Wanderer mit Kompass

Packing list for hiking

Choosing the right equipment is essential for planning a tour. Depending on the difficulty of the hike, wrong or missing equipment is not only annoying but can be quite dangerous. To make sure you are always safe and comfortable, we have prepared an overview of all the things you will need when hiking.

Backpack

There is the perfect backpack for every adventure. Which size you choose depends primarily on the destination, the type of accommodation and board, as well as the required equipment.
Knowledge Page
Hiking backpacks

Between a half-day hike and an expedition lasting several weeks, there are worlds apart. For every adventure out there ...

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Clothing

Underwear

In cold temperatures, it keeps you warm; in hot weather, it stays breathable and dries quickly: we are talking about functional underwear. To fulfill its purpose, the underwear should be made of elastic material, have flat seams and fit the body like a second skin.

Fabrics such as merino wool and polyester have proved their worth in particular. Cotton is rather unsuitable because it dries slowly and thus hinders the moisture exchange – the same applies to T-shirts.

Outerwear

In hot temperatures, hikers are well-advised to wear an airy shirt made of merino wool or synthetic fibers. This layer also forms the basis for colder temperatures.

Warming and weather-resistant layers are gradually added – for example, a long sleeve, a fleece jacket, a softshell vest or a hardshell jacket.

Hikers with functional clothing
Photo: Marc Oeder, Allgäu GmbH

Legwear

Hiking pants are made of durable and quick-drying material. They are available in short and long versions – but also as practical zip-off trousers that you can shorten, if necessary. Especially in uncertain weather conditions, you are well prepared.
Hikers wearing shorts
Hikers wearing shorts
Photo: Kraichgau-Stromberg Tourismus e.V./Fotostate

If you have to be prepared for wet weather, rain trousers are a good idea. In case of a rain shower, you simply put them on over your hiking trousers. Ideally, you buy your rain trousers one size larger.

If you are only afraid of getting wet from below – i.e. walking through muddy terrain, wet meadows or snow – gaiters are an excellent alternative to rain trousers.


Shoes

If you are traveling with unsuitable footwear, you risk blisters on the feet and posture-related pain. Inappropriate shoes offer neither stability nor safety. No matter if you're going for a leisurely walk or a demanding long-distance hike: you should consider these tips when choosing your shoes.

When choosing the right footwear, the surface on which you are going to walk on is decisive. Wearing shoes that are not ...

Outdooractive Editors

Sun protection

Certain parts of the body are particularly exposed to the sun during hiking – and these must be protected. In this article, you can read how to prevent sunburn or even sunstroke and which protection is best suited to your skin type.

You probably want to refrain from having a bad sunburn or even a sunstroke as the last memory of your adventure. Certain ...

Outdooractive Editors

Provisions

Depending on the length of the route, hiking needs a lot of energy. Therefore the physical reserves of strength must always be filled.

An extensive breakfast is essential. The first meal of the day should be plentiful, but not too heavy. With a feeling of fullness in the stomach, it is difficult to move.

During the hike itself, we recommend having small and regular snacks. Carbohydrate-rich foods are best suited for this. Energy is available in, for example, wholemeal sandwiches, cereal bars, energy gels, dried or fresh fruit – especially bananas – and sports drinks.


First aid kit

Hoping you will never actually need it, you should always have it with you on your walks: We are talking about the first aid kit. All items that come into contact with open wounds must be sterilely packed and replaced after a single use.

  •  non-stick compresses

  • a large band-aid

  • several small band-aids (cuttable to size)

  • two sterile gauze bandages

  • alcohol swaps for disinfection

  • blister plaster

  • triangular bandage

  • adhesive plaster

  • bandage scissors with a blunt tip

  • tweezers

  • disposable gloves

  • rescue blanket

  • signaling whistle

  • painkiller


Miscellaneous

  •  Hiking map or guide book: Hiking maps provide a good overview of all the trails available and are therefore useful for safe route planning and orientation in the terrain.

  • Trekking poles: They support your muscles when going uphill and relieve your knees when going downhill. They are available in many different versions and materials. The correct pole length depends on your height (rule for the ideal pole length: height x 0.68).

  • Pocket knife: An object that is indispensable in the everyday life of an outdoor enthusiast. The pocket knife is a space-saving alternative for carrying various tools – from a knife to a screwdriver to a saw.

  • Headlight: It is a must for anyone who wants to be outside for more than half a day. Various models ensure the right choice in terms of packing size and brightness.


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