Best Hiking Gear For Traveling

If you’re like us then you love to hike and maybe have even gone on trips centered around hiking. There’s not a lot of space in a van, especially with two people and a dog who loves to sprawl out, so we’ve been accumulating the perfect hiking essentials that are both compact and actually withstand the use!

The first essential we recommend is a backpack. The backpack that we use is the REI Trail 25 daypack and for us it works perfectly! It’s light enough that it doesn’t put much strain on your shoulders and large enough that you can fit much inside. It has two smaller zippers on the front and inside which we use for quick access things like knives, lighters, band-aids, masks, and hand sanitizer. The inside pouch we use for more serious medical supplies and gear that we would only need in emergencies. The pack also features a large main pouch that easily fits a water bladder, our double person hammock, a microfiber towels, bear spray, sunscreen, a hat and a flannel, a cold towel, and our lunch or the day with still much room to spare. It also features holders for your trekking poles. A good backpack is essential for hiking because you don’t want something that will put strain on your back or a backpack that will fall apart. For this reason we recommend not skimping out on a good backpack. If you are traveling in a van however you should be wary about getting a backpack that’s too big and will take up much needed space in your van. Check out daypacks rather than backpacking packs.

Some of our Hiking Essentials

 Another hiking essential is footwear. Everybody knows that if you do a lot of hiking you can definitely benefit from a good pair of boots. The good thing is that whether you like low cut boots or higher, more supporting boots, they both don’t take up much space. We recommend going to a store with a dedicated hiking footwear section and taking the time to try on different boots to get the right fit. It took me three hours to pick out my first pair of hiking boots but they feel excellent on my feet and the more I wear them the more I am so satisfied with my choice!

Some Boots

Going along with the previous essential of boots in anti-blister socks! Not everyone gets blisters white hiking but if you have new boots that are not broken in then we HIGHLY recommend these! They are a sock with two layers so the outside layer rubs on the boot while the inside layer stays put on your foot. You can get them at most hiking/camping stores that also have footwear.

Click here to see the socks that we use

If you are planning a lot of hiking in areas where there’s mountains and elevation changes (which are the best hikes of course!) then you might want to consider trekking poles. We didn’t think we needed them at first but when you are hiking a trail with elevation changes over one thousand feet then they definitely come in handy and take some strain off of your back and legs. For traveling you can get poles that extend and retract to save on space. If you don’t want to spend the money on poles then we recommend finding a really nice stick, carving a nice handle, and keeping it for your journey!

Medical supplies are always smart to have while hiking because you never need them most of the time, but when you DO need them it’s very nice knowing that you thought ahead in what could be a life or death situation. On all the hikes we go on we bring bandages, gauze, tape, antibacterial cream, band-aids, and while not medical supplies we also bring some lotion, masks, and hand sanitizer in the small pouches as well. 

The last hiking essential in safety items. These are items that can help keep you safe and avoid potentially life threatening situations. The first one that we think everyone should have is bear spray if you are hiking in an area with bears or other potentially dangerous wildlife. Most of the time animals stay away from people, especially if you are hiking a popular trail, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. We also have flashlights, both LED and UV. A strong LED flashlight is helpful if you are camping in a secluded place that gets very dark at night. A UV flashlight is for finding scorpions when you are in the desert as they will glow under the UV light. We don’t use the UV light a whole lot unless we are in the desert, but the LED flashlight comes very in handy late at night! Some other safety items we have are a good knife, rope, a LifeStraw or UV waterbottle, and a multitool or swiss army knife. We also recommend having some kind of GPS that you can have on you in case you find yourself in a bad situation and need help to find you. We both have fitness watches that will send our coordinates to emergency services if we ever get stuck and need help ASAP.

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