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An Ultimate Hiking Checklist

Prashant Magar
Walking in a pristine natural setting, on a hiking trail, is a delightful experience. People all over the world have great enthusiasm and interest in hiking activities. So, here is a hiking checklist which will help you have a good outdoor experience.

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Hiking for a day to the mountains or woods, or one involving overnight stay in a distant location, requires deep enthusiasm, and love for nature. This is because, unlike a luxury cruise or a five-star stay, hiking involves the use of minimalistic settings, and is in harmony with nature.
This also necessitates the use of traveling equipment to carry along for convenience, and for use in emergency situations. The checklist can vary according to the needs of the hiker and the location being visited. More often than not, you forget some important medicine or a flashlight, leading to a slight discomfort during the hike.
Therefore, you must write down a list of essentials that will ensure a smooth, safe, and a pleasant hiking experience.

Before the Excursion

The important and often neglected aspect when you are on a hiking trail, is the knowledge of the activity you are pursuing. Knowing what you are about to set forth on, is the most crucial part, before making a checklist. People get carried away at the prospect of overnight hiking or winter hiking, without understanding the nature of the activity at hand.

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If you happen to be a regular hiker, you can go ahead with the checklist analysis; but if you are a novice, knowing the details of the trail, the kind of terrain, and more importantly, your capacity and ability to make the trip, is mandatory.

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Understanding the nature of the expedition should be at the top priority for first-timers. Knowing your strengths and limitations, and planning accordingly is absolutely essential to a good hiking experience.
Usually, a checklist won't involve much trouble, and should be an easy job, even for a first timer. The best way to plan for the activity is to get some advice from experienced people, who are good hikers; preferably familiar with the trail you are going to take.

Hiking Checklist

Ensure that a copy of the detailed plan of the tour, especially in case of an overnight hiking trip, is given to a relative who is not accompanying you. This copy must include the tour itinerary, contact details, the tour operator's (if any) contact, and that of the fellow hikers. Your family or friends may never use these details, but emergency is a must.
It must be noted that the following list is neither exhaustive nor absolutely compulsory. There might be a few additions and deletions from the list according to the time, the people involved, the place of hiking, and the prevalent conditions. But most of the items listed can be helpful for any type of hiking tour.

First Aid Checklist

  • Disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide.
  • First aid handbook along with ready reference book for the area you visit.
  • Scissors and pincers.
  • A thermometer.
  • Antihistamine tablets, prescribed medications and lotions, according to the climate of the place.
  • Blister pads.
  • Health drinks and glucose supplements.

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  • Adhesives and different types of bandages.
  • Medicinal tapes, coatings, and splints.
  • Anti-venom to protect from stings and bites.
  • Antiseptic creams and wrapping pads.

General Items Checklist

  • Windbreaker, rain wear, poncho
  • Sunglasses, snow glasses
  • Water and/or filter
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Swiss Knife/ pen knife
  • Hats/Caps
  • Lunch and energy snacks
  • Camera (with extra batteries)
  • Compass
  • Plastic bags (for waste)
  • Binoculars
  • Sketch pad, pen/pencil
  • Maps of concerned locations
  • Matches/ Lighters
  • A camping backpack
  • Hiking/trekking poles
  • Journal/diary/notepad
  • Extra clothing and an extra pair of socks
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper

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If you wish to have a safe, comfortable and memorable hiking expedition, make sure that most of the mentioned items are included in your list. Have a really pleasant hike!