The gear you need for hiking is going to vary depending on your plans and preferences, but here is some general advice to get you started:
Clothing & Footwear
We highly recommend investing in some good quality hiking clothes and comfortable hiking boots. Hiking clothing is designed to be moisture-wicking, quick-drying and highly durable – everything you need for outdoor adventures.
Even for short treks, you’ll need a backpack to carry your hiking gear. Choose a well-fitted backpack with comfortable straps and multiple compartments to carry essentials.
Shelter & Sleeping Gear
Camping out overnight? Don’t forget your camping shelter (such as a camping hammock or ultralight tarp) and sleeping gear such as a camping mattress, hiking sleeping bag and ultralight pillow.
Food & Water
For day trips, pack energy-rich snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and fruits to fuel your adventures. Overnight hikes will require some extra meal planning to make sure you’re prepared, but that’s a part of the fun. You’ll also need to carry an adequate supply of water for your hike; most people drink between 0.5L to 1L water per hour of hiking at a moderate intensity in mild conditions.
For overnight hikes, you’ll need some camping cookware for heating or preparing food. This might look like a twig stove or other ultralight hiking stove, along with some titanium pots, cutlery and a trusty camping mug.
Personal Items & Safety Gear
As always, consider the personal items and safety gear you need to minimise any risk to yourself and others. If you’re hiking in remote areas, bring a map, compass or GPS device to navigate and invest in a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn and don't forget essential camping accessories like insect repellent, gear repair kits, cordage, a garbage bag to pack out waste and an ultralight trowel for burying your business.
Choosing the ‘best’ hiking gear is all about understanding YOUR needs, and then looking for the gear that will be able to fulfil them.
This is our team’s process for selecting the best hiking gear for any adventure:
Step One: Identity your needs
First, ask yourself what type of hiking you'll be doing. What’s the terrain like? Weather conditions? How long are you hiking for? How experienced are you? How often are you going to be using this hiking gear? At the same time, think about what is important to YOU. What are your ‘needs’ vs ‘wants’ for this hike? Consider the trade-offs between weight, durability, and functionality to find the right balance for your needs.
Step Two: Research and educate yourself
Now you have a bit of an idea of what you need and want, take the time to research what other people suggest. Read reviews, watch gear guides or even consider reaching out to experienced hikers or outdoor professionals to gain insights into what they recommend and why. And you can always get in touch with our team here at Alton for expert advice – we’re happy to help.
Step Three: Go shopping
Now it’s time to choose your gear. If you’re buying new gear, we recommend that you invest in high-quality gear that is built to last. Look for durable materials, reliable construction, and reputable brands known for their performance and longevity. Here at Alton, we offer a Lifetime Warranty* on products so you can be confident you’re investing in the highest-quality gear.
Step Four: Take your gear for a trial run
Taking your hiking gear for a trial run will help you know what is going to serve your needs the best when it comes to the real deal. Set up your camping tarp in the backyard, adjust your backpack to fit perfectly, go for a day trip with that new hiking jacket. This will ensure you are familiar and comfortable with your hiking gear before you have to rely on it in the wild.
There you have it! By following these steps you can choose the best hiking gear for your outdoor activities.
It’s hard to say what you should carry when hiking without knowing where you’re going and what conditions you’ll face. That said, here’s a list of what we usually carry in our pack when heading out on a day hike:
- Navigation (eg. map and compass, GPS or phone with maps downloaded)
- PLB (if hiking alone or in remote locations without mobile coverage)
- ~3L of water + water purification filter
- High-energy snacks
- Waterproof and/or warm hiking clothing outer layers
- Extra pair of merino socks
- Hat, sunglasses, & sunscreen
- Insect repellent (if hiking in bug-prone areas)
- Waterproof notebook & pencil
- Multi-tool or pocket knife
- Basic first aid supplies
- Bandages, adhesive tape & antiseptic wipes
- Blister treatment pack
- Emergency blanket
- Pain relievers & antihistamines
- ID and a note with emergency contact & any medical conditions listed
- Ultralight trowel & toilet paper
- Small trash bag for carrying out waste
This list should give you a starting point for making your own gear packing list for your next hike. Remember, always consider your specific needs and the conditions you’ll be hiking in when planning what hiking gear to carry with you. Be safe out there!
Everything we make at Alton, from our hiking mattress to camping chairs and ultralight tarps, is covered by a Lifetime Warranty*, our All Good Guarantee. This is our promise to you that all your Alton hiking gear is made to the highest performance and quality standards of any outdoor store in Australia.
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