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Planning a Hike? Don’t Forget These Essentials.

Read on to learn why it pays to splurge on a quality jacket and the right kind of socks, and other helpful tips

A woman in a blue tank top and leisure shorts and a man wearing a large red hiking backpack with sleeping gear hike in a woody area

Whether you’re an avid adventurer or a newbie trekker, we recommend you bring along these eight must-have items on your next outdoor sojourn.

Quality Jacket

You’ll need something that’s lightweight, waterproof and wind resistant. A hood is also helpful. It pays to splurge on a jacket, especially one made from GORE-TEX®. The material can be pricey but it ticks all the boxes above while also being breathable and durable.

Proper Hiking Shoes

Invest some time in finding the perfect ones for you. Make sure they have substantial heel support, but that the shoe is not too heavy. And the right size is crucial. A lightweight, all-terrain, mid-rise, waterproof boot is a great all-around option

UV Pen

These are perfect for sterilizing water, meaning you don’t have to worry about harmful microorganisms every time you down some H2O. Try the easily transportable SteriPEN, available in several models.

Hiking Pole

If you are backcountry hiking with a big pack, you—and your knees—will be happy you have this. Retractable walking sticks, made specifically for hiking, are widely available. But a ski pole or a good old-fashioned stick (cut to your height) will do just fine.

Fitted Backpack

As with shoes, a backpack needs to fit properly for maximum comfort. Just remember: backpack sizes are based on the length of your torso, not your total height. Also, make sure you are measured in store before choosing your pack.

Wool Socks

These dry much faster than their cotton counterparts, meaning you won’t have to pole vault over every puddle.


Even if you don’t plan on being out in the dark, a pocket flashlight (with new batteries) could be a lifesaver if you’re trapped out later than expected.


The occasional bite will help you maintain your energy during your hike. Food will also come in handy if you are out in the wild for longer than forecast. We love Clif Bars, which come in a variety of delicious flavours.