Ultimate Basic hiking gear for beginners - hikingontrails.com

Welcome to our entire hiking essentials guide and hiking gear checklist.


Basics Hiking: Hiking for Beginners

Before we get into our hiking gear checklist, let’s cover some of the hiking basics that you may be snoopy about when wondering how to start hiking.

What is hiking ?? 

Simply hiking is “Walking trough out the country in long way”.
It is a great way to get exercise, explore the outdoors, and connect with nature.

Hiking trails can vary in difficulty and length, from short, easy walks to challenging multi-day treks. Beginners should start with shorter and easier trails to get used to the physical demands of hiking and build up their endurance.
To prepare for a hike, it’s important to research the trail you’ll be taking, including the length, difficulty level, and terrain. Make sure you have appropriate hiking gear, such as comfortable and supportive shoes, a backpack, and water and snacks.

When hiking, it’s important to stay on designated trails and follow Leave No Trace principles, which means leaving the environment the way you found it by not littering or damaging plants and wildlife.

Hiking can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Always let someone know where you’ll be hiking, bring a map and compass or GPS device, and be aware of your surroundings. Stay hydrated and take breaks as needed to rest and refuel.

Types of hiking you should know : 

Hiking can vary in length, terrain, and difficulty level. Here are some different types of hiking:

  • Day hiking: This is the most common type of hiking, where hikers complete a trail in a single day and return to the starting point. Day hikes can vary in length and difficulty level.
  • Thru-hiking: Thru-hiking involves hiking an entire long-distance trail, such as the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail. Thru-hiking can take several months to complete.
  • Peak bagging: Peak bagging is the practice of climbing to the summit of a mountain or peak. Peak baggers often try to summit multiple peaks in a single day or over a longer period of time.
  • Trail running: Trail running involves running on trails instead of paved surfaces. Trail running can be a great way to get a workout and enjoy nature at the same time.
  • Winter hiking: Winter hiking involves hiking in snowy and icy conditions. It requires additional gear such as crampons and snowshoes to navigate the terrain safely.
  • Scrambling: Scrambling involves climbing up steep and rocky terrain using both hands and feet. It’s a more technical type of hiking that requires experience and specialized gear.

These are just a few examples of the different types of hiking. Depending on your preferences and experience level, you can choose the type of hiking that appeals to you the most.

How to get into hiking

If you’re new to hiking, here are some steps to help you get started:

  • Choose a beginner-friendly trail: Start with a trail that is relatively short and easy. Research the trail to make sure it matches your fitness level and hiking experience.

  • Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable, breathable clothing and sturdy, comfortable shoes or boots that provide good support. Dress in layers so you can adjust to changes in temperature.

  • Bring the right gear: Bring a backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, a map or GPS device, and a first aid kit. Other gear like trekking poles, sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen can also be useful.

  • Hike with a partner: Hiking with a friend or group can make the experience more enjoyable and safer. If you do go alone, make sure someone knows where you’re hiking and when you plan to return.

  • Take breaks as needed: Pace yourself and take breaks as needed. Enjoy the scenery and take time to rest and refuel.

  • Leave no trace: Follow the Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the environment and wildlife. Pack out all trash, respect wildlife and their habitats, and stay on designated trails.

  • Build up your skills: As you gain more experience, you can gradually increase the length and difficulty level of your hikes. Consider taking a hiking class or joining a hiking club to improve your skills and meet other hikers.

Remember to always prioritize safety when hiking. Research the trail and weather conditions before you go, and be prepared for any unexpected situations. With the right preparation and mindset, hiking can be a fun and rewarding activity that allows you to explore and appreciate the beauty of nature.


The different types of hiking that you should know before starting hiking. 

Basic hiking tips and gear that you should bring – 

If you are a beginner hiker, there are a few essential items that you should bring with you on any hiking trip. Here are some basic hiking gear for beginners and why you need them:

  • Hiking shoes/boots: A good pair of hiking shoes or boots will protect your feet and provide the support you need on uneven terrain. They should be comfortable, durable, and waterproof.
  • Backpack: You’ll need a backpack to carry your gear and supplies. Look for a backpack that is comfortable to wear, has multiple compartments for organization, and is the appropriate size for your needs.
  • Water bottle: It’s important to stay hydrated while hiking, so bring a water bottle or hydration system that you can easily refill. It’s recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water per day while hiking.
  • Navigation tools: A map and compass or GPS device are essential for navigating on the trail. Make sure you know how to use these tools before heading out.
  • Sun protection: Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are important for protecting your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • First aid kit: A basic first aid kit should include bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. It’s also a good idea to include any personal medications you may need.
  • Clothing: Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changing temperatures. Wear moisture-wicking clothing that will keep you dry and comfortable. Avoid cotton as it can retain moisture and make you colder.

These are just a few of the essential items you’ll need for a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. As you gain more experience, you may want to add additional gear to your pack. Remember to always research the trail and conditions before heading out, and let someone know your plans and expected return time.

Beginner Tips: Take care of you hiking fitness 


Building up your hiking fitness as a beginner can take time, but with consistent effort and dedication, you can gradually increase your endurance and strength. Here are some tips for building up your hiking fitness:

  • Start with shorter hikes: Begin with shorter hikes and gradually increase the distance and difficulty level as you feel comfortable. Don’t push yourself too hard too fast.
  • Incorporate cardio exercises: Activities like running, cycling, or swimming can help build your cardiovascular endurance, which is essential for hiking.
  • Strength training: Hiking involves using your leg muscles, core, and upper body, so it’s important to build strength in these areas. Exercises like squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups can help build the necessary strength.
  • Practice hiking uphill: Uphill hiking is more challenging than flat hiking, so practice hiking uphill to build your endurance and leg strength.
  • Increase your pace: As you become more comfortable with hiking, try to increase your pace. This will help build your endurance and challenge your cardiovascular system.
  • Stay hydrated and fueled: Make sure you stay hydrated and fueled during your hikes. Bring enough water and snacks to keep your energy levels up.
  • Rest and recover: Rest and recovery are just as important as training. Give yourself time to recover between hikes and take rest days as needed.

Remember to listen to your body and take it slow as you build up your hiking fitness. Over time, you’ll be able to tackle longer and more challenging hikes with ease

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