What to pack for your trekking adventure

Whether you’re heading into the Andes for a few weeks or doing some day hikes around Yosemite National Park – what you bring (and don’t bring) is essential. Check out our top recommendations on what to pack for your trekking adventure

Navigation

This includes a map and a possibly a compass. A detailed map of the area you’re trekking through is a potential lifesaver. You also need to learn how to use it, so be sure to study it beforehand. The same goes for your compass. This is one item it’s ok to splurge on. Get one that has the practical features you’ll need to take map bearings, find true north, and measure vertical angles. You may also think about using maps on your mobile phone but just remember to download the full map detail before you go (in case you don’t have reception) and consider how much battery you will have. A hardcopy map to back up your online map is essential.

First-aid

You can build your own kit or purchase a pre-assembled one. Whichever route you go, it’s a good idea to have adhesive bandages, blister treatment, gauze and tape, antiseptic ointment, and over-the-counter pain medication. Beyond that, consider a small foldable guide for dealing with emergencies in the area. If you have an emergency, you’ll be glad you prepared.

Extra Food/Hydration

Even if you’re just going out for a day trip, it’s a good idea to bring along at least one day’s worth of extra food and water. Bad weather, getting lost, or any type of emergency are all real possibilities when interacting with Mother Nature. Consider no-cook items like nuts, jerky, or energy bars.

In addition to your water bottle, bring a collapsible reservoir and something for treating water. Before the trip, use your map to identify potential water sources – especially during longer legs of the trek.

Light/Fire

Look for water resistant torches and headlights. For longer trips consider packing an extra bulb (preferably one you can store inside the light itself). We recommend bringing one with a high beam bulb as well as something with a low beam (that requires less battery). If bringing matches, a lighter or fire starters then store them in a water proof container. If you are planning on lighting a fire, make sure that it is safe (and legal) to do so in the place you are trekking and be sure to fully extinguish your fire with plenty of water before you leave.

Knife

A pocket knife will almost always get used during a trek. First aid, food prep, cutting rope, repairs, cutting moleskin – you name it, and a knife is going to serve you. We recommend a multi-purpose tool like a Swiss Army knife. At the least, be sure it has a blade, screwdriver, and scissors. If you want to go the luxury route, find one with a can opener. Make sure you pack it away in your checking luggage if you’re taking international flights so you don’t have to wave it goodbye at security.

Other recommendations

Insect repellent, sunscreen, insulation, extra clothing, sunglasses, emergency shelter, ice axe, two-way radio, personal locator beacon, whistle.

Remember to have a Plan B: Its sensible wherever you’re trekking to let someone know your planned route and when you expect to return. The best laid plans can go wrong when out in nature and ensuring you are prepared for any delays or accidents and ensuring someone knows your plan and can raise the alarm if you don’t return can prevent a fun trip turning into a nightmare.

And, last but not least, Another World Adventures co-founder Larissa says she won’t step out of the front door without a roll of gaffer tape in her bag. It’s been used to fix everything from tent holes to broken boots!

When setting off on a group adventure you’ll find your operator may provide some or all of these things for you. Carefully read their suggested kit lists so you have everything you need but don’t double up – save yourself the extra weight if you can!

From the sands of the Sahara to Panama’s jungles here are some of our favourite trekking adventures around the world.

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