Those who have been hiking more often already have a plan of what is needed, but it is usually quite different for the newcomers.
Since it is pretty easy to lose track of everything important, we have put together the ultimate packing list for your next hike.
You will not only find the necessary equipment there but also other things that can significantly increase your experience again.
The equipment itself will be different from situation to the situation because it matters what you have planned for a hike.
Is it for several days or only for one day? What time of year does it take place and could there be rainy weather? What is the goal and what terrain are you in?
Depending on the situation, you should make your own decision and look for your equipment.
This packing list is intended to help you complete the equipment for an overnight hike.
If you have other plans for your hiking trip, our other packing lists could help you further, including for multi-day hikes, trekking and festivals.
First of all, we would like to list the basic equipment of every hike. Of course, you may not need some things, such as a tent, if you stay in hostels or other accommodations.
Nevertheless, the things listed below are part of the general basic equipment and you should not be too stingy when it comes to the equipment. Good quality is extremely noticeable when hiking.
Backpack protective cover
Camping stove + fuel
Depending on where you go hiking, the temperatures may rise or fall, depending on the altitude you are at. Because of this, we recommend that you always be prepared for warmer or cooler temperatures.
During the summer, the day begins with a beautiful clear sky, but as the day progresses, the high temperature causes water to evaporate and clouds to form, which in turn can become a rainy afternoon. Our motto (you will read more often): Be well prepared!
Functional shirt / shirt
Short / long hiking pants
Thin down jacket
Functional jacket (waterproof)
Rain pants if necessary
Headgear hat / cap / hat
Comfortable clothing for the tent
Hygiene items should not be missing on a hike, especially the ladies have to carry a little more with them, so we recommend filling most liquid items such as shampoo, money, toothpaste, etc. in small bottles, which in turn can be easily stowed away in a toilet bag can. As with the other categories, it’s sometimes up to you to decide what you need and what you don’t. However, you should have the most important hygiene items with you.
- Toiletry bag
- Lip balm
- Ear sticks
- Toilet paper
- Tick pliers
- Contact lenses + accessories
- Shower gel / shampoo
If you hike away from civilization, you won’t be able to avoid cooking yourself. Cooking in the wilderness can be a lot of fun and of course there is no shortage of equipment so that you can prepare your favorite dish on the go.
As you can imagine, some cooking utensils are relatively heavy together, so you should really think about what you need and what you don’t. In addition, make sure that dishes, cutlery, etc. are at best not made of porcelain or other heavy materials. Camping dishes are best. The same applies to pots and pans.
- Gas or gas cooker
- Cookware & cutlery
- Water filter
- Tea towel / detergent
- Pots & pans
- Wooden spoon / spatula / ladle
- Work board
- tin opener
- bottle opener
- Fresh storage boxes
- Aluminum foil
- Sponge / dishcloth / tea towel
- cleaning rags
- Kitchen roll
To eat and drink
Without ingredients for your favorite dish, the cooking utensils you bring with you of course make no sense. What you take with you of course is up to you, but as with all other things, you shouldn’t take too much and pay attention to the weight.
We recommend taking at least 3 liters of water with you each day. The amount of course varies depending on the weather, your health, how much you have with you, how long you hike and much more.
Taking water with you is a matter of course, but many underestimate the amount you should take with you, and not dehydrating is sometimes the most important thing to watch out for when hiking.
Since water is probably one of the hardest things to take with you, you should think about how you will carry your water with you. Plastic bottles are light, but they can heat up in sunny weather and at the end of the day you have to “enjoy” warm water with a plastic aroma.
If you choose bottles made of heavier material, you can divide the weight by taking several small ones instead of one and distributing them evenly in the backpack.
Unlike any other item you take with you, we have found that taking more with you has been very helpful in some situations. So don’t save too much on your water supply.
Finance & documents
You will need some of your documents on the go. Be it for controls or in emergencies. You should always have your most important documents with you. Of course, these do not have to be in the original. We recommend that you scan and copy the papers. If a copy is lost then that’s no problem.
- Valid identity card / passport
- Possibly. visa
- Driving license
- Vaccination card
- Health card
- Confirmation of relevant insurance
- Relevant documents for children / pets
- Transport ticket (train / bus)
- Credit card
- EC card
- Online banking
- Blocking number (bank card / cell phone)
Medicines / first aid
Even if you are not going on a long hiking tour, it is advisable to always have medication and a first aid kit with you, because whether it is just a tick bite or a broken foot bone, there is the possibility on every hike. Most first aid kits are packed and come with everything you need in an emergency. If you put together your first aid kit yourself, we have listed everything you will need below in case of an emergency.
Which medication you take with you depends heavily on the state of your health. Diabetics think about their insulin injections and someone with asthma naturally thinks about their spray. Be aware that you may not have access to external medication outside and be prepared for it.
- personal medication
- Antiallergic for emergencies
- Electrolytes for stomach and intestinal diseases
- Insect protection (environmentally friendly)
- First aid kit (or)
- First aid kit
- Bandage cloth
- Elastic bandage
- Sterile gloves
- band Aid
- Burn and healing ointment
- Zinc ointment
- Wound sutures
- Triangular shawls
- Safety pins
- Wound dressings
- Alcohol swabs
- Rescue film
- Cool pack
You don’t have to do without the beloved technology on a hike. We would even recommend that you take them with you. Not only is this extremely beneficial in emergencies, it can give you entertainment in the evening and keep you on the way during the hike. What you take with you is of course up to you, but you should still buy some equipment.
