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  • Ine Vandenwyngaert

Best Hiking Gear: durable and high-quality recommendations

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

Are you looking for durable, high-quality hiking gear for your next adventure? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we outline the best hiking gear, including 10 hiking essentials that everyone should bring and specific hiking gear recommendations for women, men, and the winter.

We are both avid hikers who have completed tons of day- and multi-day hikes around the world, from hiking in the wild Canadian Rockies to the high altitudes of the Andes. And we understand the challenges of finding hiking gear that suits your needs and budget. Our personal recommendations in this article have been tried and tested, and do not include any paid or sponsored ads.

best hiking gear

Table of content:

  • Top 10 hiking gear essentials

  • Best hiking gear for women

  • Best hiking gear for men

  • Hiking gear for the winter

Before you go through each item, make sure to download our free camping checklist.


10 hiking gear essentials that you SHOULD bring

Navigation tool

Whether you like to bring a physical map, compass, a GPS unit, or use offline maps on your smartphone, navigation is the most essential thing to bring on your hike! You don’t want to get lost in the wild. We use the FREE offline app, which has most hiking trails pointed on the app.

Sun protection

When hiking, you are constantly exposed to the sun. And especially at high altitudes, the sun can be brutal for your skin. So sun protection in any way is essential to bring along. Pack up your sunglasses, sunscreen, and cap!

get lost cap for travelers

Get Lost Cap

Made by: World Wild Hearts

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First aid kit

Often forgotten by hikers, a first aid kit is an absolute must on ANY hike. Kit essentials include foot care (such as blister plasters and wound healing cream) as well as painkillers, hand sanitizer, and insect repellent. Mosquitoes are vicious during summer! Only if you are hiking above 2,200 meters (7,200ft) you don’t have to worry about any of these cruel insects.

essential hiking gear for 2021: blister plasters

Blister plasters

Made by: Compeed

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A knife does not only help protect from any wild animal you may encounter on your journey, but also for gear repair, splitting wood, and making kindling. We always carry it, just in case!

Rain jacket

Hiking in the mountains means being prepared for any kind of weather. Your rain jacket should be the first item to pack in your bag, even if it looks like it will be a blue-bird day. We recommend a lightweight rain jacket that protects you both from cold winds and rain.

A lightweight rain jacket is essential hiking gear

Rain jacket

Made by: Vaude

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High-protein food and snacks

To stay energized, bring enough healthy and nutritious foods. We always make sure to pack SunRype fruit bars or other granola bars, nuts, bananas, a sandwich, and other fruits. And if you are planning a multi-day trek, dehydrated meals will be your go-to! They don’t take a lot of space, are nutritious, and lightweight!

Extra water or water purifier/tablets

It is important to stay hydrated throughout the hike. Especially when doing a long hike, you may want to carry enough water with you. If you don’t want to haul multiple bottles of water, bring a water purifier or purification tablets. These will allow you to fill your water bottles in the lakes along the trails while making sure you won’t get sick. We recommend a lightweight water bottle if you are planning on multiple hikes, or the tablets if you’re not a frequent hiker. If you can't rely on water sources along the hike, we'd recommend carrying a 3L camelbak. It is heavier, but will save you from dehydrating!

lightweight water bottle is essential when hiking

Lightweight water bottle

Made by: LifeStraw

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If you love watching sunsets like us, then you should definitely invest in a headlamp to get down from viewpoints safely after dark. We recommend the H05S Headlamp by OLIGHT for your adventures. It delivers up to 200 lumens with a distance of 60 meters. Plus, you can easily turn it on or off just by waving your hand! It’s super compact, so can easily be added to your daypack or overnight bag too. Headlamps are better than flashlights for hiking, walking, or setting up your tent in the dark since you have both hands free.

H05S LED Headlamp

Made by: OLIGHT

Hiking poles

It took us years before we finally invested in hiking poles, and now we can’t live without them! Hiking poles are essential when hiking on rugged, difficult terrain as they improve balance and stability. But besides that, they also help you maintain a proper posture and take off some pressure on your lower back, hips, and knees. It has improved our hiking experience a lot and made us more comfortable going down slippery slopes. Glymnis has a range of high-quality, lightweight, and affordable hiking poles!

Collapsable, Lightweight Trekking Poles

Made by: Glymnis

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Hiking Daypack

A good daypack is essential for any adventure. We use a daypack almost every day while we’re traveling or hiking. So it’s important to invest in a quality one! We recommend the Lightweight Hydration Backpack by EVERFUN. It has a ton of storage space for your cameras, first aid kit, warm layers, and food for the day. Plus, it comes with a 2L water reservoir and hose, so you don’t have to constantly stop and reach for your water bottle. One of the coolest aspects of this pack is that it actually has hip and shoulder straps. This is a huge positive since it alleviates pressure from your shoulders, especially on longer day hikes. The breathable padded back also minimizes sweating throughout the day. And last but not least… It comes with a rain cover! So you can use it in any conditions and never miss an adventure opportunity.