Walkabout Scotland

The Essential Items Every Hiker Should Pack

Here are some of the most important items every hiker should pack.

In order to enjoy your time in the great outdoors the most, preparation is key.

Whether you are venturing up Ben Nevis, trekking the Highlands or enjoying one of the many beautiful walking trips in Scotland, there are some essential items that every hiker should make sure they have to make their life on the trail a little bit easier.

Here are some of the most important items every hiker should pack.

The Right Pair Of Shoes

The most important piece of equipment for a hiker is one that can so often be an afterthought.

However, given how cuts, blisters and painful sores on the soles of our feet can ruin a pleasant hike, it is vital to choose the right pair of shoes that are durable, fast-drying, breathable and have comfortable soles that suit the shape of your foot.

Try to pack a second set, as well, just in case your first pair get damaged on a rocky trail.

First Aid Kit

The ideal first aid kit for a hiker is small enough to not be bulky but substantial enough to contain all of the medicines, plasters, dressings and ointments you could possibly need whilst trekking.

Most established shorter trails are safe, but if you plan on multi-day hikes, having medicines to protect from allergic reactions, ointments for blisters and plasters that can help soothe cuts and avoid the risk of infection.

Food And Water

Try to have a hearty calorie-rich meal before your hike to help fuel your body for the trek ahead, and carry enough portions for the time you expect the trek to take, as well as a little extra for emergencies.

Ration Packs can be a great way of carrying a large number of calories in a lightweight container, as many meal, ready to eat (MRE) packs are designed for soldiers and emergency services who are may be hiking and travelling for days at a time without access to other food supplies.

As well as this, make sure you carry enough water for the trip (a rule of thumb is one litre every two hours of hiking) or carry filtration or purification tools so you can refill your canteens whilst travelling.

A Multitool

Whether it takes the form of a Swiss Army Knife, a set of pliers with additional attachments or any other form, a multitool is an essential and lightweight item that can help with repair, first aid and other unexpected scenarios.

Shelter And Safety Tools

If you are travelling on a long hike then packing a tent is essential to keep you safe and protected at night-time. It is worth packing an emergency tent even for day hikes in case you need to rest or a hike takes longer than you expect.

As well as this, you should pack some emergency tools along with your tent, such as a robust pair of gloves, a lighter (or flint and steel if you feel comfortable striking a fire that way), gaffer tape, a flashlight and a whistle in case of an emergency.

This will help if you need to make repairs, need to start a fire or solve a range of potential issues that can arise with multi-day camping.