A Newbie’s Guide to Hiking Gear

Hiking is a far more dangerous sport than most people realize. Sure, there’s the possibility of you falling down a massive hill, but there are about a million other ways for a hiker to meet their end.

I’m about to show you a full guide on the most essential items you’ll need to start your expedition into the great outdoors. Let’s get into it!

Hiking Backpack

A hiking backpack is going to be the only thing separating you from someone who’s lost in the forest. It’s the kingpin of your whole hiking/survival strategy.

I’m your hiking backpack you’ll be storing everything you’ll need; a first-aid kit, water, etc. If you’re hiking in an area that’s known for extremely low, or even freezing temperatures, you’re going to need a bigger hiking pack to fit in all of those extra layers.

On the other end of the spectrum, hikers getting ready for a long trip across a landscape similar to Arizona should pack themselves a medium sized bag – one that isn’t too small so that storing extra water isn’t a problem.

Navigation Tools

Every hiker should plan out his or her route before beginning the expedition. It’s also not a bad idea to take a ‘dry run’ through the trail, or talk to friends that have hiked said trial – this is going to help you figure out the most dangerous sections of trail to look out for.

Another great reason people plan out their routes ahead of their trips. It is because getting lost in the wilderness is just about the most terrifying thing a human can experience. When the trees all look the same, no matter which direction you look, things can start to get very dangerous.

Another thing hikers with often bring with them (other than a compass and map) is a flare gun. You can pick one of these up at any Big 5 or any similar sports store. Finding your local hiking supply shop shouldn’t be too difficult, but if you run into trouble, you can always use Amazon – just make sure the reviews are good.

First-Aid Kit

This one is big. When you’re hiking alone on a trail you’ve never attempted before, the situation can get bad – and quick. You see, when you’re hiking with a buddy there’s always that certain comfort of having someone there to look after you. When you’re by yourself, then. Well, you’re screwed – unless you have a solid first aid kit and a flare gun.

A lot of hikers will also bring an emergency whistle for them to blow in case they’re stuck in some kind of crevasse or something. It’s also not a bad idea to keep all of your first aid items in a waterproof bag so they don’t end up getting soaked,

The last thing you want to do is wrap a bunch of wet gauze around your deeply cut arms – they’re just not going to work. And on that note – it’s important to keep your most vital items in waterproof bags in your backpack. Or at least the ones that need to be totally dry.


MRE stands for ‘Meal Ready to Eat” and it’s only $10. They’re designed for combat units in the military and require no cooking pots or pans. You can pick them up at your local Army Surplus store for pretty cheap, but I have to warn you; some of the flavors aren’t very good. (avoid the lemon pepper tuna)

Anyways, these lightweight MREs only weight about a pound so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space in your pack. The only great thing about these little meals is that they could potentially save your life.

When a hiker gets stuck in a pinch that they can’t get out of alone, they often have only cereal bars to eat. If you ever get trapped somewhere, you can just eat your MRE that contains anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 calories that are guaranteed to keep you alive for at least 6 days.