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Hiking essentials should be the first thing you buy when preparing for the perfect outdoor adventure. However, there are so many products available it’s easy to get bogged down with all the necessary equipment. To make your decision-making process a little simpler, we’ve compiled a list of 16 must-have hiking essentials to ensure your adventure is enjoyable and worthwhile.

1. Backpack

Orange Hiking Backpack(image via Amazon)

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert hiker, a good backpack is possibly the most crucial of hiking essentials for those long journeys. Big enough to hold your equipment but light enough to avoid weighing you down, this backpack is great for ensuring agility and endurance. Its back support pads will help you carry your pack safely. The perfect gift for hikers!

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2. Life Straw

Image of two life straws(image via Amazon)

A unique gadget for outdoor enthusiasts, the Life Straw filters water directly from its source, making it easy to stay hydrated in any situation. The Life Straw Max even won an award for one of the best inventions of 2023. Plus, the company is committed to providing clean water to people in need. It’s a win-win!

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3. Boots

Brown hiking boots(image via Amazon)

Step into the great outdoors with confidence in a reliable pair of boots. A definite in hiking essentials, these boots are tailored for rugged terrains, providing a waterproof shield to keep feet dry during unpredictable weather. Comfortable, lightweight and durable, hikers can’t go wrong with a new pair of boots for a new adventure.

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4. Socks

Multiple pairs of wool hiking socks(image via Amazon)

Hiking in the cold? A solid pair of wool socks will keep those puppies warm without breaking the bank. The moisture-wicking and breathable fabric is perfect for those long, strenuous journeys.

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5. Bivvy

Green Tact Bivvy(image via Amazon)

Having a well-stocked survival pack is important when going on an outdoor adventure. An emergency bivvy is essential to ensure shelter in any situation. The Tact Bivvy by Survival Frog is considered the best emergency option and will provide warmth without any unnecessary weight.

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6. Compass

Orange compass(image via Amazon)

With a compact and sturdy build, this compass provides reliable directionality, ensuring a confident and secure journey through varied terrains. Complete with a ruler and magnifying glass, this compass is the perfect tool for any outdoor adventure. Add this to your hiking essentials for any emergency pack. It’s also the perfect stocking stuffer!

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7. First Aid Kit

Black first aid kit pack(image via Amazon)

A first aid kit is yet another hiking essential. This kit provides the necessities for a medical emergency and any situation an adventure could bring. Small but mighty, the Rhino Rescue kit includes a firestarter, a camping knife, and a flashlight.

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8. Collapsible Mug

Red mug and green mub(image via Amazon)

No overnight adventure is complete without that morning cup of joe– and this collapsible mug will keep it warm without weighing down a hiking pack. It’s the perfect partner for those who appreciate both the tranquility of nature and toasty campfire coffee.

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9. Headlamp

A pair of head lamps(image via Amazon)

A good headlamp is high on the list of hiking essentials for adventurers seeking hands-free visibility in the great outdoors. This headlamp focuses on durability and comfort and ensures a secure fit for extended wear. From setting up camp after sundown to preparing for emergencies, this headlamp will light the way.

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10. Purifying Water Bottle

Two purifying water bottles, red and green(image via Amazon)

This water bottle does more than hold water–it purifies and filters any water from any source. Simply fill the inside container up, press down with the top filter, and enjoy clean water in seconds. Perfect for hikers and campers alike.

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11. Hiking Poles

Hiking poles(image via Amazon)

Preventing injury while hiking can be tough. Hiking poles take the weight off the back and knees, reducing impact while maintaining balance. Lightweight, sturdy, and collapsible, a good pair of walking sticks can keep hikers safe without taking up precious space.

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12. Lighter

Lighters(image via Amazon)

The Cadillac of lighters, this waterproof and windproof plasma lighter will always come in handy when you need it most. Complete with a flashlight, paracord lanyard, and whistle, it is the perfect gift for an outdoor adventurer.

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13. Clif Bars

Variety of flavors of Clif Bars(image via Amazon)

Fuel up for the next big hike with the perfect snack. Organic Clif energy bars are packed with protein and carbs, perfect for any hiker in search of sustained energy. These energy bars are a convenient and tasty companion and are hiking essentials for any future expedition.

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14. Jacket

Black jacket and brown jacket(image via Amazon)

Embrace the great outdoors in a waterproof hiking jacket. Crafted with durable yet lightweight material, this packable jacket ensures maximum comfort during challenging hikes. Its versatile design provides reliable protection against the elements while maintaining a functional aesthetic for the trail.

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15. Paracord Bracelet

Black paracord bracelet and orange paracord bracelet(image via Amazon)

Crafted with durable paracord, these bracelets serve as versatile tools, offering peace of mind on the trail. From emergencies to everyday use, the bracelets’ survival features, including a whistle and fire starter, make them an essential companion for any adventure. These bracelets offer perfect preparedness for any hiking enthusiast.

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16. Binoculars

Binoculars(image via Amazon)

Designed for the adventurous hiker, these binoculars provide crisp, clear views with a 10x magnification, bringing nature’s details closer. With a durable and ergonomic design, they offer a comfortable grip for extended use on the trail. Whether scouting wildlife or enjoying panoramic vistas, these professional-grade binoculars enhance the hiking experience.

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Whether you’re looking to buy the perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life or trying to find the best equipment for your hiking pack, our list of hiking essentials makes it easy to find the best products. Grab your backpack and your boots, and experience the great outdoors!

Ready to plan your next hiking adventure? Check out our article on the 15 Best Hiking Trails in West Virginia

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