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    24 Things Hikers Totally Recommend

    Gear and clothing heartily recommended by reviewers, and a few picks from yours truly.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. An Osprey Daylite pack so you can carry all of your day hike essentials comfortably and conveniently. Its 13-liter size should be just right for plenty of water, snacks, and emergency first aid., Amazon

    Promising review: "I was looking for a lightweight day hike backpack and read so many reviews before purchasing this one. And I must say I am in love. It is perfect. The seams are very well made. No extra threads on them. It’s also very roomy. We pack two large thermoses in it and a blanket along with some snacks. Love that it buckles at the waistline, giving it a nice balance when hiking on longer trails. Had this for a year and went on many hikes. So far so good, no wear, no tear. Can’t wait to try their overnight packs and purchase a second day backpack for my son." —Olena B

    Get it from Amazon for $49.95 (available in 15 colors).

    2. A Columbia sun hat with breathable mesh vents, an adjustable fit, a UPF 50 sun rating, and moisture-wicking fabric, making it the ultimate lid for your hike.,

    Promising review: "I have had this hat for almost a year, and used it almost exclusively for hiking trips. That means it gets stuffed into a pack, taken out as needed and generally knocked around. It keeps the sun off your face and neck and it breathes nicely and dries quickly. Probably the thing I have been most impressed by, though, is the way it's held its shape — you can roll it up to almost nothing to stuff into a pack and then take it out, shake it, and put it on and it's as if you never rolled it. Great hat, highly recommend." —Steve NH

    Get it from Amazon for $25.73 (available in 17 colors).

    3. A pair of adventure shorts made of a ripstop fabric to ensure they'll endure pretty much anything and look darn cute while doing it.

    model in teal mid-thigh length shorts with large pockets

    Promising review: "These are my favorite Prana shorts!! The fabric is super-light and moisture wicking. I prefer the 7-inch inseam. I have very athletic thighs and shorter inseams ride up on me. These don’t do that and I can wear them anywhere — hiking, traveling, camping, etc. Got the blue this year, but have black, charcoal, and mud from previous years. Love them all." —Sactown Tri Girl

    Get them from Prana for $34.50 (originally $69, available in sizes 0–14 in four colors and two inseam lengths and sizes 18–22 in two colors).

    4. A Lifestraw personal water filter that allows you to safely drink from any water source. It's always good to have reassurance that you won't run out of clean water.

    reviewer drinking out of a stream from a lifestraw

    The straw's microfiltration membrane eliminates bacteria and parasites so you can safely drink from any available water source without worry.

    Promising review: "Used it on a hike recently; tried different configurations as shown, with the drinking straight out of the river, and out of a wide-mouth bottle. The flow-rate through the LifeStraw is a little reminiscent of drinking a really thick milkshake, which is understandable considering the filter basically gets everything. When I filled up my Nalgene with water from the stream, I could see the sediment start to settle; I even made sure to get some with the straw just to see. Worked like a charm. You just need to remember to blow into it afterwards to clear out the straw." —Kingston

    Get it from Amazon for $17.47.

    5. A BioLite headlamp so you're covered if the sun goes down while you're hiking or you're simply down for a night hike. This one is super slim and unobtrusive — it even tilts downward so you can have a better view of right where you're walking.

    Rachel Dunkel / Via BuzzFeed

    I LOVE this headlamp! It sits flush against your forehead to provide the most comfort and least slippage possible. It's moisture-wicking to combat sweat, is rechargeable, has multiple brightness levels, and can be adjusted to face downward if you need to see ahead of you on a trail (the BEST feature!). I'm really looking forward to using it more on future outdoor trips.

    Get it from REI for $59.95 (available in four colors) or Amazon for $59.95 (available in three colors).

    6. An anti-blister balm that prevents your heels and toes from succumbing to that dreaded, painful state. Definitely still try to break in your boots before a big trip, but I'd grab this too just to be safe.

    reviewer holding small deodorant-style tube of the balm

    Promising review: "So I'm an avid hiker and backpacker. But I always would get blisters on long hikes, especially when carrying a load. I've tried moleskin and Leukotape, and wearing two socks, all of which help, but this gel works better. I just wipe it on and only have to wear one sock! I put it to the test in the Tetons on a 14-mile hike with a loaded backpack (25 lbs) and even though I got hot spots, I didn't get any blisters, which I would have in the past." —Kindle Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    7. Black Diamond trekking poles made of lightweight aluminum to help get you up and down steep terrain no problem. They have a comfort grip, are collapsible, and can be adjusted to match your height for maximum effectiveness.


    Promising review: "A nice pair of quality trekking poles. Easy to use and store, lightweight and comfortable, and heavy duty enough for lots of use. I bought two pairs, and now a third for my father. They make hiking so much easier and take the strain off my legs and knees when carrying a large backpack. I recommend these poles to anyone." —Caleb S.

