9 Essentials You Should Bring on Your First Solo Hiking Trip in 2023

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Written by Wendy Tucker

So you are planning your next adventure. Going on a solo hike is an amazing way of exploring nature while having your own peace, keeping your own pace, having time to think about things, and enjoy all the sounds and smells otherwise you might miss. Solo hiking might also be a challenge so you need to prepare a bit to find exactly which essentials you should bring on your first solo trip.

Why you need these essentials? Because the weather might change and you may be cold. You need your energy high so you don’t want to be hungry or thirsty. To decide what you need to bring think about how far you plan to go, how long you plan to be there, what the weather forecast is and how rough is the terrain.

To make things easier for you, we wrote this article to tell you exactly which essentials you need for your first hiking trip.

1. Backpack

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The first thing you need is a good backpack. You don’t need to get an expensive one, just be sure you can fit all the things you need inside. For a one-day hike, you need a small one so you can pack lightly, but if you plan to stay 2 or more days it is essential to have a larger one to hold more of your equipment.

Hip belts and chest straps are also important to balance the weight of your backpack on your body. Just be sure that the backpack is comfortable enough.

2. Boots

Good hiking boots are a big essential. You don’t want to ruin your experience with uncomfortable boots. Blisters are every hiker’s nightmare. When choosing your footwear you have to know the weather and the type of terrain.

If it is cold and wet think about waterproof boots, but if it is hot and dry you might get away with regular trail running shoes. Just keep in mind that the shoes have to support you throughout this whole trip.

3. Clothing

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The weather forecast is a must-know thing when choosing your clothes. Always make sure to dress appropriately for the climate conditions. Even when there are low chances of rain, you should always pack a light waterproof jacket.

If the weather is hot you need lighter clothes, pack an extra t-shirt so you can change. Also, an essential thing is a hat. Wearing a custom hat like the ones from RushOrderTees is really important for any trip where you might be exposed to the sun for longer periods of time.

When the weather is cold, pack more layers of clothes to keep you warm. A hoodie or a polar with an appropriate jacket is a must.

4. Water

Depending on the time you stay, either a one-day hike or you plan to stay a couple of days you need your liquids. You need no less than 2 and a half liters of water per day.

Always pack at least 1 liter more than you might think, a water filtering system is also a good idea. In addition, you can bring a little bag of electrolytes since it doesn’t take much space, but it can be of great help if you need a quick boost of energy. In need of a water bottle? Check out these great choices.

5. Food

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There are so many options of food to keep you full while you are hiking. You can bring dehydrated foods, just add boiling water and they are done. Bring a reasonable amount of snacks like protein bars, walnuts, almonds, etc. Fruits like oranges, apples, and bananas are also a good idea since it is harder to squash them in your backpack.

Keep in mind to collect all your junk, keep it in a bag, don’t pollute the environment that you enjoy.

6. Sleeping setup

If you plan on staying longer than one day you need to bring your sleeping setup. Whether you choose a tent or other alternative always make sure they are in good condition.

The sleeping bag depends on the climate conditions. When choosing a sleeping bag always look for one with a rating around 10 degrees lower than the lowest temperature of the night.

The last thing of your sleeping setup is a sleeping pad. You don’t want tiny rocks to poke you while you sleep, it also helps with insulating and keeping you warm.

7. Headlamp/flashlight

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A small flashlight or a headlamp is a really important thing to carry whether you are going on a day hike or planning to stay longer. The time of the sunset is a thing you must know before you go on your first hike. If it gets dark the lamp might save the situation. When choosing a flashlight or a headlamp always buy one with long battery life, also you can bring extra batteries just in case.

8. Emergency kit

You might not need to use it, but an emergency kit is essential in a solo hiking trip.

The main part of every emergency kit is the first aid kit. Make sure to have bandages, a gauze pad, plasters in case of a blister. A little bottle of iodine to treat wounds or another type of wound disinfectant solution is a must. Always carry small scissors so you can cut the bandages easily. Stomach medications and painkillers are also important.

In hot weather conditions make sure to carry sunscreen.

Waterproof matches, firestarter, knife, or multi-tool are safety items that are essential to bringing wherever your hiking trip is. In the case of bears in the forest make sure to carry a bear spray!

9. Navigation

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There is a low mobile service in the forest so your smartphone might not be useful if you need help especially. You might find a navigation device more helpful. You should consider using a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a satellite messenger in case of emergency.

You are in front of a great adventure. We hope you find this list helpful and you pack carefully. Enjoy your time in nature and keep yourself in good mood.


Wendy Tucker


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