There are two major types of hike. There are day hikes, where you leave in the morning and return to the place your left, such as your home or campsite that same day.
Them you have long hikes. You usually carry your sleeping bag and a tent with you because you will end up sleeping where you hike ends. Then, the next day, there’s more hiking.
Just look how Zac Efron dealt with the challenges of continual hiking with legendary Bear Grylls!
When you are on a short day hike, you just need the basics. Those basics might change depending on the climate you are in, but you can generally go very light as compared to when you are carrying a lot more gear, like a place to sleep away from the elements.
Here are some pieces of gear you won’t want to forget when you do decide to go on a multi-day or even multi-week hike. Think: The Appalachian Trail
A Water Filter
Clean water is a must have. You won’t last long without it. The problem with water is that it’s heavy.
You cannot carry a whole heck of a lot and not wear yourself quickly. That’s why you need to be able to find water on the go, like from creeks and rivers.
A water filter lets you do exactly that. You can get fresh water and run it through the filter to clean out any potential harmful bacteria. It’s probably the most important thing you’ll need.
You can find out more about them here: https://www.backcountry.com/water-filters-purification
A Survival Axe
Do not leave home without a tool that’s going to handle so many small but important tasks. You never know when you’ll need to gather some firewood or clear some underbrush. When you need water, and you find water, you need to get to it, and that might require you making a path.
You can also use the axe to pound down tent stakes and do other small tasks.
More importantly than the jobs you can think of for why you would need an axe are the jobs that you can’t think of but might happen. Don’t forget, when out in Mother Nature, Murphy’s Law is in full effect.
You can find out more about what makes a good survival axe here: http://axeandanswered.com/best-survival-axes
You do not want to spend a night outdoor without any kind of shelter. Humans were just not made for it.
You can make your own along the way, such a small lean-to. Or, you can bring a small one-person tent, sometimes referred to as a bivouac.
If you choose the tent option, the key is to make sure you focus more on weight than inside space. You don’t want to weigh yourself down. You also want to find something that is easy to pack and unpack.
You can find more about small camping and hiking tents here: https://www.bivouacannarbor.com/gear/tents/1-person-tents.html
While you probably want to take more gear with you on a long hike, you don’t want to leave without these three. You need water. You need a place to sleep. And, you need a lightweight tool that will handle a lot of the small tasks you will find the need to handle as you make your way to your destination.
Prep well, and you’ll have a great time!