Choosing to go on your first multi-day hike can be a bit daunting. If you didn’t grow up in an environment where outdoor adventures were the norm, it can be a lil’ scary!
As someone who’s family has barely gone on a short hike (let alone on a multi-day hike), this was 100% me!
But after taking that first plunge, I’m so glad that I did. For all my newbie hikers, I’ve put together a beginner’s guide to things to pack for your first multi-day hike.
Psst: on a budget? Don’t worry, I have some suggestions for you too!
1. A comfortable pair of hiking boots
Hiking boots are so important if you’re spending hours on your feet outdoors. They will protect your feet from creepy crawlies, support your feet when walking on uneven ground and this even more important when you’re carrying your pack or walking for days!
I recommend buying your first pair of boots in store so you can get advice from someone on how they should fit.
Psst: On a budget? Sign up for email lists so you can be one of the first to be notified when there’s a sale. I signed up Macpac’s mailing list when I was on the market for a pair of hiking boots. For shorter or easy grade hikes, you can wear a comfortable pair of sneakers.
2. A well-fitted pack
Like your hiking boots, this is so so important. It’s especially important to know how to adjust the straps so it fits you specifically. After all, you’ll be wearing this bag for long periods of time, so you want it to fit perfectly!
Before going on my first multi-day hike, I went to the Macpac stores who’s experienced staff helped me find a pack within my budget.
I’d suggest going into a specialty store or asking a friend who’s worn a pack before.
Psst: On a budget? If you can’t afford a brand new pack, I’d suggest asking friends (who are of a similar height/build) so you can get a pack that fits you.
3. Dry bags for your important gear
If you’re carrying a camera or expensive electronics, I 100% recommend bringing a dry bag. A dry bag is basically a bag that’ll keep all your equipment nice and dry should it rain.
My favorite dry bag is from Macpac (yeah, you’re sensing a theme here – I love these guys because their gear is so affordable and lasts a really long time!). This is the dry bag I got, it fits my DSLR plus any extra batteries I’ve got. On rainy days when I’m at home, I can even fit my laptop in it!
Psst: On a budget? You can use garbage bags! On my very first hike, I used garbage bags to line my pack.
4. Lightweight eating utensils
You actually don’t need to buy new items for this!
I’d recommend bringing lightweight bowls, cups or eating utensils that you already have. We use light-weight enamel bowls we bought in Japan from Daiso (which is basically the equivalent of the dollar store) and bamboo cutlery.
There’s no need to be fancy here!
5. Lightweight cooking utensils
Being able to cook or boil water is especially important because… food!
You don’t want to be carrying around heavy pots and pans up a mountain. This is the cooking set that I use when I’m traveling solo and when I’m traveling with my partner (it’s just enough for 2!) It’s lightweight, affordable and durable.
6. Spare socks!
I actually suggest wearing 2 pairs of socks, as it reduces friction and reduces your chances of getting blisters. You don’t need anything fancy, but if you’re going somewhere cold, a woolen blend will make all the difference.
7. Light-weight jacket
I’m the worst when it comes to jackets. I have sooo many at home.
Trust me when I say: getting the right jacket makes all the difference when you’re hiking.
The trick is to not bring anything that’s too heavy, but you also want to make sure your jacket will keep you warm!
I recommend a down jacket, as it’ll keep you warm and is lightweight. If you’re not a fan of down jackets, fleece is also a great option.
8. Freeze dried food
On your first multi-day hike, you probably don’t want to deal with endless ingredients or worry about how you’re going to cook.
Freeze dried meals.
They don’t sound that great, but these days you can get some affordable and decent tasting meals. All you need to do is add hot water, and wait!
Now, this list doesn’t include absolutely everything, but is a great option for first time, multi-day hikers.
Do you have any questions or advice about any of the gear I’ve used?
Leave a comment below!