    Get them from Backcountry for $99.95.

    8. A pair of Vasque Breeze LT boots that will cradle your feet as you hike. I have these and adore them — they're the perfect boot/sneaker crossover and have ample support without feeling too bulky.

    plum and black thick-soled mid-height hiking boots

    Promising review: "Wonderful shoe for everything, hiking on even terrain, uneven terrain or hours-long walks on hard pavement. I injured my ankle last winter, and it's been a slow mend. When I wear these, nothing hurts either during or after. I have not found a single other shoe I can say that about, despite buying and returning over a dozen. I get to forget my feet and focus on the beauty or adventure of the moment. Even long periods standing have been fine, and that has been my biggest challenge in healing. Cannot recommend highly enough." —VDG37

    Get them from REI for $179.95+ (available in sizes 6–11 and three colors).

    9. A reliable external battery to ensure your devices have all the juice they need in case of emergency. This one even has attached connecting wires so you don't have to concern yourself with bringing ones from home!

    green rectangular charger with short micro usb and iPhone attachment wires

    Promising review: "A great little charger that I can get about four full charges off of, and great for any sort of camping or backpacking trip! Super nice to have the charging cord in a sleek little design built in, versus a loose USB wire all over the place!" —Simon Johnston

    Get it from Backcountry for $19.47+ (available in five colors).

    10. Smartwool hiking socks that are cushioned to help absorb impact but not so cushioned that they make your boots feel tight. Smartwool products are notoriously long-lasting and durable, and in my experience they live up to the hype.

    dark purple crew hiking socks

    Promising review: "These are hands down the best socks ever made. I wear them for my hiking boots, as well as with my regular leather fashion boots when it's cold, and they're so cushy and cozy! They also last forever. I can keep these socks for years and they hold up very well. They are 100% worth the investment." —Jane M

    Get them from Amazon for $15.16+ (available in three sizes and seven colors).

    11. A pair of Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX hiking shoes for anyone who wants the grip and durability of a hiking boot without the bulk. Perfect for short hikes or hikes you may need to travel to, as these are way easier to pack than a boot!

    dark teal hiking shoes with neon green and black accents, a rubber toe, and a grippy sole

    Promising review: "I’ve had hiking boots before but wanted something less bulky and easier to pack. This shoe is lightweight, was easy to break in, and was comfortable on long and short hikes. I like the blue and lime colors too." —Sarah H.

    Get them from Backcountry for $112.46+ (available in sizes 6–11 and four colors).

    12. A sun protection shirt that's super lightweight, moisture-wicking, and has a UPF 50+ rating — the right choice for when you want to be outdoors but have had enough of the sun.

    model in green long-sleeve shirt that says "baleaf" in small letters

    Promising review: "I really like this shirt! I bought it for a camping trip and wore it for several days straight. Went swimming, hiking, and did other outdoor stuff. Better than sunblock!" —Gary

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in men's sizes S–3X and 40 colors and styles).

    13. A thong made of a breathable mesh to keep your nether regions nice and sweat-free as you climb every mountain in sight.

    grey and black mesh thong

    Promising review: "These are the best undies I’ve ever owned. They don’t move at all! I wear them biking, hiking, yoga, etc. and haven’t had an issue with unwanted movement. Highly recommend this product." —Skp14_85

    Get it from REI for $10.83 (originally $22, available in sizes 1X–3X and three colors).

    14. A pair of binoculars for getting a closer look at the flora and fauna you come across. Is that a cardinal?! Oh, nope, just a weird leaf.

    hands holding small black binoculars

    Promising review: "I use these for hiking, exploration, and just overall when I am camping or walking around somewhere and want to see things far away. I really think the compact size, and the quality of the image is unparalleled. Definitely worth the price for me." —Kyle Giffin

    Get them from Amazon for $25.99.

    15. A Helinox ultra-light chair if, when you picture yourself taking a nice rest along the trail, you don't envision sitting on an uncomfortable rock.

    review's dog next to short bucket seat chair

    I have this chair and it's great! It really is super-duper light, folds up nice and small so it's easy to tuck into a day pack, and it's simple to put together. A perfect outdoor luxury item.

    Promising review: "I have two of these — one for myself and one for my girlfriend. We've used them on several 12-plus-mile-a-day backpacking trips now on and around the AT. We really look forward to sitting in these things after hiking all day. We cook and eat our dinners and breakfasts in these things and really enjoy relaxing in them drinking whiskey or coffee to end or start the day. They appear to be holding up well and I anticipate they should last several backpacking seasons." —Roth C.

    Get it from Amazon for $119.95.

