10 (Modern) Essentials Every Hiker Should Carry

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10 (Modern) Essentials Every Hiker Should Carry

When you hit the trail, these are the 10 items you should always carry in your daypack. By Kraig Becker

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When you hit the trail, these are the 10 items you should always carry in your daypack.

By
Kraig Becker

10 (Modern) Essentials Every Hiker Should Carry

Whether you’re out for a day or weeks at a time, the 10 essentials of hiking will keep you safe on the trail.


When the third edition of the classic book Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills was released back in 1974, it quickly became a must-read for any outdoor enthusiast. The book was jam packed with practical advice, clever tips, and fascinating stories not only for climbers, but for hikers and backpackers, too. It was also the first published version of an iconic list of hiking essentials that remains just as relevant and important more than 45 years later.

The “10 essentials of hiking” were designed to provide hikers and backpackers with a list of outdoor gear that they should take with them every time they hit the trail. Over the years, the list has been updated and modified a bit, but its purpose has remained largely unchanged––keeping us safe in the backcountry.

Whether you’re heading out for a day hike, or spending weeks on the Appalachian Trail, these are the 10 classic essentials redefined for the modern age that you should always carry in your daypack, plus a few extra items thrown in for good measure. 

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