Essential Items to Carry When Hiking in India (Short & Long trips)

Essential Items for Hiking in India

Hiking (also called trekking in India) has become hugely popular in the past 5-7 years.

And given that India has so many awesome places to go trekking (especially the Himalayas), it was bound to become so popular.

Hiking is wonderful outdoor activities and many people plan annual/semi-annual hiking trips in advance.

Now if the word hiking brings an image of you carrying an oversized backpack and finding you ways in the mountains on in the jungle, that wouldn’t be completely correct.

Hiking can be a short one as well as a long one.

A Short hiking trip can be anywhere from a half-day trip to up to 3 days.

Longer hiking trips can be anywhere from 3-10 days.

And going out for a hiking trip needs you to carry some essential items that will make your experience easy, fun, and more memorable.

The types of essential hiking items you need would depend on the duration of your hiking trip.

In this article, I will cover the essential hiking items you should consider getting.

Items to carry for a hiking trip of 2-3 days

If you’re going for a short hiking trip, below are the items you should consider getting.

Comfortable Trekking/Hiking Shoes

One thing is for sure, your hiking/trekking trip will mean a lot of walking. And you need to make sure you have a comfortable pair of hiking /trekking shoe that will make it easy for you.

Make sure your shoes have a good grip as you may have to walk on different types of terrain.

Lee Cooper leather trekking shoes have an excellent grip and their ankle support is much needed when you’re already tired from hours of trekking.

Sale
Lee Cooper Men's Camel Trekking and Hiking Boots - 7 UK/India (41...
  • Material: Leather
  • Lifestyle: Casual
  • Closure Type: Lace-up
  • Warranty Type: Manufacturer
  • Product warranty against manufacturing defects: 30 days

Hiking Backpack

After shoes, this is the most important thing in your hiking trip.

Since you’re going on a short hiking/trekking trip, a backpack with a capacity of fewer than 50 Liters would be sufficient.

In case you’re going to a place where there can be a chance of rain, make sure your backpack is either waterproof or has a rain cover.

I personally prefer backpacks from Quechua as I have been using these for quite some time. You can easily find many good hiking/trekking backpacks online (or in any Decathlon store in India)

Water bottle

You need to access to clean water and must carry a bottle full of water with you. Although this adds to the weight you need to carry, it’s still highly advisable. This is essential to make sure you’re hydrated on your hiking trip (as the physical activity may dehydrate you from sweating)

Carry a bottle of 1-2 liters capacity. Also, plan ahead and check if you can get clean drinking water during the hike as well.

It’s better to carry a water bottle which has a purification filter in it. So if you can’t find drinking water, you can use water from any pond or stream and the bottle will purify it for you.

Sale
Lifestraw Water Bottle with 2 Stage Filtration (Green)
  • 23-ounce water bottle with integrated replaceable LifeStraw filters up to...
  • Leak-proof bottle made of BPA-free Tritan can be re-used indefinitely,...
  • Surpasses EPA standards for removing E. Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium...
  • Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (> log 6 reduction), removes 99.9%...
  • Zero aftertaste, no chemicals or iodine, food-grade flexible silicone...

Dry Food (Nutrition Bars)

You can carry some dry food on your hike in case you get hungry and need some energy. Dry food is preferred as it weighs less.

Nutrition bars, nuts, oatmeals etc are great to carry on a hike.

You can look for dry foods which don’t require cooking and have a 2-3 days shelf life.  Always carry one extra day of food as it will come in handy in case of emergencies like accident or injury.

Insulating clothes

Depending on the weather conditions, you need to pack some clothes. Since this is a short hiking trip, you can just keep a couple of these.

If you’re going to be hiking in hot areas with sunlight, carry shades and caps/hats.

For cold areas like hills, one must wear a base layer (any comfortable shirt preferably not cotton), an insulating layer on top and the third layer of the jacket.

Since hiking is for 2-3 days it is ok not to carry too many extra clothes as it will add to the weight.

Flashlight/Headlamp

Even if you don’t plan to go hiking during the night, it’s still recommended to pack a flashlight.