    16. A collapsible dog bowl with a carabiner so your pup is always hydrated on the go. Gotta keep your #1 hiking buddy ready for adventure!

    dog drinking from collapsable blue silicone bowl with carabiner attached

    Promising review: "I bought the large size cup for when I hike with my dog Finn (60 lb lab mix). It’s the perfect size to fit in my backpack without taking up tons of room. It also holds a decent amount of water when we need to stop and rest. It has definitely made water breaks easier!" —Chrissy

    Get it from Chewy for $10.63 (available in three colors).

    17. A child carrier that lets you comfortably tote your kiddo along on long day hikes. You'll have so many adjustable straps so you can dial in the perfect weight distribution and a ton of storage pockets, and the child being carried has a sun shade, mirror to see you, adjustable foot rests, and a little pillow!


    Promising review: "We’ve logged quite a few miles with this pack, it’s fantastic! My daughter loves it, it seems comfortable for her and is super comfortable for me. It may be on the heavier side but it’s worth it as weight is distributed very well and is incredibly comfortable. Nice storage and easy on and off." —Michael R.

    Get it from Backcountry for $330.

    18. A 32-ounce lightweight Nalgene — my love of Nalgenes is well-documented, and this particular one fits the bill for utilitarian water storage while hiking.

    white and blue nalgene sitting outside

    Promising review: "Handy bottle in the backcountry. I always take one of these with me since it has measurements on the side. It's also about half the weight of the more clear plastic Nalgene bottles. The wide mouth makes it easy to drink out of, as well as to mix nutritional supplements after or during the hike." —CM

    Get it from Amazon for $6.95.

    19. A T-shirt that may appear basic but is actually a moisture-wicking master, as well as UPF 30 sun protection rated and antimicrobial so you can wear it for days without causing a stink.

    model in greyish green crew neck T-shirt

    Promising review: "I wore it for four days straight and it doesn't stink. Love the simple design and the material is comfortable." —christina

    Get it from REI: $14.93+ for sizes XS–XL (available in five colors) and $14.93+ for sizes 2X–3X (available in two colors).

    20. A pair of Teva sandals if you're one of the real ones who does long hikes while letting your tootsies breathe. No shame if you prefer something with more coverage — hello that's also me — but to all the people I see hiking in sandals, you're so cool, more power to ya.,

    Promising review: "One of my favorite shoes I’ve owned! Took them on a hiking trip without breaking them in first — NO problems. So comfortable. Hiked 10 miles through dry and wet and they were a godsend! Awesome!" —Morgan

    Get them from Amazon for $39.95+ (available in sizes 5–11 and 16 colors and patterns).

    21. An active bralette with a thick bottom band, moisture-wicking material, and an antimicrobial treatment that'll work together to keep you secure and fresh while sweatin' it out.

    tan bralette with triangle cups and thin straps

    Promising review: "Not only do I find this bra super comfortable, but I don't have to worry about the straps falling off my shoulders. I also find it very versatile in that I can wear it while being active like running/hiking or just wearing with a casual top." —BigBend73

    Get it from REI for $34.95 (available in sizes XS–XL and six colors).

    22. A small medical kit, because you should ALWAYS have first aid supplies on-hand when you're out in the wilderness.

    hands reaching for a small blue medical kit in a backpack

    My partner and I have this medical kit and it always comes with us on hikes. It's small, light, and completely unobtrusive! It has many different kinds of bandages, a splinter and tick remover, bug bite relief wipes, aspirin, and more!

    Promising review: "Bought this to have in my day pack for when the family and I are out on day hikes. The case is nice and compact. It has organized pockets inside to easily get to what you need and still has a little extra room to throw in a few more first aid items and a Leatherman." —Dren

    Get it from REI for $15.

    23. Bandier's Center Stage leggings, which are currently my favorite pants for hiking. They're so stretchy and truly move with you — they never stretch out, fall down, or get snagged on brush, and they protect me from the bug bites that I'm normally so very prone to.

    Rachel Dunkel / Via BuzzFeed, Bandier

    Even though these are general exercise leggings, I highly recommend them for hiking. I love the outdoors, but I can be a little bit of a baby about overgrown brush — being fully covered lets me bust through the forest worry-free. They're not uncomfortably tight around the waist or ankles, and I find them to be quite cool and moisture-wicking.

    Get them from Bandier for $98, available in sizes XXS–XXL and 10 colors).

    24. A pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and eyestrain while hiking or trail running. That's right, these are perfect for runs since their nose piece is made of a material that actually becomes grippier when wet — no more glasses sliding off of your face!

    sleek tortoise shell glasses with brown lenses

    Promising review: "This is my third pair of this style and brand of sunglasses. They're great for hiking, boating, and driving. They're light on my face and allow air circulation when it's hot outside. I can look down without them slipping off my nose and face. I can put them up on my head and they will stay there. Highly recommend for active summer days." —Athena

    Get them from REI for $54.95 (available in two colorways).

    Have some gear you totally recommend? I want to know about it! Drop any recommendations below!


    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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