What gear do you need for a trekking trip?

Whether you are going on your first trekking trip, visiting the Appalachian Trail, or just brushing up on your packing list, you might be wondering, “What gear do you need for a trekking trip?” In this article, we will break down all of the trekking trip essentials you should pack and why they are necessary.

Comfortable Backpack

Having a comfortable backpack is crucial for carrying all of your other essentials. Make sure your backpack has enough space to carry everything you will need for a trekking trip. It should also be adjusted to fit you well. 

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles can strengthen your stride and relieve you while walking. The poles help reduce strain and pressure on your knees, especially when you are going up or down hills. This is because they reduce the body weight that is being supported by your legs. 

High-Efficiency Foods

Eating well is critical to having the energy you need for your trekking trip. Pack food for small, frequent meals that are packed with energy and protein. Prepacked meals are a great option. Be sure to think through any gear you will need to open or prepare any food you bring on your trekking trip. 

Extra Water

Hydrating is non-negotiable when you’re on a trekking trip. Ensure you pack any gear that you will need to hydrate well, such as extra water bottles or water filters. Pack more water than you think you will need for drinking and hygiene. 

Radio Communication Device

Cell phone batteries don’t last long enough to function as your camera, GPS, communication device, and flashlight all at once. In addition, many of your trekking spots may have poor cell service. Bring a radio communication device to have in case of emergencies. 

Knife or Hand Saw

Another piece of gear you need for a trekking trip is a good knife or hand saw. Knives can be handy for cutting kindling or firewood, opening packaging for first aid or food, self-defense against wild animals, or repairing gear. 

Headlamp Flashlight

Flashlights are very useful for seeing your surroundings at night, or anytime vision is not ideal. They are a critical part of safety on your trekking trip. Using a headlamp flashlight will allow you to see while keeping your hands free. Be sure to bring extra batteries or invest in a solar power flashlight. 

Fire Starter

A fire starter is excellent for starting fires quickly and even under less-than-ideal conditions. Consider packing disposable lighters, waterproof matches, and additional dry tinder stored in a waterproof bag. 

Map and Compass

Having navigational items is critical for a trekking trip. You should plan your route in advance of your trip and also have a map and compass with you to make sure you are traveling in the right direction. Look for important landmarks along your route. You could also pack a GPS device. 

Sun Protection

Do not forget to pack sun protection for your trekking trip. Having sunglasses, sunscreen, and long-sleeve sun-protective clothing is important for protecting your skin from burns and long-term damage. 

First Aid Care

Be sure to pack essential first aid care items such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment, wraps, gauze, and more. Be sure to include any prescription medications in addition to over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. You should also pack foot care items and insect repellent as needed. 


If you are trekking for more than a day, you will need to carry shelter with you. This could be any tent, an emergency bivvy, or a sleeping bag. Think about what kind of shelter you will need for your terrain and weather conditions and how to secure it. 

Extra Socks and Tape

Blisters can quickly turn into your worst enemy. Protect your feet by keeping them dry and clean. Pack extra pairs of well-fitting socks for underneath your hiking boots. You should also bring athletic tape, moleskin, or surgical tape to cover spots on your feet that you know are prone to blisters. You can also use the tape for ankle support.

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