March, 2021July 15, 2022
Trekking essentials’ checklist – List of must have things to pack for trekking
Trekking, the name itself is goose-bumping. When I hear this name, all I imagine is a rocky, uneven path, trees, hills, a heavy backpack on the back, and hours of continuous and tiring walk. This outdoor, adventurous activity pushes one to walk out of the comfort zone and tests the stamina of a person, whether a first-time trekker or a seasoned one. The situations are mostly unpredictable and take a great deal of effort when it comes to extreme trekking. And I am talking about the long, difficult trek, not the easy ones. Trekking to remote, unexplored locations, camping in the woods, or snowcapped mountains, it’s not always about your stamina but also the trekking essentials that enable you to survive such harsh and extreme environments.
Packing for trekking is a decision that often leaves one baffled especially the beginners who are going trekking for the first time. The situation becomes more daunting for the solo trekkers who are traveling alone. Trekking in the group can be a little relief as you have people around to assist you in any situation. But going on solo trekking, a checklist of trekking essentials is something one shouldn’t miss going through. People who love outdoor activities and are thrilled by the sight of hills, rivers, and snow; for them, trekking is the most beautiful thing to do.
People are tired of being locked up at home and now they are moving out of their confinements. Now, all they need is serenity and some moments away from the chaos they have been through during this lockdown. Trekking and camping are two such adventure activities that come to mind when such a situation is considered. Be it a weekend trekking to a nearby location or a weeklong hideout somewhere in the hills, away from the hustle-bustle, one must always plan for the essential things for trekking so that everything goes smooth and uninterrupted. If you have done trekking once, you must already have a faint picture of the situations and you must be aware of the strategies to keep yourself going. As I mentioned above, it’s not always about stamina but also about the trekking equipment that will support you all the way to your destination with safety.
Read Here – How to click yourself while traveling solo?
Before choosing trekking essentials, one should first understand why s/he going on a trek and for how long the person will be trekking and camping. Without understanding these two scenarios, it becomes hard to pack things for trekking and camping. Imagine you only want to spend 24 hours and you pack trekking essentials for a week; that’s not wise and it will only create problems for you than to help. So, depending on the scenario, one should pack. When it comes to packing for trekking, there are two things, the first is the trekking essentials and the second is your personal choices and both differ from each other. You may want to carry your fitness band on hiking but that’s not essential. You may want to carry a DSLR while you trek but that’s not an essential item. But carrying a med-kit is a trekking essential.
Read Here – Trekking in Shangarh
Here I am breaking down the most essential things which one must pack before going trekking. Be it a small 2-day trek or a week-long trek, there are some things one shouldn’t miss packing while going for this adventurous outdoor activity. Let’s have a look at the checklist of the top ten trekking essentials one should pick while packing for trekking or hiking.
1. A sturdy water-resistant/proof backpack
One of the most important things and always on the top of the checklist of trekking essentials is the backpack which will keep your all trekking equipment safe, be it in rain or in the snow. Depending on your trek routine or duration, you can pick a backpack. Make sure that your backpack is water-resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions. You may have your electronic gadgets in your backpack and you don’t want them damaged. Your trekking backpack should have enough space for your clothes and other equipment. It should have nice padding around the shoulders, back and should have enough pockets for quick access to essential items that you will need frequently on the trek. Your trekking backpack carries your life. A 40-50 liter rucksack should be enough for you. Also, have a waterproof cover for your bag.
2. Footwear – Trekking boots & slippers
The second most important things for trekking are your boots. You can’t trek in your formal shoes or casual shoes. You need rugged boots that are meant to survive rocky terrains and water. Ankle boots with cushioning inside and hard layer outside as well as on the sole is what you need. The boots should be hard enough to walk over any surface, rocky, thorny, water, snow, etc. However, snow boots are slightly different from trekking boots but they work in such conditions as well. Along with trekking boots, you should also pack a pair of washroom slippers because you won’t take shower in your boots in case you have to, or you may need slippers in some situations. Putting on boots every time isn’t a pleasant experience so slippers save you there. Also, you are going to walk a lot so make sure that you don’t go trekking with new boots as new boots will take a while to adjust according to your shoes and pace.
