Essential gear list

Not sure what to bring on your next hike? We’ve got you covered! Here, you’ll find an essential gear list for your next hiking trail. Whether you’re hiking a day-hike, hut-to-hut hike, long-distance trail, or even thru-hike, you don’t need to take that much with you. The less you have to carry every day, the better and easier the trail becomes. Of course, you should always pack the necessary items and you will need to add items that are important for the specific trail you choose.

Always bring a few items that are not essential but make hiking more enjoyable for you. Consider luxuries not only for during the hike but also, for example, for the long evenings in the mountain hut or tent. Think of an e-reader, journal, earbuds for music, a book with unsolvable Sudoku puzzles, or something else. It’s up to you! The essential gear list is made for every hiker, whether you’re hiking for months or just a day.

You’ll find the full gear list if you scroll down a bit more. We’ve outlined 9 items that are the most important. If you click on the links you’ll be redirected to the brands we recommend and to trusted outdoor gear shops where you can buy these items.

person with backpack standing on rock
person tying his shoe


Most important essentials

These are the absolute must-have essentials for your next hiking trail. It’s not much, but they are most definitely necessary. Choose always to invest in the right quality gear when you have the possibility. It’s more sustainable and keeps you safe on your trails.


  • Hiking shoes
  • Backpack
  • Rainwear
  • Water bottle
  • First aid kit
  • Hiking poles
  • Power bank
  • Clothing: layers
  • Socks

Top brands for your essentials

Hiking shoes

The foundation of any hike. They provide comfort, grip, and protection against rugged terrains, ensuring safety and endurance.



Essential for all the gear you bring, designed to distribute weight evenly, making it easier to transport water, food, and gear.



A shield against the elements because even when the weather looks promising, it can always turn quickly, especially in the mountains.

Rab equipment CORTAZU

Water bottle

Vital for staying hydrated and maintaining energy levels during your hike. Always take at least 1.5 liters of water with you.

SIGG Nalgene


More than just for comfort, the right socks prevent blisters, wick moisture, and provide cushioning over long distances.

Bridgedale Injinji

First aid kit

A compact lifesaver, it is equipped for treating minor injuries to ensure minor setbacks don’t turn into major emergencies.

Ortovox First Aid Kits

Hiking poles

Assist in maintaining balance on uneven terrain, reduce knee strain on descents, and help you get up that mountain.

LEKI Black Diamond


An lifeline for keeping navigation and communication lines open at all times. Carrying it is a small effort for big advantages.

Xtorm Xtorm solar


Layers protect you against fluctuating weather conditions. Take at least three layers with you, a base-, mid-, and outer layer.

Rab equipment Pinewood


Complete essential gear list

  • Hiking shoes
  • Backpack with rain cover
  • Clothing: layers: T-shirt, fleece jacket, down jacket, shorts, long pants, base layers (an underlayer, for example, of merino wool), underwear, and hiking socks
  • Rainwear: (hardshell) jacket and pants
  • Quick-drying towel
  • Hiking poles
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder
  • Cap, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Power bank
  • Water (at least 1.5 liters) and energy-rich food (nuts, chocolate, energy bars, muesli balls, wraps)
  • First aid kit with emergency blanket
  • Roll of small garbage bags
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc.

For navigation

  • GPS watch
  • Map of the area
  • Navigation app on your mobile such as Komoot or Outdooractive

For camping

  • Lightweight tent with footprint (groundsheet)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Cooking gear (stove, pan, spork, lighter)
  • Freeze-dried meals
  • Water filter or purification tablets
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Sitting pad

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