Throughout the last year, more and more people have started to realise the joys of walking.
During lockdowns, a weekend walk would be an exciting activity – and as we couldn’t travel, lots
of people discovered beautiful nature spots close to home!
As we are leaving lockdown, many people still don’t want to give up hiking.
I’m one of them – I’m actually planning on walking the South West Coast Path this summer! If you’re also thinking of
doing a multi-day hiking trip, you may be wondering ‘what exactly should I pack?’
This isn’t my first long hike, so I’m going to share everything that I’ve planned on packing so far.
Feel free to use this as a guide when planning your own long-distance hike! I’ve tried to make it as versatile as possible so you can use it anywhere in the world.
Having the right clothes when hiking is incredibly important.
You’ll be out against all elements, so it’s crucial to have something that will keep you warm, protect your skin, and be comfortable.
Here are some of my best tips!
Firstly, consider versatile clothes.
You will be limited on space in your bag, so having multipurpose items can really help you make the most out of what you’ve got.
For instance, pack a seamless Hoorag bandana – you can use this to keep your face and neck warm or hold
back hair from your face.
Another tip would be to make sure that you have plenty of layers. It might be hot where you are hiking in the day – but what about the night time? If you’re camping, you’ll need to keep yourself warm!
So take plenty of trousers and jackets to bundle up in!
And, don’t forget adequate hiking shoes!
You should buy these in advance and give yourself time to wear them in. If you can afford it, it’s worth investing some money to make sure that you’ve got a sturdy, waterproof pair, possibly with ankle support if you need it (I always twist my ankles when I hike, so I need a pair that make my ankles sturdier!).
While it’s entirely feasible to be entertained purely by the beauty of nature, if you’re doing a multi-day hiking trip you might want to pack some extra bits of kit to keep yourself occupied in the evenings.
This is particularly important if you’re looking for ways to make walking outdoors fun for kids.
Your entertainment could be:
- A good book or e-reader
- A pack of cards
- A journal to record what you’ve seen that day
It’s a good idea to avoid technology when possible, as this will enable you to stay immersed in nature!
If you’re camping, the first thing that you’ll (obviously) need is a tent. If it will rain where you hike, make sure that it’s waterproof. Waking up drenched in the middle of the night is no fun, and you don’t want to carry around a tarp! Also, ensure that it is lightweight – you can get some tents that weigh 2kg or less.
Make sure that your sleeping bag is suitable for the weather. If it’s cold, then you’ll need an all-season sleeping bag.
However, if you are hiking in the summer or a hot climate, you might want to go for a two or three-season sleeping bag instead – these are typically lighter and will be more comfortable on warm nights.
Foam roll mats are the best things to carry to sleep on – you can attach them to your bag, and they weigh almost nothing. However, you might find them uncomfortable to sleep on – I know I do!
You could get a self-inflating mat instead as a compromise between the two. I never take pillows hiking – instead, I just use roll-up clothes.
However, I’ve had people look at me in horror when I admit this. If you’re team pillow, you can get inflatable ones from various camping stores.
Also, take a torch for when it’s dark – head torches are usually the most useful – and a battery pack that can charge up your equipment.
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You’ll also need cooking equipment if you’re camping! Make sure that you have a small gas stove that you can easily fold down. You can get special camping pots and pans that double as bowls, with a removable handle. You might also want to take plastic plates, as well as a knife and fork set and a mug.
Not everybody who goes hiking will take camera gear – if you’re not interested in photos, please skip past this section! However, even if you don’t take a camera, I would recommend having at least a smartphone capable of taking good pictures. You’ll likely encounter some beautiful nature and will want the photos to remember the trip!
If you want to practice some photography, you could get a small mirrorless camera. These save a lot of space but also take some great photos. I use the Canon Powershot G7 mark iii.
You might want to consider some other gear, depending on your trip. For example, if you will do watersports and action activities en route, you might want a go pro. If you know that you’ll be hiking through miles of nature, a drone might come in handy.
I would recommend thinking about what photos or video you want to make and working out what equipment you’ll need. Camera gear does add a lot of weight to your backpack, so do bear that in mind as well.
When you’re out exploring nature, it’s essential to be kind to it. You can do this by using eco-
friendly products that will reduce plastic pollution.
- Water to Go Bottle – I love these bottles and have been using them for years. It’s a reusable bottle that you can filter any water with. Simply fill it up from a stream or any tap, and the filter will create lovely clean drinking water. I’ve used it in Indonesia, China and Mexico, and its always provided me with safe water!
- Chillis Bottle – I recently bought a Chillis bottle and love it – it keeps cold drinks cool for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours! It’s great for ensuring that your water is refreshing or taking drinks like tea or coffee hiking with you!
- Reusable coffee cup – on that note, try a reusable coffee cup rather than getting cups to take away.
- Tupperware – also, pack at least one Tupperware tub that you can use to take away meals!
Whether you are hiking on the UK’s South West Coast Path, the Inca Trail in Peru or trekking around Nepal, these staples will help you have a stress-free trip! Enjoy the summer and your multi-day trek, and stay safe!