Everything you’ll need on your next hiking adventure!
It’s now the perfect time for a hiking vacation, before the temperature rises and the summer crowds arrive. Upgrade your trip by driving in style in a spacious, comfortable campervan. Not only is the road trip improved, but you can bring extra clothes and equipment, and have convenient accommodation at the ready for any destination.
Renting an RV is easy but choosing the best hiking location can be trickier. If you need inspiration, check out our blog on the 5 most scenic hiking trails in the Southwest. Once you know where to go, you can start to pack with the help of this handy hiking checklist.
Easy Hiking Packing Guide
The America Southwest is brimming with well-trodden trails, meaning walkers regularly pass by and help is easily reached. You won’t require serious equipment for a typical day-hike, but you will need to pack important hiking gear.
These are the basic supplies for a simple hike on a semi-busy trail. Use a comfortable, lightweight backpack to carry all the essentials.
- Water: Aim to drink at least 16 oz (0.5 L) of water per hour of walking. As well as water, you should have electrolyte drinks to replenish lost sodium.
- Sunblock: Pack plenty of sunblock to protect yourself from the summer sun. You will be sweating a lot of it away during the day, so reapply it regularly to avoid damage to your skin.
- First Aid Kit: Bandaids, ibuprofen, and antiseptic wipes are enough for a basic kit. Bring a knee brace if you have a history of knee pain while walking.
- Offline Maps: While not technically hiking gear, a phone app such as Maps.me is very helpful as it lets you download maps of the area that are accessible while offline.
- Walking Poles: These special walking sticks make hiking easier for some, but not everyone needs or likes to use them.
The best hiking snacks are protein-rich foods such as beef jerky or mixed nuts. Carbohydrates are also important and are found in fruits and vegetables, energy bars, or a pre-packed pasta salad. You will be using up a lot of energy during the day, so take frequent snack breaks. You can find more information on nutritional camping foods here!
Weather, dust, and exercise will quickly dirty your clothes, so pack more than you think you’ll need!
- Underlayers: This Breathable means t-shirts, shorts, and sports leggings made from moisture-releasing materials like polyester or nylon. Bamboo is breathable and makes a good environmentally-friendly option. Wear wool socks and bring a few extra pairs!
- Sun Protection: The Southwest is sunny in the summer, so keep your arms covered with a light layer. Bring a baseball hat and UV-blocking glasses to protect your head from sun exposure.Weather Resistance: A thin, water- and wind-proof jacket protects you against bad weather and keeps you warm without the risk of overheating.
- Footwear: The correct footwear depends a lot on the walking surface and the wearer’s foot. Proper hiking boots are recommended for long distances, but some find it easier to wear lightweight shoes. Use whatever is most comfortable for you, as long as your shoes have firm arch and ankle supports to ease the strain of walking
- Evening Outfits: Remember to bring soft, comfy clothes to wear inside your campervan at the end of the day!
When Hiking Off The Beaten Track
You need extra gear when hiking in an isolated area where help is not so easily reached. Accidents happen to the most experienced hiker and you don’t want to be caught off-guard. Here’s what to pack for off-grid hiking, on top of the essential hiking gear:
- Extra First Aid Supplies: Add gauze, medical tape, long bandages, and an emergency blanket to your basic kit.
- Portable Charger: Bring at least two lightweight portable USB batteries so you don’t have to stress about your devices losing power.
- Tools: Pack a sharp knife with a secure lock. It has many uses, including cutting bandages and clearing brambles. Also, bring a flashlight or small camping light in case you’re still on a trail when the sun goes down.
- Extra Food & Water: It’s always a good idea to have extra food, like energy bars, on a remote walk. Bring extra water if you can carry it, but don’t overexert yourself.
- Satellite Phone: The best way to keep in contact with the world when you’re in remote places is to rent a satellite phone. These phones don’t rely on cell signals and can make emergency calls from anywhere on the surface of the earth.
For Hiking on Snow
Hiking on fresh snow is peaceful and beautiful, though it comes with a high risk of slipping. Walk with confidence on the crunchy snow with the help of microspikes. These are studded chains that wrap around your boots and increase your grip on the frosted path.
A thin, lightweight beanie will be your best friend on the snowy trails. Wear an insulating jacket on top of a breathable t-shirt to keep yourself at a steady temperature. Sweat-dampened clothes cause you to become colder much faster in icy temperatures, so bring spare clothes and socks to keep yourself dry throughout the day.
For Rock Scrambling
Mountainous hikes can involve a fun section of rock scrambling, which is where you need to use your hands as well as your feet to continue on the trail. For a more comfortable scramble across the rocky obstacles, wear a sturdy pair of climbing gloves. These gloves protect your hands from cuts and calluses and improve your grip on the stone surface. If you are going somewhere with a high risk of falling rocks, wear a helmet for protection. Anyone planning a proper mountaineering trip should consult a more in-depth guide on mountain climbing gear.
Celebrate in Style!
Don’t forget to chill your favorite drinks in your motorhome’s fridge to celebrate the end of an epic hike. You will be hungry when you get back, so prepare a hearty meal to cook over a campfire in the evening!
Start your next big hiking trip soon in one of TB Outdoor Rentals’ affordable camping vehicles. Or simply rent out your own campervan to earn hassle-free income. Stop by next Wednesday for a feature guide on the wonder and wildlife of Monterey Bay.