Of course, you have a flashlight in your phone as well, but it’s still a good idea to keep one (with one extra pair of battery).

Multipurpose knife

Now you may not need it, but it’s better to keep a multi-purpose knife. These can come in useful in many situations and weigh very less to add to your luggage.

It can come in handy in situations such as gear repair, camping, food preparation, etc.

Sale
Grand Harvest Blue Swiss Army Knive
  • Pocket size
  • Multi Functional
  • Stainless Steel
  • Razor Sharp
  • Heavy Duty

Along with all these items, you can also carry a whistle, a trash bag, some napkins/tissues, etc.

For a short two-three days hike, pack light, but make sure you carry all the essentials items mentioned above.

You can increase/decrease the quantity depending on the number of days.

Power Bank

If you’re going on a trip where electricity can be a scarce thing, it’s better to carry a light power bank. This comes in handy when you want to charge your phone or fitness band (in case you use one).

while there are many options in Power bank, I personally like the Syska power bank. It’s lightweight (~400 grams) and has a battery of 20000 MAH.

Sale
Syska Power Pro 200 20000mAH Power Bank (Black)
  • Capacity: 20000mAH polymer battery
  • Output 1: DC 5V/1A (Max), Output 2: DC 5V/2.1A (Max)
  • Cell Type: Polymer cell (BIS Certified)
  • Input: DC5V/2A
  • 6 months warranty

Items to carry for a hiking trip of 5-10 days

Since this hiking trip is long, therefore, requires one to be prepared physically and mentally.

It is always advisable to go on long duration hikes with a group.

Now, most of the essential hiking items we covered for a short hiking trip will also be needed here (along with some extras). Since this is a longer trip, you need to plan and pack better.

Hiking Trekking Shoes

Long hiking trip means you will be walking a lot. This also means that your feet are likely to get a bit swollen due to all the exertion (nothing to worry about though).

To make sure you’re trekking shoes are not very tight, buy a pair which is half a size bigger. If that’s not possible (as there is no such thing as half a size bigger), at least make sure you’re buying a trekking shoe that is tight.

When your feet get a bit swollen, you need to have some extra space for comfort.

Also, if possible, carry an extra pair of trekking shoe. Sometimes hiking/trekking is quite hard on the shoe and in case you end up damaging one pair, you would have a fall-back pair to rely on.

Make sure your hiking shoes have a great grip and ankle support. Also carry good quality socks to wick away any sweat on your feet.

Lee Cooper leather trekking shoes have an excellent grip and their ankle support is much needed when you’re already tired from hours of trekking.

Sale
Lee Cooper Men's Camel Trekking and Hiking Boots - 7 UK/India (41...
  • Material: Leather
  • Lifestyle: Casual
  • Closure Type: Lace-up
  • Warranty Type: Manufacturer
  • Product warranty against manufacturing defects: 30 days

Hiking Backpack (65+ Liter)

Since you’re going on a long hiking/trekking trip, you need a bigger backpack (capacity of 65 Liter or more).

Again, I love Quechua hiking backpack as it has two pockets on the sides and one on the front which makes it easy to access some stuff (such as tickets/papers/goggles).

Make sure that this backpack has strap cushion and it stable when you’re carrying it.

In case you’re going to a place where there can be a chance of rain, make sure your backpack is either waterproof or has a rain cover.

Quechua Forclaz 70 Backpack
  • Multiple zippered compartments with side panels and mesh pockets
  • Ergonomically designed shoulder strap
  • 5 pockets, 3 nets and 1 water bladder compartment
  • Thumb Loops, Load Adjuster Straps, Compression Straps, Chest Strap, Pole...

Insulating clothes

Depending on the weather conditions, you need to pack some clothes. Since this is a longer hiking trip, you need to plan and keep these clothes.

Also, clothes can lead to a heavy backpack, so plan ahead and see if there is a possibility of washing these.

If you’re going to be hiking in hot areas with sunlight, carry shades and caps/hats.