- Laptop / tablet
- GPS device
- Charging cable for every device
Here we would like to show you a few things that are worth taking with you but not necessary. Here you have to decide what is really necessary for you personally, since your backpack will probably already be filled with some. This is actually about things that you could use but are not necessarily used. They are always helpful and you have to complete this list yourself.
- Gaffa tape
- Snap hook
- Patch kit
- travel Guide
- Replacement glasses
- Walking sticks
- Travel entertainment
- cable ties
Here are a few tips before you can go on a hike
Since you may lose something on the way, you shouldn’t take any things you don’t need with you when hiking.
Leave your house key with a family member, friends or neighbor to pick them up afterwards.
Since you are not at home, it is not necessary to keep it warm
Turn off the heating, hot water, gas taps and, if necessary, the electricity, unless you have some devices that have to stay on.
If you have an alarm system, it is natural to switch it on. You can also check their functionality beforehand. The same applies to smoke detectors.
Empty your fridge of everything that could spoil and empty your trash can. There is no reason to let waste continue to rot in the apartment or house.
Close your windows and logically your door.
Tips on the 9 most important things
Choosing a backpack can be one of the most important decisions you have to make. The selection of backpacks ranges from ultra-light models to complete packages that are designed for comfort and carrying many things.
In terms of volume, there are models that range from 40 to 75 liters. Which one you choose depends on the length of your hike, how bulky your equipment is and of course how much you want to take with you regardless of the length of the hike.
We generally recommend a backpack with at least 60 liters, as these offer enough space for everything important and some personal things that you would like to take with you on the hike.
Some models even offer integrated hydration bladders, which are generally called hydration packs. If you want to learn more about it, read our hydration backpack guide.
We also have tips for lighter luggage in relation to hiking backpacks.
The tent is one of the most important things to think about. It not only serves to protect you from the weather but also from the wildlife that is close to you during your sleep.
As with every piece of your equipment, the tent should be light, because you will definitely notice every gram on your shoulders.
The most popular tents are the 2-man tents, which can weigh between 1 and 4 kg. Of course there are also lighter minimalist tents.
Pay attention to the size of the interior, durability and the entrances of the tents.
Take a look at our detailed guide to the best one-man tents .
After a long, hard day, the last thing you want is a restless, cold night. Cheap, poor quality sleeping bags will rob you of your well-deserved nights, as the cold will prevent you from falling asleep. Sleeping bags can be quite expensive, but the investment will definitely be worth it.
You have to be careful with sleeping bags, because there are enormous differences between pack size and weight. For some sleeping bags you need your own backpack and others take up relatively little space and are light.
Depending on the season, there are different models that should keep you warm in winter and be airy in summer. As you can imagine, sleeping bags for winter are unbearable in summer and vice versa. So pay attention to what time of year the sleeping bag is designed.
The sleeping pad is almost as important as the sleeping bag itself. Not only does the sleeping pad bring another level of comfort, it is mainly responsible for separating your body from the cold floor.
Just like the sleeping bag. you shouldn’t really grab the cheapest model, because a sleeping pad won’t work if it is not well insulated or even too small. Then you can sleep directly without.
An alternative to a sleeping pad is an air mattress, which takes up a lot of space and is also heavier than a sleeping pad. In addition, you would have to pump it up and patch it if it leaks. You will notice that it is doable but involves more work and more weight on the shoulders.
Read our detailed article on the best mattresses for more information.
Whether you want to prepare a feast or warm up cans, you will need a camping stove. Here, too, there are models for very little money and little weight, but also somewhat more expensive, more robust models.
The key element of the camping stove is the way in which it is operated, i.e. which fuel is used.
You also have to consider the design of the camping stove itself. With some you need a pot or even have to screw it on or even all-in-one systems.
The choice is yours and your chosen equipment.
What you take with you of course depends on your preferences, but I think we agree that you should definitely take some with you. Taking your own ingredients and preparing a meal is a lot of fun, especially outdoors, but takes up a lot of space in your backpack.
An alternative to this is outdoor food, which is dehydrated and only needs the addition of water to be able to be consumed. Lately these have gotten really good because they are less salty, have more nutritional values and taste better.
Other than that, you don’t really have to cook and less stuff to wash off. Simply put water in the bag and eat. It couldn’t be easier!
No matter what you choose, prepare your meals and only take what you really need.
There is a good reason why no other piece of equipment is more important than your footwear. Your feet are permanently on the most varied terrain, which can really affect them if your hiking shoes do not protect them well.
Most models are now designed to be light and comfortable. Choosing the right shoe can be a little difficult, but in our hiking shoes guide you can read what to look for and recommend the best hiking shoes at the moment.
A little tip on the side: break in your shoes a few days beforehand. Blisters or other inconveniences can quickly occur if the shoes are not registered.
Hiking shoes also include good hiking socks that protect against cold / heat and add another level of comfort.
We recommend hiking socks made of merino wool, which is extremely comfortable and has good temperature regulation.
Walking sticks are a great way to reduce the load on your legs and knees and generally make hiking easier.
Hiking poles differ in the material and the way in which they can be stowed. Some are foldable or retractable. The handles are made of plastic, cork or hard foam.
Since hiking poles themselves are a big topic, we have created a guide to hiking poles here, which you should read through to learn everything important about hiking poles.