How to prepare for your first hike

Here are a few hints and tips to help you prepare for your first hike. A little preparation beforehand can help make your hike more enjoyable, relaxing and safe.

(Video by Expert Village)

Before setting out on your first day hike, there are some essential items to pack, and actions to take:

1. Water bottle

camelbak water bottle

According to the National Park Service, you need to drink ½ to 1 quart of fluids every hour that you are hiking in the heat. Have a look at the reviews and prices of's range of water bottles.

2. First Aid Kit

first aid kit1

You should take a first aid kit on any hike. Some items will be used regularly (e.g. band-aids for blisters), while other items will be rarely used but essential in an emergency. Idaho State University has a list of recommended items for a lightweight first aid kit.

3. Survival Kit

survival kit

While a first aid kit is there to help with medical issues, if you are stranded or lost you will need a survival kit to help keep safe until help arrives. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has put together an excellent guide (pdf) to help you choose or assemble a survival kit.

4. Backpack


You'll need something to put all this gear in, as well as carry any other food, drinks, cellphone, photography gear or anything else you choose to take with you. Have a look at the reviews and prices of's range of hiking daypacks.

Other neccessities could include a tent or an air mattress if you are planning on staying overnight at some point.​

Essential things to do

One of the most important things to do is let somebody know where you're going, when you're leaving, and when you expect to be back. That way, if you do meet with any problems when you're out there, help will be on its way as soon as possible.

You should take a cellphone with you (even if you're trying to get away from it all and leave technology behind!): it may not work where you're going, but it could make all the difference if you do have to contact emergency services).

Now get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!​

  • Updated October 31, 2019
  • How To