Travel Light On Your First Hike By Only Taking These Essentials

Far from being the reserve of gap year students and adrenaline junkies, books like Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Wild’ have seen hiking holidays rising up the ranks as an appealing option for a few years now. However, for ill-prepared first-time hikers who take everything, but the kitchen sink along, dreams of self-realisation can soon turn into a nightmare of sore backs, unnecessary pit stops, and in some cases the need to leave essentials behind along the way.

Of course, Cheryl Strayed’s own notorious overloaded bag ‘Monster’ should’ve taught us about this, too, but it’s amazing how many of us continue to make the mistake of over packing and feeling the sting. To make sure that you don’t follow in those overloaded footsteps, we’re going to look at the bare essentials you need. Admittedly, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but if you start here, you’re far less likely to pack a load of things aren’t necessary.

Item # 1 – Navigation tools

Sat nav on your phone isn’t going to work when you’re out in the wild, so navigation tools are the absolute first things you need to stock up on. Obviously, maps are a must and can be easily folded down to slot inside your pack. Compasses, too, are recommended, and many models now attach to the straps of your pack for easier storage and use where necessary.

Item # 2 – Recovery gear

Whether you’re hiking alone or with others, recovery gear also needs at least some space in your bag, and should include first aid kits, medications, and also things for physical recovery in general, including recovery supplements like this adrenal switch formula, heat packs, and more. Then, you can rest better and face each day raring to go.

Item # 3 – All the sustenance you need

You’re also going to want to pack plenty of high-energy snacks to keep you going between stops. In some ways, supplemental powders can help here too, but it’s also worth packing protein bars, flapjacks, and other such high-hit bursts of energy. Water, too, is perhaps the most crucial packing consideration of all, and you should aim to take around half a litre of water for each hour that you intend to hike.

Travel Light On Your First Hike By Only Taking These Essentials. Photo credit @hollymandarich

Travel Light On Your First Hike By Only Taking These Essentials. Photo credit @hollymandarich

Item # 4 – Sun and rain protection

Harsh weather has the potential to lead to delays, meaning that you should also take along sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or higher, as well as sunglasses, and of course, rain macs for if things go the other way.

Item # 5 – Bug spray

Given the wilderness risk of ticks, bites, and stings, you’re also going to want to stock up on bug spray and douse yourself before you head out each day to avoid infection, irritation, and the general discomfort this could cause otherwise.

Other items that you may wish to take include trash bags, toiletries, and obviously changes of clothes, but start with these fundamentals, and you should find that you’re able to get going with a pack that’s half the size!

Hopefully, you can now travel light on your first hike by only taking these essentials.

Would you travel light on your first hike by only taking these essentials or are you one that struggles with what items to pack? Drop me a line or two as always?