable. There are various options, but inflatable ones make the most sense these days to avoid bulk in your backpack.
32. Tent Shoes / Flip Flops
Tent slippers are less of an essential for most people. However, they offer you the advantage of keeping your boots off inside your tent while still covering your feet. This can help with keeping your feet warm but also stops you needing to put your boots back on if you need to pop outside. Flip-flops can also be used to achieve the same thing.
- Energy Bars
- Energy Gels
- Trail Mix
- Dried Fruit
33. Energy Bars
Bars are usually the quickest option for short hikes. There are many different brands offering you different nutrition. Some are more fat-based and some are more carbohydrate-based. Typical ingredients are nuts, seeds and oats. Some bars also have added vitamins and minerals.
34. Flapjacks / Oat bars
Depending on where you live, these are different things. Flapjacks are British oat bars made with golden syrup. In other countries, they can be referred to as oat bars, oat slices, cereal bars or muesli bars. Whatever you call them, flapjacks are a good source of energy either store-bought or homemade.
35. Energy Gels
Energy gels are more of a modern concept and basically pure sugar in gel form. The advantages of gels are that they are light and deliver quick energy to your body without being heavy on the digestive system.
36. Sweets / Sugar Candy
Sweets made entirely of sugar are another quick, easy and cheap option to take on a hike with you. An example could be Haribo.
Nuts are a common snack that people tend to take on hikes. Because they are high in fat, nuts pack in a lot of energy. Contrary to what most people think though, they are not going to provide the quick energy that more sugar-based snacks will give you.
38. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a combination of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. You get a mix of fat and sugar plus a lot of calories from just a small handful of trail mix which is probably why it’s so popular.
39. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is another popular option as a hiking snack. It’s high in sugar and offers that boost when you need it. Common dried fruits are banana slices, dates, raisins and apricots.
The good old banana is a great source of energy for hiking, although they can be a bit bulkier than other options. Plus they often bruise easily.
We can’t forget chocolate when we make a hiking snack list. Most people love chocolate so it’s a good excuse to eat more of it. Chocolate contains fat and sugar so is a good option for calories to keep you going while hiking.
Recording Your Hikes
- Hiking Apps
- Smart Watches
42. Hiking Apps
There are many hiking apps that allow you to record hikes on your smartphone. Popular ones include Strava, AllTrails and Komoot.
43. Smart Watches
Smart watches with GPS can now record your hike directly which saves on draining your phone battery and can free it up for other things.
If you are only concerned with how many steps you’ve done on your hike, you can use a simple pedometer. There are usually extremely cheap, often costing less than £/$5.
If you’re into photography you may want to take a camera along with you rather than just use your phone. Cameras come in many different sizes and price ranges depending on what you want it to do.
46. GoPro / Action Cam
A GoPro is a specific type of camera used to help you capture more difficult action shots. They are usually waterproof, small and hard-wearing. Many people attach a GoPro to their chest or helmet (if using one).
Hiking Gear for Added Comfort
- Merino Wool Socks
- Merino Wool Underwear
- Sit Mat
- Boot Bag
- Hiking Shoes
47. Merino Wool Socks
Merino wool is a great material for hiking as it is moisture-wicking, temperature regulating and repels unpleasant odours. Upgrading to Merino wool socks is great for added comfort.
48. Merino Wool Underwear
Just like the socks above, Merino wool underwear is great for added comfort. Because it is moisture-wicking it can often help stop skin chafing in sensitive areas.
49. Sit Mat / Sit Pad
These are simply pieces of foam (often folding) that you can carry with you for sitting on. A sit mat keeps you a few centimetres away from the floor, stopping your bum (not sure what the common US word is) from getting dirty or wet.
50. Boot Bag
A boot bag allows you to pack away your dirty/wet boots once you have finished your hike. It’s great to keep one in your car to stop it from getting dirty.
51. Hiking Shoes
When hiking on more flat ground or long distances, hiking shoes can be more comfortable than boots. The reason is that they are lighter and offer more mobility. The compromise is that you lose the ankle support that hiking boots offer.
Hiking Tech / Gadgets
- 360 Camera
- Heart Rate Monitor
A drone is a cool addition to any hike if you want to get photos and video from that “impossible” angle. Drones have come down in price over the last few years with the most popular brand being DJI.
