Hiking is becoming more popular by the day, and rightly so. It can be a cheap form of holiday, saving on expensive accommodation. It also offers the chance to catch up with friends and family, whilst enjoying the view and traveling slowly instead of the usual rushing around.

There’s a greater level of flexibility if camping is involved. Why not stay longer than planned at one location if it’s really nice, or reroute the itinerary if it’s not? Hiking for one day is relatively simple to prepare for, but it’s a different thing when it’s for several days.

This article provides seven items that should definitely be included on any hiking holiday.

Medical bag

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There’s no doubt that many items can be described as essential for hiking trips. Having said that, a medical bag surely tops the list. Experts from GearDisciple.com provide details about optional things like binoculars and rechargeable flashlights on their website, as well as a checklist of essential first aid items. Another helpful suggestion they give is considering having emergency food storage.

Water filters will be needed for some countries and diarrhea tablets just in case. Feet may blister with all the walking, so plasters should be packed. Also, take bandages. Other travelers may experience muscle pain after the sustained walking, so you may also need some medication for that. A digital thermometer will be of help for anyone who thinks they are unwell to check if they have a fever and need medical help.

Other things to include are paracetamol, prescription medication, sunscreen, and after-sun lotion. Take antiseptic cream and something for bites or allergies too. Lip balm and skin moisturizer can help if the cold weather takes its toll.

Sleeping bag

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These come in all shapes and sizes, from those designed for children to double-bags for couples. They can be rectangular or mummy shaped. Sleeping bags are like duvets in that there is a choice of warmth that they can provide.

It’s better to be too hot and unzip it than to be under-prepared for a cold night. It’s amazing how the temperature can drop, even when it’s been hot all day. Summer bags cater to temperatures over 30 degrees, and at the other extreme winter, bags will help if it’s 15 degrees or less.

Bag liners act like an extra blanket and help protect the inside of the bag, particularly if one’s feet are dirty. Some sleeping bags offer extra benefits such as pockets and pouches for storage. They are usually made with down or synthetic products for warmth.

Toiletry bag

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This needs to include everything for an overnight stay, ranging from hair products and hairbrush to toothpaste and toothbrush. Take soap or shower gel, and deodorant. Cleansing wipes or gel can provide on the go cleaning. It’s advisable to zip-lock liquid items to prevent spillage inside the rucksack. Females should pack sanitary items including sanitary towels and sealable bags.

Charger pack

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It’s quite adventurous for someone to bring a laptop on the journey, as the risk of damage can be above average. All electrical or chargeable items will need chargers to be brought with them. That includes phones and electric shavers.

It might come as a surprise to learn that globally there are 15 types of power adaptors. These can connect the plugs from your appliances to the sockets at the location if they are different. If such an adaptor has been forgotten, none of the other items will be usable.

Document holder

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All paperwork must be kept in a waterproof envelope of some kind. Start with the holiday and travel insurance documentation. If traveling abroad, pack the passport and any visa, train, or plane ticket.

Some countries require pre-immunization from illnesses such as Yellow Fever. Check with your medical advisers whether any injections or medication are needed. Immunization certificates are issued by doctors to produce at the Customs. European travelers should include an EHIC card in case medical treatment is needed. If driving is planned e.g. with a hire car, a Driving License will also need to be produced.

Multi-tool knife

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Most people have heard of swiss-army knives which are a collection of different things all in one, like a mini toolbox. Multi-tool knives are small and light to carry, but can come in handy on many occasions.

Some include screwdrivers, e.g. for fixing one’s glasses. There’s often bottle or can openers which will be useful for mealtimes. Facial hair can be tweaked using tweezers, and mini scissors can help with opening food packaging. Some knives also include practical things like pliers and wire cutters.

Water bottle

Reusable bottles are more environmentally friendly than disposable ones. They are generally more sturdy too. They can provide a much-needed drink whilst trekking, and can be regularly refilled. When trying to save money on holiday, it can be cheaper to carry water around than keep buying drinks elsewhere. When using tap water it is important to ensure it is safe, otherwise use water filters as directed first.

It’s important to make plenty of research in advance, to ensure all the essentials are packed. Speak to others who have done this before you, as they may have some great tips. Use a rucksack that is kind to your back and fits correctly. Back problems may be experienced long term if this is not done. If different items are stored in different sections of the bag, they will be easier to access.

When it comes to such things as medical items or toiletries it may be worth the whole group agreeing on who brings what. That way unnecessary duplication will occur, and less will be carried. Choose a sleeping bag that is fit for use and adequate for the night temperatures. Any electrical items will need the correct plugs for the area and have a charger. Keep all the paperwork together, and protect it in case liquids are spilled within the bag or rain gets in.

A multi-purpose knife may help with both the expected and unexpected. Bring adequate food and snack supplies, and include a reusable water container for drinks on the go. It’s a great feeling when everything comes together and the group is ready to start the adventure!

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