For cold areas like hills, you must wear a base layer (any comfortable shirt preferably not cotton), an insulating layer on top and the third layer of the jacket. Carry warm gloves, socks, mufflers, etc.

Potable Water Purifier Bottle

These are widely available in the market and are an essential item to carry when hiking for a long duration.

As one cannot carry a large amount of water, carry how much you can and rely on purifier bottles to take care of converting water which one finds into a drinkable state.

Sale
Lifestraw Water Bottle with 2 Stage Filtration (Green)
  • 23-ounce water bottle with integrated replaceable LifeStraw filters up to...
  • Leak-proof bottle made of BPA-free Tritan can be re-used indefinitely,...
  • Surpasses EPA standards for removing E. Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium...
  • Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (> log 6 reduction), removes 99.9%...
  • Zero aftertaste, no chemicals or iodine, food-grade flexible silicone...

Trekking Pole

If you’re going on a difficult terrain, it’s a good idea to get a trekking pole.

It will help you maintain stability and help maintain your walking rhythm. When buying one, make sure it’s lightweight

Sale
Coleman Trekking Pole
  • Lightweight aluminum telescoping pole extends from 27" to 53"|Rotational...

Dry Food (Nutrition Bars)

You can’t carry on with the hiking trip if you don’t get enough nutrition.

Nutrition bars, nuts, oatmeals etc are great to carry on a hike. If you’re unsure whether you have packed enough or not, pack extra. These are dry food and doesn’t weigh much, but it’s a huge help satisfying hunger pangs when you’re still 2-3 hours away from meals.

Also, since hiking can lead to a lot of sweating, make sure you carry some hydration powder or energy powders. Something as simple as a Tang sachet can be helpful. You need to make sure the salts in your body are maintained.

Portable Stove

A portable stove can be carried along when hiking for 7-10 days.

This can be useful if you want to boil water for coffee, tea and eat instant meals (such as ready to eat noodle, poha, upma, etc).

Sale
Fansport Stove Transfer Head Professional Three Leg Transfer Head...
  • Portable: The three-leg transfer leg is lightweight and portable
  • Size: W*H: 7.5*7.5cm(2.95*2.95in)
  • Folding: The transfer head can be folded for good storage
  • Function: Compared with the cylindrical convert, the overall focus of the...
  • Material: The stove head is made of stainless steel, plastic and copper,...

Power Bank

If you’re going on a trip where electricity can be a scarce thing, it’s better to carry a light power bank. This comes in handy when you want to charge your phone or fitness band (in case you use one).

While there are many options in Power bank, I personally like the Syska power bank. It’s lightweight (~400 grams) and has a battery of 20000 MAH.

Sale
Syska Power Pro 200 20000mAH Power Bank (Black)
  • Capacity: 20000mAH polymer battery
  • Output 1: DC 5V/1A (Max), Output 2: DC 5V/2.1A (Max)
  • Cell Type: Polymer cell (BIS Certified)
  • Input: DC5V/2A
  • 6 months warranty

First Aid Kit

Long hiking trips require more planning and packing. Always remember to take some basic essential medicines and useful items such as bandages and ointments.

You can also create a group of 2-3 people and create a common first-aid kit if needed.

Also, remember to keep insect repellent and sunscreen according to personal use for a week to 10 days.

Gear Repair Kit

A gear repair kit consisting of a knife, scissors, safety pins, duct tape, etc. comes handy the more remote we go into hiking.

Additional Stuff

  • Long duration hiking calls for an increase in personal use items like sanitation wipes, trash bags, more batteries for headlamp or flashlight.
  • Also carry a good trowel for digging catholes (to bury the fecal matter), toothpaste and brush etc.
  • Keep a whistle for the emergency signal.

The above is the checklists of essential items to carry when hiking.

Having said that, one can always personalize the list and add or delete certain items according to personal situations ( like taking pets and their requirements, taking kids along, hiking on periods etc).

It is equally important to train and improve fitness levels before taking long hiking sessions.

Have a safe and pleasant hiking!

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