53. 360 Degree Camera
A 360 camera is not for everyone, but they are basically a “catch-all” camera. Film a scene and later on at home, you can pick any angle to display in your final video – without having to film all the angles.
54. Heart Rate Monitor (Chest Strap)
For anyone who likes to keep a close eye on their fitness or get a better estimation of calorie burn, a HR monitor is a great way to do this. Many fitness watches have heart rate monitors built in, but you get a more accurate reading by using a chest strap.
55. Headphones / Ear Buds
Not everyone likes to be alone with the sounds of nature…listening to music, a podcast or an audiobook on your walk is great with a pair of good quality headphones or earbuds.
Hiking Safety Equipment
- First Aid Kit
- Water Purifier
- Survival Bag
- Emergency Whistle
- Foil Blanket
56. First Aid Kit
Either put together by yourself or store-bought, everyone should carry a first aid kit with them. You never know when you might need it! Typical items included are distilled water for cleaning wounds, dressings, antiseptic cream, plasters, bandages and pain killers.
57. Helmet – Climbing / Hard Hat
A helmet is a little niche, but depending on where you go, you may need one! Are you going to be entering caves? Are you going to be walking near falling rocks? Is your hike going to include climbing?
58. Water Filter / Purifier
If you are doing a longer hike and can’t carry all the water you need, you will probably need to drink water that you find in nature. There are different ways of getting your water clean including filters, chemical methods and UV treatment. Depending on where you are in the world carefully consider the difference between filtering and purifying as filters don’t get rid of water-borne diseases.
59. Hiking Survival Bag
Usually bright orange and designed to protect you from the cold, a survival bag is just as the name sounds. Pop one at the bottom of your hiking bag for emergency situations.
60. Emergency Hiking Whistle
A hiking/mountain whistle is basically designed to help people locate you if you get lost, or if your group separates. Some backpacks have a whistle built into their straps.
61. Foil Blanket
An emergency foil blanket is designed to protect you from hypothermia and extreme weather conditions. They are super efficient at maintaining body heat and can genuinely save lives.
- Backpack Lights
- Glow Sticks
- Phone Pouch
- Power Bank
- Hiking Poles
- Camera Clip
- Map Holder
- GoPro Harness
- Water Reservoir
- Quick-Dry Towel
- Backpack Rain Cover
- Dry Bags
- Organisation Pouches
- Technical Belt
- Head Torch
62. Backpack Lights
Backpack lights are useful in groups in the evening if the sun is going down or if you are in thick fog and it’s hard to see a few feet in front of you.
63. Glow Sticks / Snap Lights
Useful for many situations (including emergencies), glow sticks provide up to 12 hours of light when you need it. Imagine your batteries run out or get wet, a glow stick will come to your rescue. They work by chemical reaction, so are light and easy to carry.
64. Waterproof Phone Pouch
You may want to protect your phone in wet conditions, or just have a pouch that you can hang around your neck for quick and easy access. You may see them referred to as phone lanyards.
65. Battery Charger / Power Bank
Super important if you are carrying a lot of tech with you. Charge your phone, camera etc…with a portable battery charger. They also come in solar versions as well if you are going to be away for a number of days.
66. Hiking/Trekking Poles
Some people like to use poles for walking. They can be especially useful when carrying a heavy pack. Hiking poles work by spreading the load you are carrying off of your feet, legs and knees. You essentially have 4 legs instead of two.
67. Gorilla/Duct Tape
Carrying some sort of heavy-duty tape with you is super useful. Tape can be used to mend rips in clothing, seal leaking water bottles, or even fix broken boots.
68. Camera Clips
If you’re hiking with a camera and want easy access, you may consider a clip for your backpack or belt. A well-known popular brand is the Peak Design capture clip.
69. Map Case/Holder
If you’re carrying a map and would like easy access, a waterproof map holder is a good option. They usually hang around your neck and prevent you from having to remove your backpack to get your map out.
70. GoPro/Action Cam Straps/Harness
Mounts and straps for your GoPro if you have one can be very useful. Helmet, backpack and chest straps are very popular.
71. Travel/Hiking Tripod
There are literally thousands of tripods out there for your camera. If you are hiking you want to consider weight, compactness, maximum height and any special features such as the ability to attach to a tree (like the Gorillapod).
