The Basics: Hiking Gear for Beginners - FITS®

September 29, 2022

Are you planning for an upcoming hike? Whether you’ll be hitting the trails alone or with a group, it’s essential to have the appropriate hiking gear for beginners. Use our checklist to ensure you have everything you need for an enjoyable time.

Hiking Gear for Beginners Checklist

When choosing your hiking gear for beginners, consider the distance you intend to hike, the location's remoteness, and the weather prediction. You'll need more clothing, equipment, food, and water the longer and more remote the trip is. Use this checklist to help you plan accordingly. 


A good navigation tool is one of the most important pieces of hiking gear for beginners. Make sure you know how to read a map or use a compass, and consider bringing a GPS device, personal locator beacon, or satellite messenger. That way, you’ll be able to find your way if you get lost without cell service.


Whether you’re hiking during the day or not, packing a headlamp could come in handy should you be out longer than expected. Hiking in the dark is dangerous. And even if it’s not part of the plan, it’s better to be prepared by taking a headlamp or flashlight on every hike.

First Aid Kit

The more time you spend outdoors, the more likely you are to get a blister, severe cut, scratch, or even a spider bite, all requiring some level of first aid. So, carrying a basic first aid kit when hiking is essential. 

Sun Protection

Getting outside, enjoying the fresh air, and feeling the sun's warmth while you hit the trail is incredible. However, too much sunlight can cause serious problems. Be sure to pack the appropriate sun protection to keep your skin safe.


Packing a knife when going on a hike is a good idea for many reasons. You probably won't use it on every hike; however, you’ll be glad you have one when you need it. A knife is good for defense, opening food, cutting cords, splitting firewood, making tinder, and creating a spark with fire steel.


Nearly 2,000 hikers get lost in the wilderness each year. If a hike takes longer than expected or you can’t find your way back, you may need to start a fire to keep warm or signal for help. Packing matches, a lighter, or fire steel will allow you to make a fire anywhere. Like most survival hiking gear for beginners, you won’t use it every time. However, it’s a great thing to have should you need it.


You may set out to only hike for a couple of hours. However, should you get hurt or lost, you may have to spend more time in the woods than you thought. Carrying an emergency bivy will be handy if you need to take cover until help arrives.

Food and Water

Hiking can take a lot out of you, and having extra food and water on hand can give you the energy you need to keep going. You can’t go wrong by having a few granola bars and bottles of water in your backpack. 

Extra Clothes

Throwing a few extra articles of clothing in your backpack can come in handy if the weather turns or you step in some water. Having an extra pair of men’s hiking socks or hiking socks for women to keep your feet warm and dry will make your outdoor adventure much more enjoyable. If you're hiking in an area with snow, bring a pair of gloves and a hat. It's better to be safe than sorry, and you'll appreciate having the extra clothes if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

READ MORE: What is Thru Hiking?

Explore More with FITS Hiking Socks

At FITS, we know having the right hiking gear for beginners is essential to a safe, enjoyable adventure. That’s why we sell the highest-quality wool hiking socks for men and women. Shop our selection of hiking socks today to find the perfect pair for your next adventure!