Read Here – Do you travel in boots?
3. Trekking clothes (trousers and t-shirts)
Ensure that you pack comfortable clothes. Your trouser should help your leg move in any direction easily. Pick both full sleeves and half sleeves shirts. Now again, depending on weather conditions, you should pack your clothes. If you are going for snow trekking and camping, you need to pack accordingly such as thermals, woolens, sweatshirts, etc. If you are likely to encounter rain on the way, you better prepare for that too. However, ensure that you don’t stuff your backpack with lots of clothes. You can easily go on for a couple of days in the same clothes. You aren’t going on a luxury trip. You are going on trekking and camping. You may have to stay without a shower for a couple of days. I did too. Or you may just get to wash off your face, that’s it. Your clothes should be quick dry. You don’t want to wait hours for that. You may also consider trekking gloves.
4. Multipurpose tool – Swiss knife
A multipurpose tool is an important thing and should be included in your checklist of trekking essential. The Swiss knife has lots of tools and saves you in such conditions. There are various models of army knives available in the market. Usually, a Swiss army knife has a blade, a small blade, scissors, wire scraper, cuticle pusher, bit driver, wire crimper, hook disgorger, metal file, LED flash, hoof cleaner, shackle opener, can opener, multipurpose hook, a small knife, etc. These are some tools that you are likely to find in a Swiss army knife. You may find more or less of them depending on various models available. So, you can imagine how useful a single Swiss army knife can be while trekking. It saves lots of space and an amazing thing is all these tools are well organized in one place. You don’t need a separate pouch for them. Just slide it in the outside pocket of your backpack and you are good to go.
5. A Tent and sleeping bag
If you are planning for spending a night in the jungle or by the riverside or somewhere in the hills, you are going to need a sleeping bag and a tent. If you have booked your trek expedition through an operator, chances are that they will provide you a tent and sleeping bag. But if you are going on your own or if you are an independent trekker, you are going to need one. Your sleeping bag and tent should keep you warm in any environment. Even if the temperature drops to freezing cold. The tent should withstand a heavy gust of wind or snow or rain. This is your home for as long as you are out in that place. So, make sure that you pick one that saves you during any unpredictable situation. Safety along with comfort; that’s what you need.
6. Medical kit and toiletry kit
You are likely to get small cuts, bruises, and wounds while trekking. You are likely to catch the cold and mild fever. Or even if it is a headache. You need a small medical kit with you. Before going trekking, get yourself medically examined by a doctor and seek advice if you should go on trekking or not. Also, ask your doctor to prescribe you some common medicines such as for fever, nausea, stomach ache, food poisoning, etc. Your medical kit should have bandages, sanitizer, painkillers, antiseptic, cotton, common medicines, glucose powder or ORS, insect repellent, moisturizer, sunblock creams, etc. Along with it, you need a toiletry kit. You will have to attend your nature call in the open. So, from disposing of your waste to keeping yourself hygienic, you will do everything manually. Also, your toiletry kit should have your daily care items such as body shower gel, shampoo, tissues, handwash, soap, toothpaste, and brush, etc.
7. Cooking essentials, water bottle, and water filter
This also depends if you are planning to spend a day or two or you are returning the same day. If you are going to spend more than a day and you are all by yourself you should have a small kitchen with you. A small stove which is enough for a person along with a small cylinder of fuel (butane), a small dish, plate, tumbler, fire starter or matchbox (won’t work if moist), spoon, spices, easy to cook food such as rice, noodles, or packed, ready to make food in which you just need to add boiling water, etc. are some items which you will need during your camp and trek. You can pack these spices in small bottles or pouches and pack them nicely, and safely. You won’t need them every now and then so you can pack them in your rucksack at the bottle. You should also pack energy bars, nuts, cookies, etc. for a quick bite which you can have on the go.