72. Water Bladder/Reservoir
Hydration bladders or reservoirs are a super-efficient way to keep the thirst at bay. Instead of carrying a water bottle, you carry the water in a lightweight “bag” and use a tube to drink from. They either slip into your backpack or act as dedicated backpacks themselves. Camelbak is the most well-known and original brand.
73. Quick-Dry Towel
A lightweight quick-dry towel is useful on longer hikes. The idea is that they are extremely thin, so light plus also super absorbent. The material dries quickly so you can use it again sooner, and this also means that it is less likely to develop unpleasant odours.
74. Backpack Rain Cover
You never know when it might rain, so a backpack cover can be important to keep your equipment dry. Backpack covers can sometimes come included inside your pack, but often need to be bought separately. They usually come in hi-vis bright colours for when visibility drops in bad weather.
75. Backpack Dry Bags/Pouches
If you don’t have a backpack rain cover, dry bags can be useful. These allow you to store your contents inside your backpack and keep them dry if it rains. They also enable quick transfer out of your bag if you need to reorganise.
76. Backpack Travel Organiser/Pouch
Have lots of small things in your backpack that move around a lot and are easy to lose? A Travel organiser can help with this. Store your USB cables, power bank, keys, pens etc…
77. Technical Belt
Heavy-duty technical belts are often useful for hiking. Usually made from nylon, they are strong and allow you to clip things to them. For example, a Swiss Army knife or the camera clip mentioned earlier.
78. Head Torch
A head torch is useful if you’re walking at night or camping. They free up your hands to do other things which can make tasks easier for walking safer.
79. Carabiners or Clips
Although originally used for climbing, carabiners are now the ultimate accessory for outdoors enthusiasts. You can basically use them to clip anything together. For example, to attach a water bottle to the outside of your backpack, to clip your keys together, or even a torch to your belt.
Country Specific Hiking Items
- Bear Spray
- Insect Nets
- Insect Repellent
80. Bear Spray
As the name suggests, bear spray is to deter bears. In certain locations where bears are common, this could save your life! The active ingredient is usually capsaicin.
81. Insect Nets
Either for your tent or to place over your hat, these keep midge, mosquitos, bugs and insects from reaching you.
82. Bug/Insect Repellent
Insect repellents are usually applied to the skin to keep pesky insects from landing on / biting you. They usually have different active ingredients and in some countries, the active ingredients vary according to what is approved for use.
Things for Hiking Recovery
- Massage Balls
- Foam Roller
Magnesium helps relax muscles so taking it after a hike can be super beneficial. Magnesium Bisglycinate is the easiest form to absorb by the body in tablet form. You can also get spray-on magnesium or bath salts.
Electrolytes help with hydration in your body, so taking them after a hike (or during if you feel you’re sweating a lot) can be beneficial.
85. Trigger Point Massage Balls
These are very useful to relax tight muscles. A trigger point ball can act as the fingers would do in a traditional massage – finding trigger points and releasing the tension.
86. Foam Roller
A foam roller can be great for mobility both before and after a hike. The better you move during your hike, the fewer issues you are likely to have.
Personal Care for Hiking
- Toilet Paper
- Wet Wipes
- Pee Funnel
87. Toilet Paper
You never know when you’re gonna need to go, so toilet paper is always handy. You can get special paper which bio-degrades faster if you’re extra environmentally conscious.
88. Wet Wipes
Great for general cleaning while hiking. Always dispose of properly to protect the environment.
89. Shewee/Pee Funnel
The Shewee is a female urination device which makes it easier for women to go to the toilet while in nature.
90. Tooth Brush
You may prefer to take your regular toothbrush, but smaller, lighter, foldable ones can be purchased for use while hiking. Always remember that it’s not environmentally friendly to spit your regular toothpaste in the wild.
Miscellaneous Hiking Items & Gear
- Survival Matches
- Neck Warmer
- Head Buff
- Bivy Sack
- Backpack Extenders
- USB Cables
- Blister Plasters
- Hip Pack / Bum Bag
- Hiking Cap
- Boot Orthotics
- Quick Laces
- Camping Rope
- Foldable Chair
- Hiking Pole Tips
- Hot Water Bottle
- Zip Ties
91. Hiking Cup/Mug
Just like it sounds, a cup can be useful if you are hiking/camping for many days. They are often stainless steel or can be collapsable plastic too.
