Women who love the outdoors enjoy hiking a lot. There are different levels of hikers ranging from the amateurs to masters, but whatever your experience level the essential items you need to bring on a hiking trip are mostly the same. We think that having the appropriate hiking gear is necessary because these things do not just provide basic needs, they can also save a life and be very useful during emergency situations.
So, before you hit that trail, make sure you have these essential items!
What You'll Learn
- How to Choose Your Essentials for a Hike
- 7 Essential Hiking Gear for Women
- Other Essentials to Keep with You on a Hike
- Need More Advice on Gear and Footwear?
How to Choose Your Essentials for a Hike
Just because you are going on a hike does not mean you have to pack everything! Choosing the things you need to bring depends on several factors. You need to know these factors so that you won’t have to burden yourself by carrying too much.
Level of Hike
Amateur hikers should not challenge difficult hiking trails just yet, while intermediate hikers might get bored walking along simple trails. Each terrain has its unique features that may require additional equipment. For example, if you are hiking an easy trail, you do not need major equipment such as climbing ropes and crampons. For difficult trails and mountain climbing, you may need to bring this additional gear.
Climates, seasons, and daily weather affect a hike, and consequently, the things you need to bring with you. Know the climate of the place where you want to hike and bring appropriate tools such as sunblock or a raincoat. Also bring the necessities needed for the current season, especially during winter hiking. As for the weather, always check the forecast beforehand so that you can equip yourself with extra clothes if needed.
A half-day hike versus a full-day can make a difference in the things you need to bring along. Ensure that you have enough food to stay energized, and water to keep you hydrated throughout your journey. If you are planning to hike a trail that requires you to spend days outdoors, bring a reliable tent, extra clothing, and enough food and water to sustain your basic needs.
An average person can hike as far as 16 to 24 miles a day, while those who are deemed extremely fit may hike between 30 to 50 miles a day. It is encouraged to check the distance of the trail beforehand so that you know how to prepare. Take note, you spend energy every time you move. Adding heavy weight because you bring too much gear with you will make you feel tired faster. The farther you hike, the more important it is to pack light, but always remember to bring all the essentials.
If you are climbing uphill, you also need to pack lighter with the main focus on the essential hiking gear. Otherwise, your energy will be depleted from the heavy weight of unnecessary things you are carrying.
7 Essential Hiking Gear for Women
A waterproof hiking shoe is important for every hiker. Hiking may lead to blister development, especially when the feet are wet. The moisture from sweat or water can make the skin soft and more vulnerable to abrasions when rubbing inside your footwear. A pair of waterproof shoes with excellent breathability is a good choice.
We Recommend: Merrell Moab 2
Merrell Moab 2 features M Select Dry that keeps the shoes waterproof by sealing out water. It wicks moisture away to ensure that your feet stay dry all the time. It is also a lightweight choice of footwear so that you won’t feel too tired during long hikes. The shoes are made from suede leather and mesh upper with a blended EVA contoured footbed. What makes it a more appealing choice for women is the air cushion in the heel. This cushion absorbs shock so that you can feel stable and keep your balance. This shoe, combined with an appropriate hiking sock or crew sock, and you’ll be unstoppable on the trails!
- Lightweight compared to hiking boots
- Not true to size
Wearing and bringing appropriate clothing is important when you want to hike for hours. Long sleeve sun protection shirts are ideal to wear because they protect you from the harsh rays of the sun. Bringing extra hiking clothes that you can conveniently change into is also recommended because you don’t know what might happen along the trail. An extra shirt, suitable hiking pants or hiking shorts, an insulated jacket or rain jacket, rain pants, and wool socks are always practical items to have.
We Recommend: Coolibar Apparel
Coolibar is an excellent yet affordable brand for women’s outdoor apparel. They have a lot of stylish clothes that women can choose from. Apart from that, they use exemplary fabric that allows you to move freely. Without restrictions, you can move suitably based on the terrain you are trekking on. Coolibar’s clothes are also made from UPF 50+ rating fabrics. It guarantees that you are protected from the sun as long as your skin is covered with the brand’s hiking clothes.
- Recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation
- Many design choices
- Breathable fabric
- Sun protection
A durable and versatile backpack is one of the most important pieces of hiking gear for women. After all, you need somewhere to store all the essentials you need to carry. When looking for a hiking backpack, always look for quality. Otherwise, you will find yourself dealing with a broken bag in the middle of a trail. It is better to invest in a good bag rather than ruin your hike with a damaged one.