You should also carry a sturdy water bottle with you. You may have to face situations where you won’t find water to drink. Thus, a nice water bottle will keep you hydrated and quench your thirst. Not all water you see will be healthy enough to drink so a water filter is what you need. Thus, include it too in your trekking essentials.
8. Torch, GPS, and power bank
Staying overnight means you need a light source. The handiest light source will be your smartphone but you need a dedicated source. A rechargeable torch/lamp comes in handy for such situations. The torch should be both power and solar rechargeable which will help you in several ways. You don’t want your phone to die just by its flashlight. That’s what you can use in need of an emergency. Also, a GPS navigation or compass is an important thing to help you navigate through the forest. Though your smartphone is enough to rescue you in such situations but what if you don’t get a network in the jungle? So act accordingly. Also, you need a power backup. You won’t get electricity there in the jungle. So to recharge your devices such as your smartphone, torch, etc. you need a nice power bank. Better if the power bank can be recharged by solar light so that you can have enough juice when the sun is on the top. Carry extra batteries for your camera and torch.
9. Cap, sunglasses, and trekking pole
If you are going to trek where the weather remains hot and the sun is always on the top, you are going to need a cup to cover your head and sunglasses to block the direct sunlight that not only hits on your face but your eyes as well. Thus, you need a cap and sunglasses to avoid such conditions. A cap can help you keep your body temperature cool in extreme heat conditions. Also, a trekking pole or stick is a good help while trekking. It aids you will trek up or down and you can balance yourself on the trek. If you are trekking in the snow, it also helps you know the level and density of the snow. So, you can step wisely without getting hurt. Moreover, if you are into the thick jungle, bushes, the trekking pole helps you escape and scare any animal that comes on the way. So it has several benefits.
11. Miscellaneous trekking essentials
Most of the major trekking essential items have been talked about in the above 9 points of this post. Now what’s left depends on your personal choices. You may want to pack a small speaker so that you can enjoy good music while trekking or you can watch a movie at night in your tent. Further, packing a book can help you kill the time. You can read a few pages, sipping coffee while sitting by the river bank. Many people love to read in such conditions where they find themselves totally lost in the book. Earphones, cameras, shooting equipment, etc. are some other items that you may want to consider packing while going trekking and camping in the jungle. Also, you can think of adding a camping pillow/neck pillow to your checklist of trekking essentials.
Trekking is both a fun and adventure activities. It teaches us to stay out of our comfort zone and how to handle situations. These trekking accessories are some of the most common items which everyone should need while going on trekking. One can either purchase or trekking gears are also available on rent so you can opt for that too. After returning from a hard trek, you need enough rest and maybe a minor medical examination to see if you are all okay, like any muscular pain, stomach upset, etc.
These important things to carry for trekking can dig a big hole in your pocket so you have to ensure your budget accordingly. Or better if you buy these items one by one instead of buying everything suddenly. An easy option is to rent the trekking accessories and saving for them. You can rent a tent if you don’t have a budget and save for it. I too rented a camp when I did camping at Triund. The camp came with a sleeping bag at 600 INR. You must have valid ID proof with you.
Ensure that essentials for snow trekking are slightly different from trekking to hills/mountains. Most of the time the trekking checklist varies depending on the weather conditions. Also, the trekking gear list for men slightly differs from the trekking gear list of women. When you ask yourself a question what to pack for a day, the answer will remove most of the trekking essentials which have discussed above. However, to my mind, the most important thing to consider here is that if you are just going trekking or if you are going camping too.
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I am a food & travel enthusiast, a music aficionado, poet, artist, and someone who loves to explore unexplored/off-beat places. I started this blog to share my food and travel journey.