92. Hiking Cutlery
There are many different forms of hiking cutlery. Folding, plastic or metal forks, spoons and knives. Or even a spork which is a combination of a fork and a spoon.
93. Survival Matches
Lighters are more popular nowadays, but survival matches cope better with the cold and work when wet.
94. Neck Warmer/Gaiter/Snood
Keep yourself extra warm by protecting your neck with a good old neck warmer – sometimes referred to as a neck gaiter or snood.
95. Hiking Headband/Buff/Tube
Buffs and headbands can be used to protect the forehead, as sweatbands or to pull down and cover the face (to protect from dust). They can also protect from sunburn as well.
96. Bivy Sack
Originally developed as emergency survival bags, a Bivy sack is like a minimalist tent. It’s just big enough for you and your sleeping bag, so very light and easy to carry.
97. Backpack Entenders
Backpack not large enough? You can buy extension packs that attach to the outside of some packs.
You never know when you’re gonna need a pen. Consider taking one with you when you hike.
99. USB cables
Don’t forget the cables for your tech. Especially if you’re going to be charging them with your portable battery pack.
100. Personal Locator Beacon/EPIRB
PLBs or Emergency position-indicating radio beacons work with satellites for emergency services to find you in the case of an accident or emergency. You just press a button and the signal is sent.
101. Blister Plaster
Sometimes you may get a blister while hiking. Speciality blister plasters help protect and ease pain while hiking.
102. Hip Pack/Bum Bag/Fanny Pack
Wherever you’re from and whatever you call it, a hip bag gives you extra storage outside your main backpack. It’s usually easier to access than your backpack as well.
103. Hiking Cap/Visor
Caps are great for protecting the face from sun while hiking. If you don’t like to cover your hair you can get the visor-only version instead.
104. Boot Orthotics & Insoles
Orthotics can provide you extra support, make your boots fit better and overall just increase the comfort of your hikes.
105. Quick Laces
Everyone hates tying boot laces. You may want to replace your regular boot laces with quick, no-tie versions. Lock Laces are a popular brand that I’ve used before.
106. Camping Rope/Lanyard
A camping rope is basically to hand between two points and hang things from…maybe your mug, any pots or even your boots.
107. Camping Chair
Depending on the size, you may want to consider a camping chair while hiking. There are various foldable models around these days and most are pretty light too!
108. Hiking Pole Tips
Your hiking poles need to be adjusted for different terrains. Changing the tips/ends of the poles really helps when going from soft to harder ground.
Basically a face mask, a balaclava is designed to protect your face from the cold in extreme environments.
The purpose of gaiters is to protect your feet rather than ankles. They stop mud, twigs and stones from entering your boots. They may also offer extra protection against snake bites to the ankles.
111. Hot Water Bottle
On those cooler nights while out on a long hike and camping, you may get cold. Taking a trekking hot water bottle or just filling your regular water bottle with hot water from your stove is a great way to keep yourself extra warm while inside your sleeping bag.
112. Zip Ties
Zip ties are the ultimate multi-use accessory. Use them to link things together, lock your backpack zips, replace your shoe laces if they break or even to get extra traction from your boots in difficult terrain.
113. Backpack Patches
Hardly an essential, but nice to have…Embroidered backpack patches will add a personal touch to your pack. Whether you collect them while travelling, or sew on your home country’s flag, patches will give your bag a unique look.
114. Silicone Travel Bottles
Silicone travel bottles are basically replacement bottles for products you may take hiking and you don’t need the whole bottle. For example: You have a 250ml tube of suncream but are only going for a day hike – transfer it to a 50ml silicone bottle and you save weight and space. The great thing about silicone bottles is that they also collapse when you have used up the contents, so you save even more space.
You never know when you’re gonna need cash. Hiking often takes you away from the digital world and not everyone you meet along the way will accept credit card – especially that farmer who’s selling fresh juice etc…
There you go!…115 ideas for things to take hiking with you. Of course, new tech comes out all the time and I’m only human so may have missed something off the list. If you think I’ve missed something, feel free to let me know.