The first hiking experience is something you are excited about most of the time and also prepared to take tons of pictures for memories. But apart from your mental preparedness you need to figure out a way to take everything with you when you are climbing up the sloping sides of a mountain.

While more hiking sites have stores for you to buy anything missing, the pricing tends to be a little on the higher side when compared to buying in a town. So here are some essentials you can add to your checklist of things like maps, clothes, a hiking water filter and medications.

1. Map and a compass

one of the main things you need to have in your backpack is the compass and the map of your trek. Do not go for the digital compass on your watch or phone or smartwatch or whatever it is because sometimes they do not work without signals or the battery ends up dying. Go for the old style manual compass you see in old movies as it is pretty much fail safe. Even if you have been on the trail fifty times beforehand do not forsake the map. It is not about your pride if there are other people relying on you for directions.

2. Water

Go for a Nalgene or other brand of hiking bottles which are shock proof and light to carry around. You can go
 for a hiking water filter for water sources you find on the way too. You need at least 3 quarts of water on hikes so do not think of going for cheap options. If you are planning on only this hike, borrow from a friend.

3. Rain Gear and clothing

A waterproof jacket, or a cheap poncho can save you from rain or a passing thunderstorm. But summer hikers know that the summer rains are the worst to be in so take a whole set of raincoats to cover your legs, body and head. Go for lightweight and comfortable clothing and keep them in a sealed bag. Take some winter underwear for the cold nights and mornings.

4. First aid kit and medications

If you have any chronic pains or breathing problems, go and consult a doctor before you go on a hike. Any regular medications should be taken with extras just in case of crushing them or getting them wet and probably packed separately in zip lock bags. If you are hiking in higher altitudes go for some altitude sickness medications so that you will not be feeling dizzy or throwing up every meter you walk or in worst case scenario, have to walk back again.

5. Food

Continual snacking is the best way to feed yourself while going on a hike as taking the regular huge meals will not only weigh you down but also make you hungry again very soon. Take some energy bars, lightweight chips and fried items or peanut butter, oatmeal, trail mixes, dried fruits and Mac-n-Cheese as some regular hiking foods.

Hiking is an extraordinary experience as many who have gone on them can tell so make sure you pack lightly and pack just enough to help you through the amazing trails.

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