Hit the Trail: Essentials for a Trekking Adventure

Final­ly tak­ing that long-dis­tance trekking trip? Here are some tips on essen­tial items you might need to pack for a mul­ti-day trek.

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Your Pack: Adven­ture-wor­thy packs must be tough enough to sur­vive more than beat­ings from air­port con­vey­or belts; it should thwart the ele­ments atop rusty bus­es, endure inad­ver­tent stomp­ings by curi­ous locals, and wel­come myr­iad abus­es by fare-hun­gry cabbies—all while keep­ing your pre­cious belong­ings safe and sound. For a trekking trip, you’ll prob­a­bly want one sol­id back­pack­ing bag, one tough enough so that you can trust it any sit­u­a­tion, but also one that will be light­weight. No one wants to trek the 12 days to Ever­est Base Camp with an unnec­es­sar­i­ly heavy pack.

Clothes: Today’s trav­el and expe­di­tion clothes are not just pieces of tough mate­r­ial: your clothes are sun­screen, bug repel­lant, and a cool­er for your core. They should have mois­ture wick­ing prop­er­ties and be able to be worn to din­ner, the office, or on a steam­ing jun­gle trek. No trav­el kit is com­plete with­out light­weight clothes. It’s high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for long-dis­tance treks that you pack a small num­ber of clothes that can be worn across mul­ti­ple days. Qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty!

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Footwear:  The footwear you bring on trekking trips should be durable and com­fort­able, prefer­ably high-top hik­ing boots that can be worn for long-dis­tances. In recent years, how­ev­er, many long-dis­tance hik­ing afi­ciona­dos have tak­en to more pared down footwear. It’s not an uncom­mon sight to see some­one hik­ing the PCT in a pair of per­for­mance hik­ing shoes that don’t go any high­er than their ankle. What­ev­er you choose, make sure you’ll feel com­fort­able trekking many miles over mul­ti­ple days with your cho­sen footwear. Pro-tip: Pack mole­skin pads and duct tape. These will save your life if blis­ters start to arise. 

Sleep­ing: These are often high­ly trip spe­cif­ic, but chances are if you’re going on a mul­ti-day trek, you’ll be doing it in the warmer months. This means you’ll want to bring a light­weight sleep­ing bag and sleep­ing pad, and depend­ing on if you’re on a guid­ed adven­ture or not, a tent. It’s impor­tant that these items pack down tight­ly. You don’t want to lug around that huge hand-me-down sleep­ing bag you use for car camp­ing on a long-dis­tance trek.

Acces­sories: Many of these will often be spe­cif­ic to your trip, but the essen­tial trekking acces­sories range from bear spray to band-aids. What­ev­er your trip may be, we rec­om­mend you thor­ough­ly research what exact­ly you’ll need on the trek. More often than not, you’ll want a head­lamp, a water bot­tle, and a pock­et knife. As far as extra­ne­ous acces­sories, you might want to bring a book or Kin­dle: no one likes being tent bound for a day with noth­ing to do but twid­dle your thumbs.

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