Are you an avid hiker? Do you love spending your weekends and free time exploring nature’s beauty?
If so, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for anything that might come your way. This includes bringing the right safety equipment with you on your hikes.
I’ll provide a hiking safety equipment list to help get you started.
1. Navigation for hikers
Hiking can be a fun and rewarding experience. Still, it’s important to be prepared for the challenges you might face.
One of the most important things you need to know is how to navigate your way through the wilderness.
With a few basic tips, you can make sure that you stay on track and find your way back to civilization.
So if you’re thinking about hitting the trails, make sure to read on for some essential navigation tips.
- Hiking MAP: Always bring a map with you on your hike if you get lost. I recommend a map that shows topography to better orient yourself if you get lost.
- Compass: A compass is also a good idea to bring on hikes if you get lost and need to orient yourself. But you should only use a compass if you know how to use it correctly – otherwise, it can just lead you further astray!
- Route description or guidebook: If you’re hiking in an area you’re not familiar with, it’s good to bring a route description or guidebook with you. This will help you stay on track and also avoid getting lost.
- Altimeter watch: Another piece of equipment to consider bringing on hikes is an altimeter watch. This can help gauge your elevation, which can be important if you’re hiking in a particularly hilly area.
- GPS unit: A GPS unit is the most advanced safety equipment for hikers and can be extremely helpful if you get lost. Make sure to familiarize yourself with using a GPS unit before hitting the trails.
- Satellite messenger (personal locator beacon): A satellite messenger, or personal locator beacon (PLB), is a device that sends out a signal to emergency responders in case of an emergency. This can be a life-saving piece of equipment to bring on long or difficult hikes.
These are just a few pieces of safety equipment to consider bringing on your hikes.
Make sure to do your research and choose the best gear for you and your hikes. And always remember to be prepared for the worst!
Tip: In addition to navigation, you should also pay attention to the right clothing when hiking. In my other article, you will find a comprehensive guide.
2. Emergency and first aid kit for hikers
It’s important to always be prepared for emergencies.
That means having a well-stocked first aid kit with you at all times.
I’ll discuss what should be included in your emergency and first aid kit for hikers.
- Lighter and firestarter: A lighter or firestarter is a must-have for any first aid kit. You never know when you’ll need to start a fire, and being able to do so can be a life-saving skill.
- Emergency shelter: An emergency shelter can be useful if you get lost or stranded and need to wait out bad weather. I recommend a shelter that is lightweight and easy to set up.
- Whistle: A whistle can be a helpful tool for signaling for help if you’re in need. It’s good to have a whistle attached to your pack, so you always have it handy.
- Knife or multi-tool: A knife or multi-tool is another essential gear for hikers. It can come in handy for various tasks, from cutting rope to making a fire.
- Bandanas: Bandanas are versatile pieces of gear that can be used for various purposes, from bandaging a wound to filtering water. Make sure to bring at least a couple with you on your hike.
- Plasters: Blisters and other injuries are common among hikers, so it’s important to have a good supply of plasters with you. I recommend packing a variety of sizes, so you can cater to any blisters that may arise.
Tip: I have the most important accessories in the first aid kit in a small extra bag, which is located on the side of my backpack and is easy to reach. This keeps things tidy in the backpack.
Check out my other blog article to see what other hiking equipment I carry in my backpack. Just follow the link to do so.
3. Sun Protection on your hike
It’s important to protect yourself from the sun while hiking, especially during summer.
Here are a few tips for staying safe in the sun while on the trails.
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a must for any hike. Bring a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection and has an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Sun hat: A sun hat is a good way to protect your head and face from the sun. I recommend a wide-brimmed sun hat for the best protection.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are another essential piece of sun protection gear. Make sure to choose a pair that offers ultraviolet (UV) protection.
- Sunscreen lip balm: Sunscreen lip balm is a must-have for keeping your lips safe from the sun. Look for a lip balm that has an SPF of 30 or higher.
Do not underestimate the sun when hiking.
I got some sunburns in the mountains as a beginner because I had only used sunscreen with SPF 30 instead of SPF 50.
4. Health and hygiene while hiking
It’s important to be prepared for the physical and environmental challenges of hiking.
In addition to packing the right gear and food, you also need to think about your health and hygiene.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and healthy while hiking.
- Plenty of water: It’s essential to drink plenty of water while hiking, especially in warm weather. I recommend carrying at least 2 liters of water on your hike.
- Snacks: Make sure to pack snacks high in protein and calories, such as trail mix or jerky.
- Water filter: I recommend carrying a water filter that can remove bacteria and protozoa, such as the Sawyer Mini.
- Prescription medications: Make sure to bring along any prescription medications that you might need. Suppose you’re hiking for an extended period. In that case, you may also want to bring a small supply of over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
- Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer is a must-have for any hiker. It’s a quick and easy way to clean your hands, and it can help prevent the spread of germs.
- Toilet paper: This is not a must-have, but it can come in handy if hiking in a remote area. Make sure to pack it in a waterproof bag, so it doesn’t get wet.
5. Hiking Extras for safety
No one ever sets out on a hike thinking they will get lost, hurt, or stranded.
But the reality is those bad things can happen on the trail, no matter how experienced you are.
That’s why it’s important to come prepared with all the necessary hiking extras for safety.
- Headlamp or flashlight: A headlamp or flashlight is a must-have for any hiker. You never know when you’ll need to see in the dark, and doing so can be a life-saving skill.
- Two-way radios: Two-way radios can be a handy tool for hikers. They allow you to communicate with other hikers or with rescue personnel in an emergency.
- Interpretive field guide: An interpretive field guide can be a helpful tool for hikers. It can provide you with information on the plants and animals you encounter on the trail.
- Cash or credit card: In an emergency, you may need cash or a credit card to pay for transportation home or for medical treatment. Make sure to have at least a small amount of both with you on your hike.
- Smartphone: A smartphone can also be a helpful tool for hikers. It can be used to access maps, track your progress, and contact rescue personnel in an emergency.
- ID: Your ID is essential for any hike. Make sure to carry your driver’s license or another form of ID on the trail. You never know when you might need it.
Tip: Read my article about the most important rules of conduct when hiking in the forest.
Now that you’re prepared for your hike, it’s time to hit the trails!
Be safe and have fun!