If you like the outdoors, have a friend who does too, and have the right selection of hiking gear to hand, getting outdoors for a short hike is one of the simplest ways to soak up the thrill of fresh air and enjoy discovering stunning views.
The hiking gear you should take with you all depends on how far you’re journeying, how remote the location is, and what the weather forecast suggests. The good news is, for a short hike, you shouldn’t need to carry quite as much hiking gear. The general rule is the further the hike, the more remote the location and the more inclement the weather, the more equipment you’ll need to take.
When the outdoors is calling you, making sure you’ve got all the essential hiking gear with you before stepping out the door, will mean that whatever nature throws at you, your hiking gear has you covered. Take a look at our list below to make sure you’ve always got the essentials on whichever short hike you’re embarking on.
Key Hiking Gear
When it comes to hiking gear, the essential equipment you need will vary with the seasons and how far you’re intending on hiking. For a short hike, there are fewer ‘essentials’ you’ll need, but you might find that the more you get outside, the further you want to go!
Hiking Backpack and Cover
For a day hike, a backpack which holds 15-20 litres should be enough space for all the hiking gear you’ll need. Having a cover, or even a large plastic bag to put over your backpack in the rain will keep all your hiking gear inside nice and dry.
Map and Compass
Even with all the technical hiking gear in the world, there’s nothing more reliable than a trusty map. Having a map of the area you’re exploring, a compass and knowing how to use them means you’ll always be able to find your way back.
Even if you’re young, fit and agile, a couple of walking poles can be extremely useful as part of your hiking gear collection. These poles give you stability and can help to stop you from falling or slipping in the mud, all whilst offering your knees tremendous support on all kinds of terrain.
Knife or Multi-Tool
A small utility knife can be a lifesaving piece of hiking gear in an emergency. They can be used to cut bandages, remove splinters and repair all sorts of equipment, and if you don’t end up needing it for any of these things, you can even use it to cut your sandwiches.
Headlamp or Torch
It’s important to remember that with the outdoors, plans and timescales can often go out the window, and it’s wise to always expect the unexpected. So, being prepared with a torch could be just the piece of hiking gear you need to finish your walk safely and reach shelter.
CamelBak or Water Reservoir
A water reservoir is possibly the easiest and most effective way to carry water and stay hydrated when you’re out exploring the countryside. Many backpacks now have space for these too, allowing you to easily access your water when you’re hiking. For a day-long hike, take at least two litres of water as an essential addition to your hiking gear, but if you’re on a shorter hike, you shouldn’t need quite as much.
A handheld GPS is a surefire way to know exactly where you are when you’re feeling a little lost. They are a great alternative if you’re no good with a map, as they can tell you where you are, without you having to figure it out. This handy item of hiking gear can help you to find campsites, water and an alternative way back in case of an emergency.
What to Wear
Even with a vast collection of technical hiking gear, falling short on the correct clothing will hinder your ability to face the outdoors and the surprises it can throw at you. Loose-fitting, comfortable clothes are usually fine, and it’s worth packing a raincoat and a lightweight insulated jacket too, just in case the weather takes a turn.
Hiking Boots or Shoes
There are many different hiking gear brands and styles to choose from when it comes to hiking boots. If you’re not sure what you should go for, opt for a trusted brand that you’re confident champions durability. If you have weak ankles, it’s wise to get boots rather than shoes, to protect your ankles and help to stop you from going over on them.
Breathable T-Shirt or Long-Sleeved Shirt
You can wear a breathable shirt rather than packing it with your hiking gear. These kinds of shirts will help to keep you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold, and they won’t rub or become soaked with sweat after a few hours of walking. Long-sleeved, lightweight shirts can also help to protect you from the sun and insects.
Waterproof or Quick Drying Trousers or Shorts
These kinds of shorts or trousers are not only great for movement as they’re generally loose-fitting and comfortable, but due to their material, they’re also fantastic for keeping you both cool and warm as you need it. Plus, being waterproof or quick-drying, they’ll not slow you down if it does start raining.
If you’re looking to kit yourself out with all the best hiking gear and you’re trying to find that ideal insulated coat to take with you, our NESSH Jacket is designed with hikers and adventurers in mind, to keep you protected in the elements. Take a look at our product page to view all the specifications.