Bomber Eyewear's Ultimate Fall Hike Packing Guide
What should I pack for a hiking trip?
Image Credit: @musashi671
The perfect pack for a hiking trip depends on the intensity of the trail and how long you plan on being out in the Great Outdoors. Above all, make sure you have enough water and food for your mountain time, as well as solid footwear and clothing that's right for the weather and your environment.
Here are the best things to pack for...
An Easy Trek
For beginner hikers, families with small children, or friends looking for an afternoon stroll in the fresh fall air, you don't have to bring much on the trail with you. Depending on the length and difficulty of your trek, you may be able to get away with just your car keys in your pocket. However, it's smart to bring the following, even if you're just spending a mile or so on the trail:
- Water: At least one reusable bottle per person!
- Food: A snack like a protein bar or trail mix.
- Good shoes: Sneakers for easy trails, tough hiking boots with treads for rock scrambles.
- Weather appropriate clothing: Moisture-wicking athleisure for sweaty hikes, a raincoat or a windbreaker if it's chilly.
- A navigation tool: If you're close to civilization, a GPS-enabled phone is fine. Having an emergency map and compass on hand, especially if you're unfamiliar with the area, is never a bad idea.
- Sunglasses! We wouldn't be Bomber Eyewear if we didn't remind you to bring your sunnies. 😎
The Long Haul
If you're a more experienced hiker, or a newbie looking for a bit of a challenge, you'll need a tougher inventory to take on tougher hikes. For a straight mountaineering up-and-back or a long circuit around your favorite hilly lake, you'll want to pack the following:
- A high-quality backpack: While simple string packs are great for theme parks, you'll want something a little more heavy-duty to hold your supplies.
- Water: At least one reusable bottle per person, or a Camelbak if you won't have a place to refill along the route.
- Food: If you'll be out on the trail, a high-protein meal is a good thing to pack. Plus, there's so much fun in having a picnic high up on a mountain! Just make sure you clean up all your trash on the way out.
- Hiking boots: If you'll be doing actual climbing (and you know how to use them), crampons are a good idea, too.
- First aid kit: This can be as simple as a Ziploc baggie of Band-aids and Neosporin, or as decked out as a full kit with poison ivy ointment and gauze. While you don't want to overpack your backpack, think about what you'd miss if you were a few miles down the trail and couldn't pop over to your local pharmacy.
- Swiss army knife or multi-tool: This is optional if you're just hitting the trails for the day, but if you're heading off-trail or into a lesser-used part of the park, it never hurts to have a multi-tool on hand.
A Backpacking Trip
So you've tackled the easy treks and climbed your first mini mountain -- the next challenge is an overnight! As you're getting ready for your big trek, make sure you've got the supplies to keep you safe in the wilderness. The key to packing for a backpacking trip is to find ways to cut weight however you can, without sacrificing the necessities. Here's what you'll need for a backpacking trip:
- A top-quality backpack with a hiking frame: Never skimp on your backpacking, well, backpack. Backpacks designed for overnight hiking are made with safety frames in place that help distribute weight evenly and save your spine and shoulders from unnecessary pressure or friction. Plus, most backpacking gear usually comes with attachments for clipping on loose items like flashlights and hats, along with a bajillion cool pockets!
- Water bottle and water purification: Especially if you'll be through-hiking for an extended period of time, you need a safe way to get water. Iodine tablets can purify lake and river water, or you can invest in a water pump that filters out harmful bacteria and river gunk.
- Tent: You'll need a lightweight tent for coverage each night. Look for one that's designed for efficiency over heavy duty.
- Camping stove and fuel: Like a tent, if you're traveling with a friend, you'll only need one set of cooking tools for your group. Stock up on a lightweight camping stove and the proper fuel, and be sure to test your stove BEFORE you hit the trail. There's nothing worse than eating uncooked ramen!
- Sleeping pad and sleeping bag: To make your tent extra-comfy. Beware of heavy fabrics, though!
- Emergency supplies: You'll want a beefier first aid kit for overnight trips, as well as some kind of emergency signaling device like a mirror, flashlight, or flare.
- Flashlight and/or headlamp: For wandering around camp late at night.
- Small repair kit: For patching boots, ripped gear, and your backpack.
Where are you headed for your fall adventures? Let us know on Instagram by tagging us @bombereyewear and using the hashtag #bombereyewear! We can't wait to see what you get up to in this gorgeous weather!