We Recommend: Osprey Renn 65
The Osprey Renn 65 is a great choice for a hiking backpack. Specifically meant for seasoned hikers who hike a lot of long-distance trails, the lightweight bag can fit most of your hiking and backpacking gear. There is plenty of room for your food, water, first aid kit, and clothes. It even has a zippered compartment intended for a sleeping bag! What's more, the most amazing thing about Renn 65 is the fact that it is specifically made for women. The design is tailored to a woman’s anatomy. The shoulder straps and hip belt are contoured and shaped for female comfort.
- Adjustable airspeed suspension
- With integrated rain cover
- Internal hydration sleeve
- Many unique features
- Made for women
- Large size
- Too much for simple and short hikes
We Recommend: Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit
Owning an emergency first aid kit is a smart move. Not only can it be used during hiking, but it can also be used anywhere when needed. On every hiking trip that you take, do not ever forget to bring this item. Also, always check the content of the kit. Ensure that the contents are complete and are still viable for use. Some items have an expiration date. So, check for these items too and replace them when necessary.
There are many first aid kits sold on the market depending on their uses, contents, and the number of people they can treat. For hiking, our best recommendation is the Hiker Medical Kit from Adventure Medical Kits. The kit includes a Wilderness Medicine Guide written by a Doctor of Medicine. You can be assured that you are properly guided should an emergency arise.
- Comes with hiking first aid pamphlet
- Compact and lightweight bag design
- Includes common medications
- Complete basic first aid needs
- Water-resistant kit
- Good for 1-2 people only
- For day trips only
You need to bring a reliable hydration system to provide you with drinking water while hiking. Keeping yourself hydrated is important for your health and safety in both warm and cold weather. You have to compensate for sweating so that you won’t suffer from dehydration. The risk of dehydration increases because you are out in the sun and doing physical activity. This can be prevented if you have a sufficient water supply to replenish your water loss.
We Recommend: Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir
Since water is so important, you should only trust a reputable brand to keep you hydrated. The safest bet for a hydration system is Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir. It is made from lightweight yet durable materials, which ensures it won’t leak or spill. The materials used are all food safe and have passed the FDA and EU regulations.
- Convenient filling and cleaning
- Remains flat even with water
- Dishwasher top rack safe
- Slide seal top opening
- Easy water access
- Durable material
- Food-grade safe
Starting a fire is survival 101. Having a fire starter in your arsenal can save you during emergencies, especially if you do not know how to make a fire from scratch. An ordinary fire starter can be rendered useless if it gets wet. Since no one can predict the weather accurately, it is best to include a waterproof fire starter in the list of hiking gear for women. This will guarantee that even if you get drenched in the rain or accidentally slip and fall in a body of water, you will still have a functional fire starter.
We recommend: UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit
Whether you are camping or hiking, this match kit is a good companion. The matches in the kit are long-burning and also long enough to keep you safe from burns. Also, the matches are also windproof and waterproof so that you can easily set fire when you need it most. The matches are enclosed in a waterproof case that floats in water.
- Waterproof and windproof matches
- External and replaceable striker
- Long-burning up to 25 seconds
- Waterproof case
- Case not durable
Even when you are only out for a day hike, it’s smart to bring a flashlight with you because you’ll never know what might happen on the trail. A flashlight is not only useful to see the way you are going in the dark, but it can also serve as a signal when you require rescuing. Look for a flashlight that produces a bright light so that you can see things better at night.
We Recommend: Gear Light LED Tactical Flashlight S1000
The tactical flashlight from Gear Light is so bright that it lets you see up to 1000 feet away! Since it is an LED light, it is brighter than incandescent lights. It is also conveniently powered by AAA batteries. It has a total of 5 modes and an adjustable focus, so it is very useful on trails. Because you need something reliable, this flashlight is amazingly water-resistant! You don’t have to worry about sudden downpours as the flashlight can tolerate some water.
- Long-lasting hours
- Adjustable focus
- Bright light
- Lens is not scratch-resistant
Other Essentials to Keep with You on a Hike
Complete hiking gear for women should be the goal whenever you go out for a hike. While the above-mentioned gear is a must, you should also include these important things in your pack:
- Emergency water filter/purifier
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Emergency blanket
- Emergency shelter
- Map and compass
- Insect repellent
- Food and water
- Hiking permit
- GPS device
- Bear spray
- More shirts and protective hiking clothing
- Toilet paper or biodegradable wipes
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Ultralight trowel
- Trekking poles
- Sun hat
A fun hike means you don’t have to worry about the “what ifs.” Going on a hike well-prepared is better than going out only to realize you don’t have what you need. Whether you belong to a group of extreme trail runners or you’re simply visiting a national park with the family, be sure to follow our recommendations for essential hiking gear and wear an appropriate hiking outfit for a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Need More Advice on Gear and Footwear?
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Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API