20 Things to Carry on Trekking or Hiking Trips | Essentials for trekking

So you’ve finally made that one plan for trekking that you’ve been always thinking about. What now? You don’t know what to carry with yourself, you are all clueless about it. You have done your research online but you still feel like you’re not prepared enough. Don’t you worry, I have listed here all the essentials for the perfect trek.

 

Things to Carry on Trekking

Trekking Pole

While trekking the terrain can get extremely uneven and uncertain, to conquer such terrains takes a lot of effort and tires one out easily. Thus to make it easier to walk and conquer such terrains a trekking pole is the best idea. A trekking pole gives you additional support and balance and thus makes it easier for you to walk. It also has a cushioned handle which makes it easy to hold.

Windcheater

As the name suggests, this jacket cheats the wind. As you trek higher in altitude the windcheater cuts the wind thus making you feel warmer and making it easier for you to walk as the wind isn’t there to slow you down. A windcheater is also waterproof, hence it protects you from rainfall or even snowfall! So if you have a windcheater there is nothing to stop you from trekking. It is a must-have for every mountaineer.

Waterproof Hiking Boots

These are not like your everyday shoes. Hiking boots are cushioned from the inside to make your feet feel warmer as you go higher in altitude.They are slightly heavier than your everyday sneakers, this is because they generally have spokes on their soles to give you a better grip when you trek on rocky terrains.Hiking boots are also generally waterproof so that when you trek on snow your feet don’t get wet or even worse get frostbite! To make sure you have a pleasurable experience while trekking, hiking boots are a must!

Sleeping Bags

These are a must while trekking. When you pitch a tent the ground beneath you is rocky, uneven or even wet. And sleeping will not come too easy if you have to sleep over thorns, rocks or dew. So a sleeping bag acts like a mattress cum blanket. You unzip a sleeping bag and get inside it. So the bottom part of it acts like a mattress and the top half like a blanket! A sleeping bag is extremely light to carry and even more portable than a tent. Also if the weather is nice you can get out of your tent and sleep in the open with just your sleeping bag.

Rucksack

When you go trekking you cannot carry a suitcase. You have to carry something which is easy to manage and which will fit in your sleeping bag, tents and all your mountaineering gear. That’s where a rucksack comes to play. It is light and extremely easy to carry. A rucksack is also very spacious with many zips and pockets. Thus all your sleeping bags, clothes, shoes and other gear will easily fit into this.

Tent

When you go trekking you go to remote places where there aren’t any hotels, resorts or guest houses where you can stay. So in such cases you are compelled to make your own accommodation and this is where tents come in handy. They are easily portable as you can dismantle them and can carry them very easily with you. Also you can pitch tents almost anywhere so whenever you get tired from walking you can always just pitch a tent and spend the night there. Most tents are waterproof, so you are protected from any sort of rainfall or snowfall.

Headlamp

A headlamp is a torch except its hands-free! This is one of the coolest mountaineering equipments ever because it works as a torch yet you don’t hold it, it just fits over your head like a headband. So any kind of work which you do while trekking at night such as cooking, pitching a tent or anything which requires light to do all you need is a headlamp. For enthusiastic trekkers who want to trek at night as well a headlamp is a must.

Carabiners

When you go trekking you carry a lot of equipment and to carry all this equipment carabiners are required to bind them together. If you are attempting an extremely technical climb then ropes are required to give you additional support and ropes can only be used if there are carabiners. Even while cooking, a carabiner is extremely convenient to use to keep a check on the cutlery. Thus, carabiners are extremely essential and useful for trekking.

Water and Food

Water, the elixir of life is the most essential item, especially on a trek. Dehydration is the first reason why trekkers get exhausted. So carrying water is a must and it is better to keep the consumption less. Also, the ideal thing would be each member carrying an individual bottle of water.

While starting for a trek, eating a heavy breakfast is strongly suggested so that a light lunch is sufficient. Carrying high energy chocolate bars is good in case the trek takes more time for any unexpected reason.

Reusable Water Bottle

Carry a reusable liter water bottle and refill along the way. Even if the trek has bottled water to sell, resist the urge to buy bottled water, as plastic bottle waste is an enormous problem at elevation and in villages around the world.

Compass and Cell phone

Thanks to the modern technology, anyone in the world can be traced easily using GPS. Hence it is always best to carry mobile phones (completely charged) while going for a trek. A compass is still a valuable device even in the days of GPS since compass does not rely on electricity.

Insect Repellent

This is one item which is always overlooked. In thick forests and near water bodies, insects are a major cause of concern. Insect bites can be a nuisance and sometimes even fatal. Carrying a good repellent will give a lot of relief from such difficulties.

First-Aid Kit

A simple first-aid kit could be carried by one member of the group with medicines for common injuries and illnesses. Scissors, cotton gauze, anti-septic cream, Sun blocks, cold creams, sun glasses and tissues must be included in the kit.

Camera Bag

If you’re carrying a DSLR camera and multiple lenses consider packing a separate camera bag to protect your gear and to allow you easy access to it. Or you can use a camera bag with a waist belt that allows the bag’s weight to rest on the hips rather than on the shoulders. You can still wear a backpack or daypack on top.

Quick-Drying Travel Towel

Always good to start and end your day by washing your hands and face. You cannot expect hot showers on treks, nor running water of any kind. Although you might find bucket water in some areas (if lucky), you should keep a quick-drying travel towel empty.

Sunscreen, Hat and Sunglasses

Bring the highest SPF sunscreen you can find and wear a hat at all times. The sun’s rays are exceptionally powerful at high altitudes and you’ll find yourself especially exposed when there isn’t a cloud in the sky.

Moisturizing skin cream and lip balm (with SPF)

Creams and moisturizers may sound extraneous, but they can make a difference. Many mountain treks involve high desert where you will not only be exposed to lots of sun, but also arid conditions. Your skin and lips will dry and crack to discomfort if you don’t keep them moist. Treat them nicely: moisturize! And be sure to carry only a tiny lightweight container.

Hand Sanitizer and Soap

One of the best ways to avoid becoming ill: wash your hands thoroughly and often. If you feel a little obsessive compulsive with the hand cleaning, that’s a good thing.

Batteries, Memory Cards

It’s usually better to assume that you won’t find electricity along your trekking route. If you do, consider it gravy. Be sure to ask your trekking guide or agency, or other route-experienced travelers (either in forums or once you are on the ground). Ask them all once, then again for good measure. Bring extra memory cards for your camera so you have ample space to snap away or record video.

This means you should try to bring extra batteries for your camera, headlamp, and anything else that’s battery-powered. If you’re carrying your smartphone with you consider bringing an extra battery pack and putting your phone on Airplane Mode to preserve battery life. If there’s electricity along your trek and you’d like to recharge, by all means bring chargers. But it’s just something else to pack — and something you must prioritize when the final bag stuff begins just prior to setting off.

Sugar Boiled Sweets (Candies)

While trekking you sometimes require energy and opening a can of condensed milk while walking isn’t the most convenient option. Thus a packet of sugar boiled sweets is the best idea while trekking. Not only does it give instant energy but even if someone feels unwell or nauseous as they go higher in altitude sucking on sugar boiled sweets is the best bet. It gives you a nice flavour in your mouth and is extremely easy to open and pop in your mouth. So while trekking a few sugar boiled sweets in your pocket can make the entire experience even more enjoyable!

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MINISTRY OF TOURISM, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA